Past Symposium and Seminar Speakers


8th Annual Symposium

4/20/2021 – Topic: “Risk/Resiliency & Recovery”

  • Dr. Charles Chavkin, Allan and Phyllis Treuer Endowed Chair of Pain Research and Professor of Pharmacology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Director, Brain-Behavioral Vulnerabilities Division; Center for Studies on Addiction, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


7th Annual Symposium

4/15/2019 – Topic: “Opioids and the Brain: Mechanisms and Impact”

  • Dr. Brigitte Kieffer, Scientific Director, Douglas Research center, Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University – “Opioid Receptors and Brain Function”
  • Dr. R. Kathryn McHugh, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School – “Stress and Anxiety in Opioid Use Disorder”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Larry Toll, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University – “NOP – Not OPiate Receptors” – 1/16/2019

Dr. Nancy Barnett, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University – “Direct and Indirect Effects of a Brief Alcohol Intervention in a Complete Social Network” – 2/20/2019

Special Seminar – 3/26/2019:

  • Dr. Caitlin Orsini – “Sex Differences in the Relationship Between Risk Taking and Cocaine Self-Administration”
  • Dr. Jeff Boissoneault – “Improving Understanding of Alcohol/Pain Interactions”
  • Dr. Brandon Warren – “Neuronal Ensembles in Cocaine Seeking”
  • Dr. Ali M. Yurasek – “Behavioral Economic Applications to Cannabis use Among Young Adults and Adolescents”

Dr. Patrick Mulholland, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina – “Heavy Alcohol Drinking and Intrinsic Excitability” – 5/15/2019

Data Blitz #1* – 6/12/2019:

  • Ms. Yiyang Liu, “Past 30-day oral and non-oral prescription stimulant use and associated risk factors among youth 10 to 18 years of age”
  • Mr. John Lee, “Parent, peer, and media advertisement influences on electronic cigarette use among adolescents in the United States”
  • Ms. Tessa Frohe, “Mindfulness and impaired control over alcohol use among young adults”
  • Ms. Carly Logan, “mGlu2/3 receptor function is necessary for ceftriaxone to attenuate reinstatement of cocaine-seeking”
  • Mr. Benjamin Berey, “Relationships among facets of impulsivity, risk taking, impaired control, and alcohol-related problems in young adult heavy drinkers”
  • Mr. Christian Garcia, “Investigating Race Differences in Emotional Face Processing among Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder”
  • Dr. Samuel Obeng, Postdoctoral Associate, “The Sigma1 Receptor Antagonist CM304 Specifically Enhances the Antinociceptive Effects of the Cannabinoid CB1 agonists, but not Mu-Opioid Receptor Agonists in Mice”
  • Ms. Julianne Price, “The Role of Emotionality in Attending to and Ignoring Facial Stimuli in Alcohol Use Disorder”

*Data Blitz #2 is scheduled for October 21, 2019 where the remaining UF CARE Travel Awardees will present.


6th Annual Symposium


  • Dr. R. Adron Harris, Professor of Neurobiology and Waggoner Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin – “The Role of Neuroimmune Signaling in Alcohol’s Actions”
  • Dr. Lara Ray, Professor of Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California at Los Angeles – “Clinical Neuroscience of Addiction: Translating Insights from Animals to Humans”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Sachin Patel, James G. Blakemore Chair and Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center – “Translational Implications of Endocannabinoids as Homeostatic Signals Counteracting Stress” – 1/24/2018

Mr. Benjamin Berey, “Relationships Between Facets of Impulsivity and Subjective Response with Ramifications for Alcohol Outcomes” – 2/21/2018

Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei, “Methamphetamine regulates dopamine transmission via an intracellular mechanism” – 3/21/2018

Dr. Caitlin Orsini, “Neurobiological and Hormonal Regulation of Risky Decision Making” – 5/16/2018

Data Blitz – 6/6/2018:

  • Ms. Tessa Frohe, “Trauma and Mindfulness: Strong Associations with Impaired Control over Alcohol Use and Alcohol-related Problems among Young Adults”
  • Ms. Carly Logan, “Ceftriaxone Increases Surface Mglu2 Expression in Male and Female Rats”
  • Mr. Ben Berey, “Relationships between Generalized Impulsivity and Subjective Stimulant and Sedative Responses Following Alcohol Administration”
  • Ms. Shelby Blaes, “Effects of Acute Exposure to Cannabis Smoke on Working Memory Performance”
  • Ms. Ricarda Pritschmann, “Soft Commitment as a Mechanism to Prevent Preference Reversals”
  • Mr. Phillip Mackie, “The Dopamine Transporter Functions in Human Immunity”
  • Ms. Julianne Price, “Individuals with AUD Show Greater Rates of Improvement than Controls in Identifying Anger: A Growth Curve Analysis”
  • Ms. Christina Gobin, “Evaluating the Role of Mglu5 in Post-Cocaine Cognitive Deficits and Drug Seeking”
  • Ms. Amy Elliott, “Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Referral to Substance Use Disorder Screening Among Justice-Involved Children”
  • Mr. Joe Dragone, “Adolescent Exposure to THC Alters Mean Diffusivity in Adult Rat Brain Regions Associated With Learning and Emotion”

Summer Activities Report – 8/22/2018:

  • Ms. Yasmin Padovan-Hernadez, “DREADDs work! A pilot study investigating the role of inhibiting the PFC-NAC pathway in cocaine-induced locomotion”
  • Mr. Andres Mendoza, “Outcomes associated with Individual and Co-use of Cannabis and Opioids within NESARC”
  • Mr. Sam Sowell, “Effects of binge ethanol intake on conditioned social preference in male and female mice”
  • Ms. Jaime Cardascia, “Driving After Marijuana Use Among College Students”
  • Ms. Yuma Ortiz, “Pharmacological Characterization of Mitragynine, the Primary Constituent in Kratom, as a Potential Medication for Opioid Dependence”
  • Ms. Angela Grimberg, “Relationships between Facets of Impulsivity and Subjective Response with Ramifications for Alcohol Outcomes”
  • Mr. Andrew Fiore, “Requested compensation to cease marijuana or alcohol use for medical research”

Dr. Ali Yurasek, “Using Behavioral Economic Theory to Identify Risk Factors and Inform Treatment Among At Risk Populations” – 9/19/2018

Dr. Jeff Boissoneault, “Alcohol Analgesia: From Anecdote to Mechanism” – 10/17/2018


5th Annual Symposium

4/10/2017 – Topic: Marijuana

  • Dr. Yasmin Hurd, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director, Center for Addictive Disorders, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – “High Times for Cannabis: Epigenetic and Neurobiological Insights”
  • Dr. Alan Budney, Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Center for Technology and Behavioral Health – “Cannabis Addiction? Cannabis as Medicine? What Do We Know and How Do We Communicate It?”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Richard Yi – “Delay Discounting in Substance Use: Relevance, Assessment, and Analysis” – 1/18/2017

Dr. Michael Sayette, Professor, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh & Carnegie Mellon University – “The Effects of Alcohol on Emotion: Addressing the ‘Social’ Aspect of Social Drinking” – 2/15/2017

Dr. Thomas Yang, “Epigenetic Changes in the Murine Cerebral Cortex in Response to Prenatal Ethanol Exposure: An Update” – 3/15/2017

Dr. Luis Colon-Perez, “Elucidating Bath Salts Changes in Brain Structure and Function Using Diffusion and Functional MRI” – 5/17/2017

Data Blitz – 6/7/2017:

  • Ms. Julianne Price, “Differences in HPA dysregulation between black and white alcohol-dependent men”
  • Mr. Thomas Cirino, “Characterization of Sigma 1 Receptor (S1R) antagonist CM-304 and its analog, AZ-66: Evaluating novel therapeutics for allodynia and induced pain”
  • Ms. Tessa Frohe, “Substance use among people living with HIV who utilize complementary and alternative medicine”
  • Ms. Shivani Khan, “Urban, suburban and rural differences in patterns of alcohol, cigarette and marijuana initiation by age among US youth”
  • Mr. Joe Lebowitz, “Dopamine transporter activation modulates Kv2.1 clustering and activity”
  • Ms. Carly Logan, “Infusion of oxytocin into the nucleus accumbens core decreases cued cocaine seeking and increases extracellular glutamate”
  • Dr. Caitlin Orsini, “The dynamic role of the basolateral amygdala in risky decision making”
  • Ms. Mirsada Serdarevic, “Emergency department (ED) visits, along with medical doctor (MD) visits, greatly increase odds of prescription (Rx) opioid use”
  • Dr. Ben Lewis, Postdoctoral Fellow, “Safety and feasibility of Memantine administration among inpatient treatment-seekers”
  • Mr. Peter Hamor, “Sex and estrous cycle effects on the attenuation of cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking by ceftriaxone”
  • Ms. Shelby Blaes, “Regulation of risky decision making by gonadal hormones”
  • Ms. Yiyang Liu, “Motives for different patterns and quantities of non-medical use of prescription stimulants”
  • Mr. John Shallcross, “Evidence for mGlu5 as a molecular feature of post-traumatic stress disorder”

Dr. Sade Spencer, Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina – “The Addiction Synapse: Insights From Novel Models of Addiction and Relapse” – 6/21/2017

Dr. Darshan Singh, Centre for Drug Research, University of Science, Malaysia – “Traditional and Non-traditional Uses of Kratom” – 8/10/2017

Summer Activities Report Seminar – 8/16/2017:

  • Mr. Sam Sowell – “Binge ethanol drinking alters oxytocin regulation of reward centers”
  • Ms. Meena Manepalli – “In vitro pharmacokinetic studies and method development of MC120”
  • Mr. Jonah Harrington

Dr. Roger Papke, “Cracking the Betel Nut: Addressing an Orphan Addiction” – 9/20/2017

Dr. Marek Schwendt, “The Role of mGlu5 Receptors in Cocaine Craving and Post-cocaine Working Memory Deficits” – 10/18/2017


4th Annual Symposium


  • Dr. Marisa Roberto, Professor, Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA – “Amygdala and CRF in alcohol dependence”
  • Dr. J. David Jentsch, Empire Innovation Professor of Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience), Binghamton University, NY – “Reward, interrupted: Inhibitory control and its relevance to addictions”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Jay McLaughlin, “Developing Mixed Action Opioid Agonist/Antagonist Cyclic Tetrapeptides as Lower-liability Treatments for Pain and Drug Abuse” – 1/20/2016

Dr. Andrea King, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago – “Show me the Study: Alcohol Challenge and Longitudinal Methods Merged to Examine Progression of Binge Drinking” – 2/24/2016

Dr. Gonzalo Torres, “New Signaling Mechanisms in the Actions of Amphetamine” – 3/16/2016

Special Seminar – 5/18/2016:

  • Mr. Joseph Lebowitz, “Kv2.1 and the Dopamine Transporter Interact in Dopaminergic Neurons”
  • Mr. Douglas Miller, “Non-canonical Toxicity on Midbrain Dopamine Neurons by HIV-1 Tat”

Data Blitz – 6/7/2016:

  • Dr. Jane Aldrich, “Small Changes in Macrocyclic Tetrapeptide Structure Have Significant Impact on Opioid Activity in vivo”
  • Ms. Shantrel Canidate, “A Qualitative Assessment of HIV-Positive Women’s Experiences in a Randomized Clinical Trial to Reduce Drinking”
  • Ms. Kaley MacFadyen, “Oxytocin Regulation of Ethanol Intake and Accumbal Glutamate Levels in Mice”
  • Ms. Julianne Price, “Alcohol and Age Effects on Inhibitory Control in a Driving Simulator”
  • Ms. Danielle Sambo, “Methamphetamine Regulates Firing Activity of Dopamine Neurons via a Calcium-Dependent Potassium Channel”
  • Mr. Christian Garcia, “Racial Differences in Telescoping: Investigation in a Treatment-Seeking Sample”

Dr. Joanna Peris, “Optogenetic Stimulation of Oxytocin Receptor-Expressing VTA Neurons, or What My PharmD Students Did On Their Summer Vacation” – 8/17/2016

Dr. Caitlin Orsini, “Neurobiological and Hormonal Contributions to Risky Decision Making” – 9/21/2016

Dr. Marina Wolf, Professor & Chair, Department of Neuroscience, The Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University – “Synaptic Mechanism Maintaining Persistent Cocaine and Methamphetamine Craving” – 11/2/2016


3rd Annual Symposium


  • Dr. Linda Spear, SUNY Distinguished Professor & Director, Developmental Exposure to Alcohol Research Center, Binghamton University – “What Animal Models Tell Us About the Causes and Consequences of Adolescent Alcohol Use”
  • Dr. Lindsay Squeglia, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina – “Teens, Alcohol and Brain Development: Why It Matters”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Lori Knackstedt, “Nucleus Accumbens Glutamate Alterations After Chronic Alcohol Self-Administration” – 1/21/2015

Dr. Bin Liu, “Elucidation of the Role of Microglia in Alcohol Neurotoxicity Using Proteomic Approaches and In Vitro Models” – 2/18/2015

Dr. Eric Porges, “MOCA Performance as a Function of GABA in the Context of Aging” – 3/18/2015

Data Blitz – 6/3/2015:

  • Dr. Jay McLaughlin, “Exposure to HIV-1 Tat Protein Potentiates the Rewarding Effects of Morphine and Reinstates Extinguished Conditioned Place Preference”
  • Ms. Kaley MacFadyen, “Oxytocin Receptor Expression on Dopamine, Glutamate and GABA Neurons of the VTA: A Point of Access for Regulating Ethanol Consumption?”
  • Dr. Ben Lewis, “Characterizing Patterns of Alcohol Use and ‘Low-Risk’ Drinking Among Older Adults”
  • Ms. Susan D. Chandler, “Behavioral Impulsivity and Time Perspective Predict Different Problem Severity Dimensions Among Untreated Problem Drinkers Attempting Natural Recovery”
  • Dr. Kristen Hymel, “A Novel Mixed-Action μ-Opioid Receptor (MOR) Agonist/ δ-Opioid Receptor (DOR) Antagonist Prevents Stress-Induced Reinstatement of Extinguished Cocaine-Seeking Behavior”
  • Ms. Lauren A. Hoffman, “Exploring When Alcohol Does Not Hinder Performance: Investigating Moderate Doses in Young Adults”

Dr. Luis Colon Perez, “Comparing MDPV- and Cocaine-Induced Modulation of Resting State Networks” – 8/19/2015

Dr. Matthew Carrigan, “Ancestral ADH4 Enzymes Indicate the Ancestors of Humans, Chimpanzees and Gorillas Adapted to Dietary Ethanol” – 9/16/2015

Dr. Sara Jo Nixon, “Blending basic and applied neuroscience: Pathway to an R21” – 11/19/2015


2nd Annual Symposium


  • Dr. Christopher L. Cunningham, Professor, Department of Behavioral Neurosciences, Oregon Health & Sciences University – “Seeking Ethanol Reward”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Robert Cook, “Design and Implementation of a Randomized Clinical Trial to Reduce Hazardous Drinking in Women with HIV Infection” – 2/19/2014

Dr. Marcelo Febo, “Preclinical fMRI/MRI Research on Addiction: Methods, Results and Directions” – 3/19/2014

Ms. Brittany Butler, “Dopamine Transporter Regulation by Alpha-Synuclein Overexpression” – 5/21/2014

Data Blitz – 6/11/2014:

  • Ms. Kaley MacFadyen, “Oxytocin Inhibits Ethanol Intake Possibly via a Direct Effect on Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons”
  • Dr. Drake Morgan, “Effects of Novel Serotonin-2 Modulators on the Locomotor-Stimulating Effects of Oxycodone and Methamphetamine, Alone and in Combination”
  • Ms. Lauren Hoffman, “Sex Difference in Moderate Alcohol Effects on Older Adults”
  • Mr. Chris Delcher, “Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Oxycodone-Caused Mortality: A Monthly Time Series Analysis, 2003-2012”
  • Dr. Ben Lewis, “Characterizing Sex Differences among Pain Medication Abusers”

Ms. Kristy Shimp, “The Neurocircuitry of Risky Decision Making” – 10/15/2014

Dr. Jay Deng, “MeCP2 interacting with 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in psychostimulant addiction” – 11/12/2014

Ms. Danielle Sambo, “Sigma-1 Receptor Modulation of Methamphetamine-Mediated Dopamine Transporter Activity” – 12/17/2014


1st Annual Symposium


  • Dr. Nancy R. Zahniser, Professor, Pharmacology Department, University of Colorado Health Science Center – “Highlights from a Dopamine-Centric Career: The Intrigue of Cocaine and the Dopamine Transporter”
  • Dr. Linda P. Dwoskin, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky – “Discovery of Novel Therapeutics for Methamphetamine Abuse”

Monthly Seminar Series

Dr. Marcelo Febo, “Animal MRI Applications in Addiction Research” – 1/30/2013

Dr. Jay Deng, “Epigenetic Mechanisms of Addiction: MeCP2 Mediates Psychostimulant-Induced Addiction-Like Behaviors” – 2/27/2013

Ms. Kaley MacFadyen, “The Role of Glycine and Glycine Receptors in Ethanol Addiction” – 3/27/13

Mr. Michael La Sala, “The Modulation of Taste and Food Intake Guided Behaviors by Peptide YY Signaling in the Oral Cavity” – 4/24/2013

Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei, “Sigma-1 Receptor Regulates the Activity of Dopamine Transporter” – 5/29/2013

Dr. Marek Schwendt, “Targeting mGluRs to Fix Impaired Motivation and Cognition in Addiction” – 10/30/2013

Dr. Joanna Peris, “Oxytocin Regulation of Addiction” – 11/20/2013

Dr. Thomas Yang, “Epigenetic Effects of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure: Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profiling in a Mouse Model for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” – 12/18/2013


Seminars Series

Mr. James Kasper, “Specific 5‐Ht2c Agonists as a Pharmacotherapy For Alcoholism” – 6/6/2012

Mr. Alfredo Sklar, “Effects of Aging and Alcohol Consumption on Simulated Driving” – 6/20/2012

Dr. Marcelo Febo, “Imaging Cocaine Cue Evoked Brain Activation in Rats” – 7/25/2012

Dr. Lori Knackstedt, “Unique Roles for Dorsal and Ventral Striatum mGluR5 in Extinction Learning and Relapse to Cocaine Seeking” – 11/28/2012

(Note: Seminars/Symposia before 2012 are not listed.)