ARTT Center of Excellence UT Health San Antonio

NIDA T32 Training Program
Postdoctoral Training in Drug Abuse Research:
Behavior & Neurobiology

Current Trainees

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Victor M Jimenez, PhD
Dept. of Pharmacology
France Lab

Victor M Jimenez Jr is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Charles P France’s laboratory. He completed is doctoral training in immunology with an emphasis in alcohol – infectious disease interactions at Northern Arizona University. His current research is focused on expanding to other abused drugs and their effects on behavior and physiological perturbations. Furthermore, his research interests include alternative treatments to mitigate the negative effects of opioid induced withdrawal, opioid mixture induced respiratory depression, and to better understand the effects of chronic polydrug abuse as it relates to cognition and memory. Finally, an underline theme in his research is discovering ways to improve the quality of life for individuals who polyabuse drugs.

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Kelly S McGlothen-Bell, PhD, RN
School of Nursing
Cleveland Lab

As a member of the Cleveland laboratory, my research is focused on the interplay between biology and the social context of addiction and its impact on maternal mental health and infant neuro-developmental outcomes. My current research aims to explore the factors that impact maternal sensitivity, maternal-infant responsivity, and early brain and neonatal developmental trajectories in populations diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. My concentration is on three targeted areas: (a) behavioral research methods, (b) utilization of human stress biomarkers in behavioral research, and (c) high-level statistical modeling for data analysis; specifically, Actor Partner Interdependence Modeling (APIM).

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Tae Joon Moon, PhD
Dept. of Psychiatry
Dougherty Lab

Tae Joon is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Neurobehavioral Research within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He completed his graduate training in Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on the role of communication technologies in healthcare, which includes monitoring biomarkers with remote sensors, therapeutic benefits of computer-mediated social support groups, Ecological Momentary Assessment/Intervention via smartphones, usability and feasibility of mHealth/eHealth-intervention for people with chronic disease, and developing computer-assisted detection and prevention of risky behaviors (e.g., relapse, suicide, DWI). His research interest also includes communication patterns between patients and physicians and/or communications between peer patients. By using computer-assisted linguistic analysis and interaction sequence analysis, he identifies which types of communication patterns are more beneficial for patients in terms of their psychosocial well-being and recovery in the context of addiction treatment and cancer care.

Kristen D Rosen, PhD
Dept of Psychiatry
Potter Lab

Trained as a health psychologist, I am interested in leveraging wireless technologies and contemplative practices to improve functional and psychosocial wellbeing among individuals with chronic health conditions. As a member of the Opioid, Pain, and Addiction Lab (OPAL; PI Jennifer Sharpe Potter), I conduct research on wireless health solutions for individuals seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder (OUD) and/or chronic pain. I am currently co-leading a pilot study to develop and establish proof of concept of a text message and app-delivered mindfulness intervention to improve treatment adherence among adults with OUD.

Alexander M Wasserman, PhD
Dept. of Psychiatry
Dougherty Lab

As a developmental psychologist, I am interested in understanding the trajectories of risk behavior/substance use during adolescence and young adulthood.  To that end, my current efforts focus on a longitudinal study at the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic (NRLC) that follows at-risk adolescents from ages 13–19 years old.  I am primarily interested in understanding what factors (e.g., stress, parent–child relationship quality) may alter developmental trajectories of cognitive control and reward sensitivity, and in turn increase the risk of addiction problems.  I also have a strong passion for advanced quantitative methods, particularly with structural equation modeling and growth curve modeling.  During the course of the training problem, I hope to develop expertise in neuroimaging techniques to better understand the neurobiological underpinning of addiction problems.

The project described is supported by Award Number T32DA031115 from the National Institute On Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute On Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health.