My primary research focus is translational studies investigating the effects of abused drugs and how these effects impact psychological and physical health acutely and chronically. She has expertise in human laboratory studies on cannabis, cannabinoids, alcohol, and nicotine, and maintains research projects in the underlying factors that contribute to successful clinical treatment of psychiatric and substance use conditions. Her current research investigates the neuropharmacology effects of drugs of abuse, including high potency marijuana and cannabinoids in psychiatric and medical populations and the direct physiological and behavioral effects of cannabinoids as they pertain to both their abuse potential and potential therapeutic effects in observational, clinical, and human laboratory studies. I have published 89 peer-reviewed papers and 2 book chapters in mental health and addiction that advance etiological and clinical theory, contribute to the design of effective prevention and treatment, and inform public policies targeting substance use. My work has appeared in the top journals in the field – JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Addiction Biology, Psychological Medicine, and Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. To enable this comprehensive research program, I have built up and manage an extensive laboratory including direct supervision of junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, and graduate and undergraduate student trainees. Our research agenda has been generously supported by the National Institutes of Health, the State of Colorado, and private sponsors. To date, I have secured competitive research funds totaling over $40 million as PI, Co-I, or primary mentor.
NRSC 4011 - Senior Thesis
Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
Senior Thesis credits are available for students during the semester that they write and defend a departmental Honors Thesis. A neuroscience honors thesis must be based on an empirical research project that the student directs/participates in under guidance from a faculty member. Contact the neuroscience director for further information.
PSYC 1001 - General Psychology
Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
Provides a foundation for engaging with scientific research on human behavior, and surveys the basic principles and theories of psychology. Topics include biological and hereditary influences on behavior; human perception, attention, learning, and memory; social influences; personality; psychiatric disorders and treatments.
PSYC 4011 - Senior Thesis
Critically reviews some aspect of psychological literature, scholarly analysis of a major psychological issue, and/or empirical research project. See the psychology honors director for further information.
PSYC 5541 - Special Topics in Psychology
Studies and analyzes special interest topics from the broad and diversified field of psychology. Particular section content is determined by instructor. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours, provided the topics vary.