In the News

May 2020: Dr. Lara Ray recently participated in a virtual live conversation series, titled “Smarter at Home”, hosted by UCLA Strategic Communications. You can view her live talk here where she discusses how the global health crisis has impacted alcohol use.

Congratulations to ReJoyce Green for receiving the Charles Y. Nakamura Research, Teaching and & Mentorship Award.

Congratulations to Suzanna Donato, and Lindsay Meredith for receiving the 2020 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program, which awards a $6,000 stipend for conducting research under the close mentorship of a faculty member.


September 2019: The lab was recently featured on Monitor in Psychology – a web-based magazine run by the American Psychological Association (APA). Click here to view the full article.


July 2019: Congratulations to ReJoyce Green for receiving the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship Award. This award program supports the mentored training of predoctoral level students with clear and direct commitment to and potential for contributing to the advancement of tobacco-related research priorities.

Dr. Lara Ray was interviewed by the Atlantic regarding translational implications of a recent study published by her colleague, Dr. Markus Heilig. The article is titled “A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism” and is available at https://getpocket.com/explore/item/a-landmark-study-on-the-origins-of-alcoholism?utm_source=pocket-newtab.

Dr. Lara Ray was featured in the UCLA College Magazine in the “The Future Of…” section that covers ongoing research on the campus. A digital copy of the magazine is available at https://issuu.com/uclacollegecom/docs/uclacollegemagazine_summer2019.


June 2019: Congratulations to Aaron Lim for receiving the Charles Y. Nakamura Research, Teaching and & Mentorship Award.


May 2019: Congratulations to Aaron Lim for receiving the Graduate Division Dr. Ursula Mandel Endowed Fellowship. The fellowship is a Graduate Division privately endowed fellowship for graduate students in scientific fields related, allied or of value to the medical field.

Congratulations to Lindsay Meredith for being awarded the National Institutes of Health T32 Predoctoral Fellowship with the UCLA Translational Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (TNDA) Program. As a TNDA trainee, Lindsay will complete a training curriculum and complete coursework in the neuroscience of addiction.

Congratulations to Alex Venegas for receiving the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Diversity Supplement. The Diversity Supplement arms to increase underrepresented scientists in biomedical and behavioral research by providing them funding and support.


April 2019: Congratulations to Alex Venegas, ReJoyce Green, and Lindsay Meredith for receiving the 2019 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program, which awards a $6,000 stipend for conducting research under the close mentorship of a faculty member.

Congratulations to Dr. Lara Ray for being appointed the next Shirley M. Hatos Endowed Chair in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior for 2019-2022. The appointment provides resources to promote clinical and translational research of a mid-career faculty member within UCLA’s Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, with a focus of addiction neurobiology and associated affective states.


March 2019: Congratulations to Katy Lunny, our former lab director, for her acceptance to UCI School of Medicine’s residency program! Katy will be completing her medical program at UCI this coming June.


February 2019: Congratulations to Aaron Lim for receiving the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) Predoctoral Fellowship Award. This award program supports the mentored training of predoctoral level students with clear and direct commitment to and potential for contributing to the advancement of tobacco-related research priorities.


September 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Lara Ray for receiving the Mid-Career Investigation Award (K24). The award will provide opportunities to continue career development, mentorship of clinical investigators, and research in medications development for alcoholism. The support of this award will allow Dr. Ray to continue to conduct patient-oriented alcohol research.


May 2018: Congratulations to Aaron Lim for receiving the Nancy M. Biram Research Fund in Life Sciences.

Congratulations to ReJoyce Green for receiving the Graduate Division Dr. Ursula Mandel Endowed Fellowship. The fellowship is a Graduate Division privately endowed fellowship for graduate students in scientific fields related, allied or of value to the medical field.


April 2018: Congratulations to Alex Venegas for receiving the 2018 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program, which awards a $6,000 stipend for conducting research under the close mentorship of a faculty member.


February 2018: Dr. Lara Ray was interviewed by the New York Times about people’s tolerance for alcohol as they age. The article is titled “Do Hangovers Get Worse as We Age?” and is available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/well/hangover-drinking-alcohol-aging.html.  


January 2018: Congratulations to ReJoyce Green for being awarded the National Institutes of Health T32 Predoctoral Fellowship with the UCLA Translational Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (TNDA) Program. As a TNDA trainee, ReJoyce will complete a training curriculum and complete coursework in the neuroscience of addiction.


December 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Lara Ray for receiving the ACNP Eva King – Killam Research Award!

The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) has named Lara Ray, Ph.D. as one of two winners of the Eva King – Killam Research Award. The Eva King – Killam award, presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the ACNP in Palm Springs, California, is presented on the basis of outstanding translational research contributions to neuropsychopharmacology.

ACNP, founded in 1961, is a professional organization of more than 1000 leading scientists, including four Nobel Laureates. The mission of ACNP is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields in the following ways: promoting the interaction of a broad range of scientific disciplines of brain and behavior in order to advance the understanding of prevention and treatment of disease of the nervous system including psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and addictive disorders; encouraging scientists to enter research careers in fields related to these disorders and their treatment; and ensuring the dissemination of relevant scientific advances.


August 2017: Congratulations to ReJoyce Green who received The Philip and Aida Siff Educational Foundation Scholarship. The Philip and Aida Siff Educational Foundation Scholarship is a Graduate Division endowed fellowship for full-time graduate students on the basis of demonstrated financial need and scholastic achievement and promise.

Dr. Lara Ray was interviewed by Psychologists Off The Clock (a podcast that provides conversational information on psychology-related topics) about the neuroscience of alcohol and addiction. The podcast is available at http://www.offtheclockpsych.com/podcast/2017/8/3/ep-27-alcohol-and-the-brain-with-dr-lara-ray.


May 2017: Dr. Lara Ray has co-edited a book on the treatment of addiction, titled “Integrating Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Addictive Disorders.”
About the book, from the publisher: “Integrating Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Addictive Disorders distills the complex literature on addiction, offering a curated toolbox of integrated pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments in chapters authored by leading experts. Introductory chapters on the epidemiology, etiology, and fundamentals of addiction treatment provide a concise overview of the state of the field. Subsequent chapters then focus on the treatment of specific substance use disorders and on gambling disorder. Finally, a chapter on the treatment of addiction in primary care addresses the opportunities for clinical care in non-specialist outpatient settings. Physicians, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals will come away from the book with an essential understanding of evidence-based practice in treating addiction and the scientific foundations of those approaches.”

February 2017: A study by UCLA researchers, including Dr. Lara Ray, was prominently featured on UCLA’s home page and on the UCLA Newsroom. The study found that an anti-inflammatory drug primarily used in Japan to treat asthma could help people overcome alcoholism by reducing cravings for alcohol. The research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The full article is available at the UCLA Newsroom.

The research has also received attention from other websites (listed below):


May 2016: Congratulations to Aaron Lim for receiving the 2016-2017 Graduate Division Graduate Research Mentorship Program, which awards a $20,000 stipend plus fees/tuition for conducting research under the close mentorship of a faculty member, and also the 2016 Graduate Division Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, which awards a $6,000 stipend for conducting research under the close mentorship of a faculty member this summer.

Additionally, Aaron Lim received an appointment as a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Predoctoral Scholar through the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs Training Program in Addiction Health Services Research.


August 2015: Dr. Lara Ray has been appointed a Fellow of APA by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Ray was nominated by APA Division 50, Society for Addiction Psychology (SoAP).


July 2015: Dr. Lara Ray received the Young Investigator Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism last month during the society’s annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. This award recognizes a young investigator who has demonstrated research excellence, potential to be a future leader and a commitment to the alcohol field.

Dr. Lara Ray may well be the only person ever to receive a Young Investigator Award after already having been elected to the Board of Directors of RSA (a committee typically reserved for only the most distinguished of alcohol researchers).


June 2015: Dr. Lara Ray is currently featured in the “Meet the Researcher” series by the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network. Each quarter RSA and the ATTC Network profile researchers whose work has made some difference in our lives.


May 2015: A study by UCLA researchers, including Dr. Lara Ray, was featured on the UCLA Newsroom. The study found that Naltrexone, an FDA approved drug used to treat alcohol dependence, may be a promising treatment for methamphetamine addiction.

The full article is available at the UCLA Newsroom.

The research has also received attention from other websites (listed below):