We have collaborative studies both within and outside the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Virginia Tech Carilion Collaborators

Structural Plasticity in Dopaminergic Neurons as a Mechanism for Addiction

The major goal of this project is to understand how cocaine addiction manifests at the molecular level. Our project will develop a mouse model system in conjunction with molecular and high-resolution imaging technologies to determine how cellular constituents differ in cocaine addicts. We anticipate this research will open new avenues to transform current treatment options for cocaine addiction.

The Repair of Self-Control in Alcohol Dependence: Working Memory and Real Time fMRI.

The overall goal of this study is to restore regulatory balance between the two valuation systems (future rewards and immediate rewards) using the insights provided by our new finding that working memory training improves self-control among the addicted.

Inter-Temporal Trade-offs in the Risky Decisions of Cocaine Addicts

The major goal is to provide substantial new information regarding stimulant addiction and associated risky sexual behaviors that have been shown to contribute to the spread of HIV. Through examination of the neural systems or regions of the brain that underlie an addict’s perturbed decision making (wherein the impulsive action system seems to overwhelm the more deliberative executive system with a corresponding emphasis on immediate outcomes and consequences over delayed rewards), we expect our data to result in treatment applications.

Other Collaborators

Delay Discounting as a Target for Self-Regulation in Prediabetes

The purpose of this research is to look at the relationship between delay discounting and behavioral and medication adherence in people with prediabetes.

Theta Burst TMS as a Tool to Change Smoking Behavior

The purpose of this study is to develop theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (tbTMS) as a potential treatment for nicotine addiction.
Theta burst TMS is a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic pulses to temporarily stimulate specific brain areas in awake people (without the need for surgery, anesthetic, or other invasive procedures).

International Quit & Recovery Registry

The International Quit & Recovery Registry uses the Internet to recruit, maintain, and expand a large, diverse community of research participants who are in recovery and who are willing to participant in ongoing research.

Reducing Socioeconomic Disparities in Tobacco Dependence Treatment Outcomes

The aim of this study is to revise the standard tobacco dependence treatment with specific, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral strategies to address key factors associated with treatment outcome disparities as well as target and tailor the approach to more fully meet the needs of lower SES and minority smokers.