Current Lab Members

Back row (L-R): Austin Guerrina (u), Yasmin Padovan Hernandez (u), Lizhen Wu, Lori Knackstedt, Javier Mesa (g), Harrison Blount (u), Daniel Fierro (u), Carly Logan (g). Front row: Ashleigh Polo (u), Virginia Hodges (u), Wetnys Anestal (u). Not pictured: Courtney Wilkinson (g). g= graduate student; u = undergraduate













Javier Mesa
Javier is a third year Ph.D. student. His research analyzes glutamatergic projections underlying cue-primed cocaine relapse. He is trained in immunohistochemistry, fluorescent microscopy, and cocaine self-administration extinction reinstatement model of relapse. Javier enjoys hiking, trivia, and poker.
Courtney Wilkinson
Courtney is a second-year graduate student. Her research will utilize the behavioral economic demand theory in addiction to assess the reinforcing efficacy of opiates in rats with PTSD-like symptoms. Using microdialysis and HPLC, Courtney plans to further explore the neurobiological differences in glutamate, serotonin, and dopamine levels in resilient and stress-susceptible rats in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus.



















Giselle Rojas
Giselle is an undergraduate student who entered the lab in June 2019. Her first project was to investigate the effects of systemically-administered oxytocin on nucleus accumbens glutamate and dopamine levels. Giselle is also investigating the circuitry involved in mediating cued cocaine-seeking after forced and voluntary abstinence. Giselle is funded by the MARC GatorSTAR program, a NIGMS funded T34 for undergraduate students planning to pursue a PhD in biomedical or behavioral science.