Lab Alumni

Graduate Students

Guadalupe A. Bacio, PhD; ’14
Lupe completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in June 2014. Her dissertation project, titled “Determinants of alcohol and drug use among Latino adolescents,” examined neurocognitive and contextual risk factors for alcohol and drug use among Latino adolescents in collaboration with a local high school. Lupe has since transitioned to a postdoctorate fellowship funded by the NIAAA Institutional Research Training Program 5 T32 AA 13525-13 at the University of California, San Diego where she worked with Dr. Sandra A. Brown and Dr. Mark G. Myers. Currently, Lupe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o-Latina-o Studies at Pomona College. The overarching goal of her program of research is to understand and address disparities in patterns and consequences of alcohol and drug use encountered by Latinx adolescents of different immigrant generations. Dr. Bacio directs the Cultural contExts, adolesceNt healTh behavioRs, & develOpment (CENTRO) Research Lab. The CENTRO lab combines several research methods including community-participatory research, laboratory-based tasks, and large-scale surveys.

James Ashenhurst, Ph.D; ’14
James received his PhD in Neuroscience in Spring 2014. His dissertation focused on a translational examination of risk-taking behavior and its relationship to alcohol dependence, involving the use of the same behavioral task in both rodents and human participants. James joined the SAHARA lab as a postdoctoral fellow in summer 2014 at UT Austin, where he worked with Dr. Kim Fromme to gain experience in human alcohol administration in a bar-lab setting. His current major interests include examining the impact of alcohol on decision-making and impulsivity, as well as the genomic architecture of risk-taking propensity & sensation-seeking and its relationship to alcohol use disorder etiology. Currently, James is a Product Scientist at 23andMe.

Kelly Courtney, PhD; ’16
Kelly received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2016. Her dissertation examined the neural markers of cue-induced methamphetamine craving in individuals with methamphetamine dependence. Her research goals are to elucidate the neurological pathways of craving and subjective responses to drugs of abuse using fMRI techniques. She received a National Research Service Award (NRSA) in 2013 to support her dissertation work. In addition, Kelly is interested in investigating the effects of various pharmacological compounds on neural markers of drug craving.


Nathasha Moellem-Correa, PhD; ’16

Nathasha received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2016. Her dissertation work focused on the effects of methamphetamine on cognitive functioning. Nathasha is interested in examining the relationship between methamphetamine use parameters (age of first use, average amount used, years used, route of administrations, etc.) on neurocognition. She is also interested in elucidating the relationship between neurocognition and impulsivity in the context of substance abuse.


Vincent Allen, Jr., PhD; ’16
Vince received his PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2016. His dissertation work focused on understanding risk factors for HIV/AIDS among racial/ethnic and sexual minority communities. Specifically, Vincent’s dissertation is examining the relationship between alcohol consumption and condom use among Black gay and bisexual men; understanding the ways in which substance use effect decision making around protected sexual behaviors.


Spencer Bujarski, PhD; ’17

Spencer received his PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2018. Broadly speaking, Spencer is interested in understanding the etiology and treatment of alcohol and other substance use disorders from a translational and clinical neuroscience perspective. Recently Spencer completed his clinical internship at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs, VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center where he delivered empirically supported, time-limited and long-term psychotherapy for a diverse patient population expressing a range of psychological concerns.

View Spencer’s Website here.


Emily Hartwell, PhD; ’18

Emily received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2018. Emily is interested in studying the etiological and genetic underpinnings of substance use disorders. Emily’s master’s thesis examined genetic predictors of medication response in heavy drinking smokers. Currently, Emily is interested in the role sleep disturbance plays in the etiology of alcohol use disorders and drinking behaviors both in the community and in the laboratory.

View Emily’s CV here.


Aaron Lim, PhD; ’21

Aaron received his PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2021. Aaron is broadly interested in cognitive and motivational processes underlying the development and maintenance of addiction, with an emphasis on tobacco and alcohol. He currently holds a post-doc position at USC.

View Aaron’s CV here.





ReJoyce Green, PhD; ’22

ReJoyce received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2022. Her dissertation work focused on the etiology and behavioral genetics of alcohol and nicotine use.  She went on to complete her postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is now an assistant faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina and has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications.




Alexandra Venegas, PhD; ’23

Alex received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2023. Her dissertation work focused on factors affecting cue-reactivity during alcohol and cannabis co-use. She is broadly interested in studying the etiology and motivational processes underlying the co-use of alcohol and cannabis. She now works as a postdoctoral fellow at the West Los Angeles VA, treating veterans with various substance use disorders.




Elizabeth (Libby) Burnette, PhD; ’23

Libby received her PhD in Spring 2023. Her dissertation work utilized functional neuroimaging (fMRI), psychoneuroimmunology, and quantitative methods to study the neurobiology of alcohol use disorder. After graduation, she transitioned into a role as a full-time clinical neuroscientist. Outside of academia, she serves as freelance science writer, editor, and content producer in the field of neuroscience.




Lindsay Meredith, PhD; ’24

Lindsay received her PhD in Clinical Psychology in Spring 2024. Her dissertation work investigated the role of neuroinflammation and immune processes in the maintenance of AUD. She has since transitioned to a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the NIAAA T32 Institutional Research Training Program at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is part of the Youth Collaborative at MUSC, whose research aims to improve the behavioral and pharmacological treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD).






Spencer Bujarski, Ph.D.
Anita Cservenka, Ph.D.
Daniel Roche, Ph.D.
Stephan Stephens Ph.D.
Megan Yardley, Ph.D.


Andia Heydari
Azi Hanukaai
Brandon Towns
Diana Ho
Eliza Hart
Jazzlyne Hudson
Jessica Webb

Iris Guzman
Katy Lunny
Kyle Bullock
Nora Satybaldiyeva
Pauline Chin-Chung
Peter McPartlan
Rui Morimoto
Sydney Ghazarian
Taylor Rohrbaugh
Xuan Nguyen
Yaneli Arevalo

Research Assistants

Abigail Choi
Alan Garcia
Alejandra Guzman
Alexandra Razo
Alyssa Tolliver
Ana Heydari
Andreina Gomez
Ane Balkchyan
Anna Sheng
Bryan Davis
Brooke Rowland
Brooke Skagen
Caroline Tomasik
Catherine Trinh
Chelsea Cox
Chloe Cattle
Chris Gabriel
Chris Moore
Christina Pedley
Donia Hijaz
Ellen Chang
Emma Skeie
Garret Forsyth
Georgia Perris
James Nguyen
Jasmine Hernandez
Jessica Hernandez
Jessica Morales
Jessica Ngoon
Jieun Jun
Jordan Martucci
Karina Barajas
Katherine Delgadillo Soto
Kavya Mudiam
Kira Radstrom
Kurt Widmaier
Lauren Greenberg
Leah Feulner
Lyric Tully
Mariel Montes
Marla Dimetrios
Marlina Mansour
Melissa Avila
Melissa Garcia
Melody Hakimian
Naosuke Yamaguchi
Natalie Hunt
Nicole Nikolov
Orena Massachi
Rachel Barnes
Rohit (Sunny) Chimata
Ryan Arellano
Ryan Tsuchida
Sangita Subramanian
Sarah Henderson
Savannah Aries
Seble Adinew
Sevana Manukian
Stephanie Romero
Sydell Brooks
Taylor Dupuy
Tiffany Shieh
Tsu Shuan (Brie) Wu
Vanesa Sanchez
Yvette Quezada

Summer Interns

Nicole Feeling (SPUR student 2009)
Justin Karr (SPUR student 2010)
Quan Holliman (NIDA student 2011)
Zenith Seixas (NIDA student 2011)
Nadine Jacquez (NIDA student 2012)
Noelle Cunningham (NIDA student 2012)
Suzanna Osuna (NIDA student 2012)
Alexander Armendariz (NIDA student 2013)
Heather Klein (NIDA student 2013)
Lisa Carlos (SPUR student 2013)
Sovandany Wang (NIDA student 2013)
Jalen Robinson (HBCU-UCLA Neuroscience Pathways student 2019)