B.S. The University of Texas at Austin
In 2011 I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Biology:Neurobiology. I then entered the Neurobiology Curriculum at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 2012 where I joined the Besheer laboratory in the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. As a Latina my cultural and scientific experiences have provided me with a diverse understanding of the effects of alcohol on the Latin@ community. Thus, I am actively involved in various outreach programs and events that engage our community in better understanding the effects of alcohol.
As a scientist I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying alcohol-use disorders and addiction. All drugs of abuse have unique interoceptive/subjective effects. These internal cues can guide and influence drug taking behavior. Thus my primary interest is investigating the neurobiology of the interoceptive/subjective effects of alcohol (e.g., the feeling of “drunkenness”) and how these internal cues can affect alcohol-related behaviors (i.e., drinking and relapse). My thesis work takes a multidisciplinary approach, utilizing preclinical models of self-administration and drug discrimination, behavioral pharmacology, chemogenetic and molecular techniques.