Research Opportunities


Regina Bussing, M.D.

  • Research Area: Child and Adolescent ADHD, OCD
  • Study topics include: 10 year longitudinal ADHD study exploring detection, service use, access to care, etc. Assist with publications including literature searches. Opportunity for Senior thesis.
  • Double-blind pediatric OCD treatment study includes CBT and study medication for 7-17 year olds. Assist with data entry, chart preparation, administering rating scales to children.
  • Interested students should: Contact study coordinator, Dana Mason, at 352-273-8540 or by e-mail

C. Shawn Dotson, PhD

  • Research Areas: Genetic Basis of Gestation, Eating Behaviors, Obesity, Animal Psycho-physics, Transduction Processes, Taste Preferences and Aversions.
  • Study topics include: Dr. Dotson’s laboratory is dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying chemosensory function in mammals and how these functions, in turn, impact upon ingestive behaviors.
  • Interested students should: Send a brief letter of interest to Dr. Dotson at

Gary Geffken, PhD & Joe McNamara, PhD

  • Research Area: Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Sleep, Executive functioning, & treatment adherence. Specifically we are interested in the interaction of 4 areas listed.
  • Study topics include: We are doing a study looking at treatment outcomes with both children and adults who have OCD. During the course of this study, we are collecting information on sleep and treatment adherence. We are also conducting studies on pediatric sleep and OCD symptom severity, pilot testing a live coding system for exposure therapy, and executive functioning.
  • Interested students should: Please send resumes to

Bruce A. Goldberger, PhD

Professor and Director of Toxicology, Director of Maples Center for Forensic Medicine

Research area: Clinical and Forensic Toxicology including the analysis of prescription and illicit drugs in biological fluids and tissues.

Study topics include: The study of drug-related deaths; the development of new methods for the measurement of new emerging/designer drugs.

Interested students should: Contact Dr. Goldberger at

Jacqueline A. Hobbs, MD, PhD

  • Research area: Virus-brain interactions; virus-thyroid interactions; neuroendocrinology
  • Study topics include: Parvovirus B19 infection of thyroid cancer; parvovirus B19 non-structural protein effects on thyroid hormone receptor signaling
  • Interested students should: Send a letter of interest and updated CV to Dr. Hobbs at

Habibeh Khoshbouei, PhD, PharmD

  • Research area: Drug addiction, Parkinson’s disease
  • Study topics include: Research topic # 1) Methamphetamine regulation of dopamine transporter, Research Topic #2) Alpha-synuclein regulation of dopamine transporter
  • Interested students should: 1) have taken a few courses relevant to basic cell biology and surface membrane proteins , 2) be interested in microscopy and electrophysiology experimental approaches in single cell/single neuron. 3) email Dr. Khoshbouei at .

Mark H. Lewis, Ph.D.

  • Research Area: Animal Models of Restricted Repetitive Behavior in Autism
  • Study topics include: Behavioral and neurobiological studies of the development and expression of abnormal repetitive behavior in deer mice and inbred mouse strains.
  • Interested students should: e-mail Dr. Lewis at indicating their interest and background.

Lisa J. Merlo, Ph.D.

  • Research Area: Public Health Research in Addictions
  • Study topics include: Psychosocial factors associated with substance use among adolescents/young adults, Impaired healthcare professionals, Behavioral addictions
  • Interested students should: Send a letter of interest and updated CV to Dr. Merlo at

Drake Morgan, PhD

  • Research Area: Behavioral pharmacology
  • Study topics include: Medication development for stimulant abuse; behavioral effects of opioid analgesics; development of animal models of psychiatric disorders
  • Interested students should: Send a letter of interest and updated CV to Dr. Morgan at

Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D.

  • Research Area: Neurobehavioral factors associated with acute and chronic substance use, age and gender; neurobehavioral stability in degenerative disease
  • Study topics include: Age and gender differences in the effects of non-intoxicating levels of alcohol consumption; Potential therapeutics to enhance nicotine cessation efforts; developing more effective technology for tracking recent drug use; longitudinal neurophysiological testing of individuals with CLA.
  • Interested students should: Send a letter of interest including details of prior research experience and educational goals to Dr. Nixon at

Barry Setlow, PhD

  • Research Area: Neuroscience research on interactions between addiction and decision-making
  • Study topics include: effects of drugs of abuse on cognition and motivation, behavioral and neurobiological factors that predict drug self-administration, neurobiological mechanisms of decision-making
  • Interested students should: send a letter describing their interests, experience, and educational goals to Dr. Setlow at

Kevin K.W. Wang, PhD

Executive Director, Center for Neuroprotepmics and Biomarker Research and Chief, Translational Research, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Physiological Science

  • Research Area: We are actively working in the areas of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Parkinson’s disease) and substance abuse induced brain alterations.
  • Study topics include: We use a multidisciplinary approach that combine in vitro neurochemical, biochemical and immuno-assays, proteomic analysis, cell culture model, animal models and translational research to clinical studies. We also use a holistic Systemic Biology approach  to study the underlying  mechanisms of various brain disorders, to identify disease-tracking biomarkers/molecular diagnostics and to test and develop novel pharmaceutical- or cell-based therapies to treat such diseases.
  • Interested Students should: Contact Dr. Kevin K.W. Wang, PhD at or 352-294-4933