Welcome to my website! I am a neuroscientist interested in understanding the role of a critical neuromodulator, dopamine, in human behavior. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Zald Affective Neuroscience Lab at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Overall Research Goal
Dopamine (DA) Molecule
I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of choice behavior and other executive processes. Using behavioral genetic and neuroimaging techniques, I hope to better understand how choice preferences are encoded in the brain and the role of neural modulators (such as dopamine) in shaping these processes. This includes studies focused on both subjective and economic valuation. Understanding value-driven choice behavior and how it can go awry has implications for why individuals make irrational choices in their daily lives and the poor, impulsive choices seen in several psychopathologies including drug addiction and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Furthermore, understanding individual differences in dopamine signaling via genetic and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) measures will offer insights into personalizing pharmacological treatments for a variety of dopamine-related disorders including Parkinson's Disease, Schizophrenia, ADHD, and drug abuse/dependence.
Ph.D., Neurobiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2014
B.S., Neuroscience, Furman University, Greenville, SC 2008