Lauren K. Dobbs Ph.D.
Dr. Dobbs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Department of Neurology at the Dell Medical School in the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Dobbs lab takes a systems level approach to identify the neural substrates, circuits and behavioral motivations driving the abuse of addictive drugs. She is particularly interested in how drugs of abuse interact at the behavioral, molecular, and synaptic levels to drive their synergistic intake when co-abused. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son and practicing Kung Fu. The family that kicks together, sticks together!
Scientist Associate II
Amélia received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. She has worked in multiple high complexity molecular labs as well as an entomology lab doing research on Hymenopterans (bees, wasps, and ants). She enjoys taking care of her plants, petting her cat, and participating in mutual aid in her community.
Neuroscience Ph.D. Candidate
Kanako’s research project investigates whether the plasticity at the ventral striato-pallidal circuit induced by repeated exposure to cocaine drives cocaine seeking behavior and if the role of the opioid peptide enkephalin in the striatum is involved in cocaine-induced plasticity, using multiple mouse models of substance use disorder, ex vivo electrophysiology, and a novel transgenic mouse strain with targeted deletion of striatal enkephalin. Outside of the lab, she enjoys going for walks and drives with her 2 beautiful dogs Jasmine and Leia, watching movies, and cooking.
Neuroscience Ph.D. Student
Bailey is a second year Ph.D. student in the lab. They are studying mechanisms behind the co-use of cocaine and opioid drugs using mouse behavior. Bailey enjoys drinking tea, hanging out with their cat, and playing Animal Crossing. When they’re not in the lab, you can find them outside trying to befriend the neighborhood squirrels.
Ilana is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is from New York and has really enjoyed exploring Austin. She love watching documentaries, reading, finding new restaurants, and traveling! She plans on becoming a Peace Corps volunteer after graduation and plans to get her Ph.D. in psychology.
Cole is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in neuroscience with plans to pursue a Ph.D. In the lab, he is involved in colony management, behavioral experiments, and immunohistochemistry. He has lived in Austin since 2016, but is originally from Maine. In his free time, he plays guitar, bass, and banjo, and is in a local Austin band called Clay Dog.
Sydney is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin and is pre-med earning a BSA in Neuroscience with a minor in Healthcare Innovation and Reform. She is part of the University of Texas women’s soccer team and works as an Undergraduate Lab Assistant for Bio 206L. She is from Dallas and her hobbies include running, reading books, and playing any type of sport.
Yiru is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin studying Neuroscience, Forensics, and Social and Behavioral sciences. She is the managing co-director of Silk Club Austin and a DJ-in-training for KVRX. In her free time, Yiru enjoys crocheting, watching video essays, and playing the bass.
Past Lab Members
In Bae (Brian) Choi, Research Technician
Mehrdad Heydari, Undergraduate Student
Moosa Malik, Undergraduate Student
Ryan Levitt, Undergraduate Student; currently in graduate school at Columbia University
Amanda Harmon, Research Technician