Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences (Research):
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies
Phone: +1 401 863 6650
Ongoing NIDA-funded human laboratory studies examine the pharmacological and psychological bases of acute effects of marijuana on human behavior and decision-making process in marijuana smokers.
Ongoing NIDA-funded comprehensive prospective investigation of the trajectories of marijuana use, related problems, cannabis use disorders and concomitant affective disorders among US veterans.
We are conducting the first comprehensive prospective investigation of the trajectories of marijuana use, related problems, cannabis use disorders and concomitant affective disorders among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) veterans post-deployment. This research will help identify individuals who are particularly vulnerable to developing comorbid substance use and affective disorders and will track changes in veterans' marijuana and other drug use over one year with the goal of ultimately improving detection and treatment of substance use disorders. Concurrent research projects in my marijuana-administration laboratory are focused on marijuana's expectancy effects and the drug's pharmacological and cue-elicited effects on a number of behavioral domains including risk taking and impulsive decision-making; on affect and arousal; on craving, incentive salience, subjective and physiologic stimulation, and on reward sensitivity. We also examine individual differences characterizing marijuana users most sensitive to its effects and most vulnerable to the development of cannabis use disorders. These include genetic factors, cognitive mechanisms such as marijuana expectancies and use motives, and traits such as anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance, and impulsive disinhibition.
The long-term objective of this program of research is to examine how knowledge gained from cannabis-administration laboratory studies and longitudinal assessment studies can help develop innovative clinical intervention strategies for marijuana smokers.
This program of research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.