I began my career in Behavior Genetics at William Paterson University where I earned an undergraduate degree in Biology in 2005. Soon after, I attended graduate school at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During my time at IBG, I trained in the study of genetic influences on behavior. This included statistical programming and the use of multivariate and longitudinal methods to conduct research on comorbid substance use and disorders (SUDs). Upon earning my PhD in 2010, I was appointed to the NIMH postdoctoral training grant in child mental health at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University. As a fellow, I conducted research on childhood/adolescent behaviors that predispose individuals to SUDs. In 2012, I was awarded a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Mentored Research Scientist Award (K01) and joined the faculty at Brown University. My NIAAA K01 focused my research on systems-based genetic studies of complex traits, specifically, alcohol use disorders.
I later joined the Emory faculty as Assistant Professor in September 2016. I am currently engaged in whole genome studies of substance use disorder and comorbid substance use problems using large epidemiological samples. The BGA lab is also actively engaged in testing and developing statistical methods using whole genome data. In addition, I provide methodological and statistical consultation to researchers interested in incorporating genetics/epigenetics into their research projects. I am a member for the Behavior Genetics Association, Research Study on Alcoholism, and the Association for Psychological Science. When I am not acting as a mentor or conducting research, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses. If you are interested in some of the courses that I have developed, please view the education tab.