Latinx Health in Rural Areas (Project LAHRA)

This project aims to examine health disparities in substance use and factors influencing the health and well-being of Latinx youth residing in rural and small-town communities of the United States, a growing but understudied and underserved population.

Cannabis legalization and changes in young adult substance use, related health risk behaviors, and risk factors in WA State (Project YAM)

This project involves analyses of data from the Washington State Young Adult Health Study to examine the impact of cannabis legalization on cannabis-related risk factors, substance use, and related health risk behaviors such as driving while intoxicated, and to study developmental trajectories of substance use and the role of community level and other cannabis-specific risk […]

Project Reflect

This project examines marijuana-specific self-regulation processes in relation to marijuana use and consequences both across days and throughout the day to identify how psychological states and contextual factors influence these self-regulation processes using an EMA design with surveys four times a day for two weeks.

Microglia and opioid withdrawal: mechanisms of negative reinforcement

Extensive opioid use and repeated abstinence increases the likelihood of severe withdrawal and contributes to the risk of relapse. Previously we found that microglia, the innate immune cells in the brain, have dramatic changes in gene expression and signaling during opioid tolerance and withdrawal. We propose to use fentanyl and a recently developed transgenic mice to […]

Determining if activity in LHb projections to the RMTg promotes cued reinstatement to fentanyl seeking through indirect inhibition of VTA dopamine neurons

The main goals of this proposal are twofold: 1) to develop and optimize a general behavioral and technical platform for studying the functional neurocircuitry underlying opioid use disorder, and 2) to determine if activity in LHb projections to the RMTg promotes cued reinstatement to fentanyl seeking through indirect inhibition of VTA dopamine neurons.

Determining if activity in specific lateral habenula output pathways motivates avoidance of synthetic opioid withdrawal or cue induced reinstatement

Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and is responsible for more than 40,000 overdose deaths each year. Avoidance of withdrawal and drug-associated cues are key deterrents to voluntary abstinence in humans. By studying the neural circuits responsible for motivating avoidance of physical and emotional pain, as well as those that process […]


Connectivity in the Brain and Autism (COBRA) Study

The COBRA study seeks to identify the specific neural circuits that are altered in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our experiments test the strength of “divisive normalization”, a measure that describes how neurons in the brain suppress each other. Our hypothesis is that suppressive interactions are reduced in individuals with ASD. Because suppressive neural interactions are […]

Project Transitions

The transition to adulthood is characterized by many changes in various domains of life (e.g., living situation, education, work, romantic relationships) and some transitions may be more impactful on health than others. Project Transitions is designed to understand not only major life changes (e.g., marriage, parenting), but also the many smaller life changes that occur […]

Project SAM Transitions

This study is conducting secondary analyses on data collected from an unprecedented, recent longitudinal study of young adult drinkers recruited from the community in WA State after adult marijuana use was legalized for recreational purposes, Project Transitions. Analyses will increase our knowledge of concurrent and simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana across months, specifically examining substitution […]