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Post-Doc - Pain Washington University in St. Louis - Anesthesiology - 2011
PhD - Neuroscience Washington University in St. Louis - Neuroscience Program - 2008
BS - Biology and Psychology University of Dayton - 2003
Pain Basic Science
We are interested in understanding the impact of stress adaptation on the pain experience. We are doing basic science research looking at the role of the amygdala and other emotional processing brain areas in acute and chronic pain with a focus on visceral and neuropathic pain. We utilize molecular and systems-level approaches including physiological techniques, pharmacology, optogenetics, and in vivo imaging.
Pain and Depression Drug Discovery
We utilize natural products to identify and test novel analgesic and anti-depressant molecules. This includes work with marine cyanobacteria (Caribbean Sea) and terrestrial plants from Central Africa (Cameroon). We also seek novel approaches to fight the opioid epidemic including working with chemists to modify existing opioid overdose antidotes to minimize opioid withdrawal after antidote delivery.
Non-Pharmacological Research in Chronic Pain Patients
Working with clinicians, we are interested in developing and testing integrative non-pharmacological approaches to treat chronic pain. This work has involved testing the impact of combined meditation and exercise to treat chronic low back pain in adult patients.
Behavioral insights from mouse models of forebrain- and amygdala-specific glucocorticoid receptor genetic disruption - Journal Article
Lipoprotein Receptor LRP1 Regulates Leptin Signaling and Energy Homeostasis in the Adult Central Nervous System - Journal Article
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation and behavioral analysis of mouse mutants with altered glucocorticoid or mineralocorticoid receptor function. - Journal Article
Examination of Analgesic Tolerance and Side Effect Profile in Mice - Journal Article
Defining brain region-specific glucocorticoid action during stress by conditional gene disruption in mice - Journal Article
Barbamide Displays Affinity for Membrane-Bound Receptors and Impacts Store-Operated Calcium Entry in Mouse Sensory Neurons 2023 - Journal Article
Slow‐sustained delivery of naloxone reduces typical naloxone‐induced precipitated opioid withdrawal effects in male morphine‐dependent mice 2022 - Journal Article
Novel TRPV1 Modulators with Reduced Pungency Induce Analgesic Effects in Mice 2022 - Journal Article
President’s Award for Scholarship Excellence - Duquesne University 
Research Hall of Fame - Duquesne University 
Mentoring Active Learning and Teaching (MALT) Fellowship - American Society for Cell Biology 
Early Career Mentoring Award – Honorable Mention - Council for Undergraduate Research 
Mentor Award for Excellence in Advising Graduate Students from the Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University 2014 Mentor Award for Excellence in Advising Graduate Students from the Department of Biological Sciences - Duquesne University 
Early Career Research Award - International Association for the Study of Pain and Scan|Design Foundation 
National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences - National Academies 
NRSA F32 Postdoctoral Award - NIH NIDDS 
Society for Neuroscience Graduate Student Travel Award - SFN 
NRSA F31 Predoctoral Award - NIH NIMH 
Program Director BBS - Systems Neuroscience PhD Program [2021–Present]
Faculty Center for Advanced Pain Studies [2020–Present]