Research/Areas of Interest:

In the United States, there has been a significant increase in the number of women of reproductive age who misuse opioids, which has led to a large number of infants with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS). To investigate the effects of prenatal oxycodone exposure on offspring, my laboratory uses a long-access self-administration (SA) rat model.  Previous work has shown that self-administration of oxycodone during pregnancy results in modification to pups' ultrasonic vocalization as well as altered maternal care. My work aims to examine the dose-dependent effects of prenatal oxycodone SA on the expression of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) which can impact the severity of NOWS and the likelihood for the offspring to use drugs later in life.


BS, Pre-Professional Science, Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA