Personal profile

Research interests

Research in our lab focuses on how chronic pain, stress and addictive drugs induces changes in neural circuits that underlie symptoms of psychiatric disorders. We use a range of techniques including in vivo and patch clamp electrophysiology, genetic sequencing, neuroanatomy, optogenetics and behavior to study changes in function in the ventral basal ganglia in models of addiction, mood and chronic pain disorders. The main goal of the lab is to leverage insight from circuit studies to develop novel neuromodulation therapies for these disorders, including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and targeted drug delivery and neurostimulation with focused ultrasound (FUS). By first establishing links of causality between changes in circuit function and maladaptive behavior, we first establish a rationale for targeted circuit manipulation in a disease state. We then design novel neuromodulation paradigms ex vivo and validate their efficacy in vivo to provide novel, effective neuromodulation strategies for neurological and psychiatric disease.


Mentorship: I believe that there is no one-size-fits all approach to mentoring. Mentoring needs will be different for everyone and will evolve over time. I strive to be in lab as much as possible, to talk science or be a sounding board for technical questions as they arise. We also dedicate time weekly for a 1:1 meeting with each lab member where we can talk about data analysis, experimental plans or topics trainees would like to discuss. The best science and most growth happens in a supportive environment where scientists can take risks, learn from each other and be creative. We are intentional about cultivating this collaborative, inclusive culture in our group!  

I encourage every lab member to take ownership of their scientific development by maintaining an individual development plan which we discuss multiple times a year. My role is to sponsor trainees for opportunities and help them outline their own specific milestones that will help them achieve their professional and scientific goals, regardless of what those next steps or future career plans may be.

Commitment to Diversity: I have benefited immensely from supportive, unbiased mentors throughout my career. I also understand the importance of a mentor as a role model in creating an inclusive culture. I strive to promote such an inclusive culture, welcoming scholars from all socioeconomic, gender and ethnic groups and promoting scientific work from scholars from these groups. I am acutely aware of how racial and gender biases influence everyday interactions and long-term career trajectories of scholars from underrepresented groups, and I do my best to further educate myself and increase my sensitivity to these issues. In the lab, we do not tolerate discrimination in any form, and believe that a variety of perspectives enhances innovation and creativity.

Available to Mentor:

  • PhD/MSTP Students


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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