So far, 2021 looks to provide its own form of sociocultural challenge, even in the face of the continuing COVID19 pandemic.  Again, we must take every effort to ensure that science prevails and that we, as scientists, work with transparency and obvious intent.  Part of the intent of UF CARE is to promote exceptional individual and group science.  In 2021, we are envisioning ways to meet this objective with expanded programming including directly engaging UF CARE alumni from across the country. Furthermore, in 2021, we’ll be highlighting multidisciplinary programming developing at UF.  We are excited about these developments and hope you will be, too.   When you open this month’s newsletter, you’ll notice that despite the holiday break, the pandemic and the political upheaval, UF CARE scientists and their trainees are meeting these challenges through leadership, dissemination, and innovation.  Take a look- it always surprises me!  SJN


Linda Cottler

Dr. Linda B. Cottler named Association for Clinical and Translational Science president-elect

Her term as president will begin in April 2022. The Association for Clinical and Translational Science, or ACTS, was founded in 2009 to support the needs of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, a National Institutes of Health-funded network of medical research institutions that works to improve the translational research process and speed new treatments to patients.  READ MORE »


North Central Florida Society for Neuroscience Chapter Conference: Call for Data Blitz Presenter Applications 

11th Annual Conference (Virtual): Friday, February 19, 2021

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Steven Maier, Director of the Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder

Conference Registration Form

Poster Submission Form (Deadline: February 1, 2021)



Applications Now Open: UF CARE Dissertation Aid Grants

UF CARE will award up to 3 Dissertation Aid Grants of up to $7,500.

Note: Only UF CARE Affiliate Members who have completed their qualifying exams may apply. These funds do not support travel or tuition/fees/stipend for trainees.

Grant Submission Deadline: January 19, 2021  


Feature Symposium Save the Date 2021 Symposium 450x302

Save the Date: UF CARE Annual Symposium, April 20, 2021

The 2021 Annual Symposium will be presented via Zoom.  More details to follow..READ MORE »


Seminar: 1/20 at 3 PM: Brandon Warren, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UF Dept. of Pharmacodynamics

February 17, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Dr. Bethany Stennett

Postdoctoral Associate, UF Department of Clinical & Health Psychology: 

“Determining the Effects of Acute Alcohol on Regional Neural Dynamics and Pain”



UF CARE Affiliate Podcast Episode 7: Christian Garcia

UF CARE Podcast Affiliate Episode 7, Christian Garcia, Department of Psychology

Affiliate podcast host Victor Schneider is joined by UF CARE Affiliate Member Christian Garcia, a graduate student of Dr. Sara Jo Nixon, in the UF Department of Psychology. LISTEN NOW »



Grants Funded:

Dr. Nichole Scaglione (PI / MPI): 

Department of Defense Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Program: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (DoD/PHTBI SAPR). Reducing sexual assault at the US Air Force Academy: Adaptation, implementation, and evaluation of the Sexual Communication and Consent program. Award: $883,875 for three years beginning August 2020 (Scaglione PI).

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC/NCIPC U01 CE003216). Evaluating the Effects of the Bar Outreach Project in North Carolina. Award: $338,983 for Year 1 beginning October 2020; 3-year ceiling of $1,126,897 (Scaglione Multiple PI; Collaborator and Co-MPI Dr. Marni Kan is located at RTI International).

Drs. Lance McMahon & Christopher McCurdy (MPIs):


Dr. Barry Setlow (PI):

Florida Department of Health, Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program

“Effects of cannabis on Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology and cognitive decline” (grant #21A11)

Jen Bizon, Jada Lewis, Chris McCurdy, Abhisheak Sharma, co-Is

Conference / Speaking Engagements / Symposia:

Lee, J., Maldonado-Molina, M., Teitelbaum, S. A., Morrison, D., Merlo, L. G. Correlates of dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD): Latent Class Analysis using longitudinal data. On-demand pre-recorded video presentation at 2021 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT): The enduring challenges of poly-substance use for tobacco cessation.  

Dr. Barry Setlow:  Konkuk University (Korea), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Jan 22, 2021



(UF CARE Members, Affiliate Members, and Alumni in Bold)

Hone, L.S.E., Testa, M. & Wang, W. (2020). Sociosexuality and sex with new partners: Indirect effects via drinking at parties and bars. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 81(5), 624-630. doi:

Hone, L.S.E., Scofield, J.E., Bartholow, B.D., & Geary, D.C. (2020). Frequency of recent binge drinking is associated with sex-specific cognitive deficits: Evidence for condition-dependent trait expression in humans. Evolutionary Psychology, 18(4). doi:

Nooner, K.B., Chung, T., Feldstein Ewing, S.W., Brumback, T., Arwood, Z., Tapert, S.F., Brown, S.A., Cottler, L. (2021). Retaining Adolescent and Young Adult Participants in Research During a Pandemic: Best Practices From Two Large-Scale Developmental Neuroimaging Studies (NCANDA and ABCD). Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 14: 597902. doi:

Obeng S, Wilkerson JL, León F, Reeves ME, Restrepo LF, Gamez-Jimenez LR, Patel A, Pennington AE, Taylor VA, Ho NP, Braun T, Fortner JD, Crowley ML, Williamson MR, Pallares VL, Mottinelli M, Lopera-Londoño C, McCurdy CR, McMahon LR, Hiranita T. Pharmacological Comparison of Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine: In Vitro Affinity and Efficacy for Mu-Opioid Receptor and Opioid-Like Behavioral Effects in Rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2020 Dec 31:JPET-AR-2020-000189. doi: 10.1124/jpet.120.000189. PMID: 33384303

Polles, A.G., Bundy, C., Jacobs, W.M., & Merlo, L.J. (In press). Adaptations to substance use disorder monitoring by physician health programs in response to COVID-19. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. doi:

Singh D, Brown PN, Cinosi E, Corazza O, Henningfield JE, Garcia-Romeu A, McCurdy CR, McMahon LR, Prozialeck WC, Smith KE, Swogger MT, Veltri C, Walsh Z, Grundmann O. Current and Future Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) Supply and Use. Front Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 26;11:574483. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.574483. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33324252

Smith, A.E., Ogunseye, K.O., DeBenedictis, J.N., Peris, J., Kasper, J.M. & Hommel, J.D.. Glutamatergic projections from homeostatic to hedonic brain nuclei regulate intake of highly palatable food. Sci Rep 10, 22093 (2020).

Staras, S.A.S., Richardson, E., Merlo, L.J., Bian, J., Thompson, L.A., Krieger, J.L., Gurka, M.J., Sanders, A.H., Shenkman, E.A.. A feasibility trial of parent HPV vaccine reminders and phone-based motivational interviewing. BMC Public Health 21, 109 (2021).



Schoepfer KJ, Xu Y, Wilber AA, Wu W, Kabbaj M. Sex differences and effects of the estrous stage on hippocampal-prefrontal theta communications. Physiol Rep. 2020 Nov;8(22):e14646. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14646. PMID: 33230976 

Strong CE, Hagarty DP, Brea Guerrero A, Schoepfer KJ, Cajuste SM, Kabbaj M. Chemogenetic selective manipulation of nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons bidirectionally controls alcohol intake in male and female rats. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 5;10(1):19178. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-76183-2. PMID: 33154463 

Strong CE, Kabbaj M. Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Rewarding and Therapeutic Effects of Ketamine as a Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder. Front Behav Neurosci. 2020 Dec 10;14:593860. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.593860. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33362485