Angela M. Henricks, PhD
PhD in Experimental Psychology, Washington State University, 2016
In general, my research interests aim to examine how drug addiction impacts emotion and cognition differently in men and women, and how sex hormones contribute to these differences. While working on my PhD, I evaluated how chronic alcohol consumption altered endocannabinoid-related genes in male and female rats, as well as how estrogens influenced these genetic changes in females. Currently, I am working under the supervision of Dr. Alan Green, evaluating how cannabis use alters brain reward pathways in individuals with schizophrenia. I hope to extend my knowledge of sex differences in addiction to this current work, in order to better understand how drugs of abuse impact psychiatric illnesses in men and women.
Travis Masterson, PhD
PhD in Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 2018
MS in Exercise Sciences – Health Promotion, Brigham Young University, 2015
BS in Exercise and Wellness, Brigham Young University, 2013
My research is centered on understanding and preventing the development of obesity in both children and adults. Specifically, my research strives to understand the neural underpinnings of food cue reactivity and how this correlates to eating behaviors. As food cues are abundant in the current environment I am also interested in understanding how we can modify both the brain and behavioral responses to these cues. I use both laboratory eating paradigms and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms to examine these questions. My graduate training focused on the effects of food marketing on brain response and food intake in children. I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Diane Gilbert-Diamond where I am continuing to examine the effects of food marketing on children’s brain response and eating behavior and their relation to children’s genetic predisposition for weight gain.
Michael Sofis, PhD
PhD in Behavioral Psychology, University of Kansas, 2018
At the CTBH, I’m working with Dr. Alan Budney to research factors that predict, are associated with, and are a result of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD). I’m interested in exploring how self-control (i.e., delay discounting) and persistence (the sunk cost effect) may contribute to the development, prevention, and treatment of CUD. Moving forward, I hope to leverage such research efforts to inform the development of novel treatments that help prevent or treat CUD.
John Brand, PhD
PhD in Experimental and Applied Psychology, Concordia University
My research studies the interface between the attention system of the human brain and childhood and adolescent health. I am particularly interested in the use of cognitive paradigms to isolate and understand the role that attention may play in public health issues, such as childhood obesity and youth tobacco use. During my PhD, I trained in theoretical cognitive psychology and the development of cognitive paradigms of attention including eye-tracking methodology. I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Diane Gilbert-Diamond to create eye-tracking protocols to investigate the role of attention and media multi-tasking on food cue reactivity in children, an important predictor of childhood obesity. Additionally, Dr. Gilbert-Diamond and I are working with Dr. James Sargent to use eye-tracking methodology to investigate the association between exposure to electronic-cigarette ads and adolescent smoking initiation, an association that may have important policy implications for the FDA.
Diana Wallin, PhD
PhD in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, 2017
BS in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007
My research interests and career path have led to my growing interest in the study of co-occurring disorders. As a graduate student I studied the effects of phlebotomy-induced anemia on brain neurochemistry, both acutely and long-term, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This work in early brain development and neuroimaging and has led to my current interest in disentangling the relative contributions of known neurodevelopmental insults that lead to a predisposition for patients with schizophrenia to develop a co-occurring substance use disorder. Under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Green, I am currently studying the connectivity within the brain’s reward circuit using a rat model of schizophrenia created by lesioning the brain during early-life. We hope this model will lead to validation of reward circuit connectivity as a biomarker to further study co-occurring substance use disorders in schizophrenia.