Welcome to the first installment of the UF CARE Newsletter 2021-2022!  I had anticipated/hoped that this new academic year would be accompanied by a fully established “new” normal.  While these hopes were dashed by the arrival of the Delta variant and relatively meager vaccination rates,  I am buoyed by the success of our members over these months and encouraged by UF CARE’s forward progress.  For example, our professional meetings this summer were conducted as virtual meetings. Despite ubiquitous “ZOOM BURNOUT”, UF CARE members were fully engaged-presenting posters, giving oral presentations, and leading networking sessions and workshops. They might have opted out—but they didn’t!  Another victory is the recent arrival of our MRI compatible EEG system. I am very pleased to announce that we are in the midst of scheduling installation and training.  This system, purchased through the generosity of member contributions, the MBI, and the COM will greatly facilitate the conduct of human laboratory research in addiction science. Further, we are delighted to make it available to other scientists across the UF campus. Over the next year, we will be reviewing shared needs of our basic researchers- stay tuned for information.  In terms of UF CARE programming, you’ll be pleased to know that we are restarting our monthly seminar series on September 15th. (Look inside for upcoming speakers and topics). We felt that the prudent decision was to initiate the 2021-2022 series using ZOOM, but, being optimists, we are continually reassessing the situation.  Finally, with great sadness, I must tell you that Robert Prather is anticipating a career change.  We have worked together for over 18 years—he has been not only the right hand, but also the left and both feet through exceptional challenges. Unwaveringly, he has shared his considerable talents and enthusiasm for addiction science and we have all benefited.  He will be sorely missed. That said, I want to cheer him on as he takes on new challenges and opportunities in the private sector.   

To all- take care, and look inside for more on UF CARE-



UF CARE Member Dr. Linda Cotter will receive the 2021 Rema Lapouse Award for Achievement in Epidemiology, Mental Health and Applied Public Health Statistics at the annual meeting in Denver this October.

"The annual award is granted to an outstanding scientist in the area of psychiatric epidemiology in recognition of 'significant contributions to the scientific understanding of the epidemiology and control of mental health disorders'."

“I am so honored to receive this award that so many of my role models have received, including my own mentor, Lee Robins, and of course Sandro Galea, too,” says Cottler. “Developing diagnostic assessments and facilitating interventions with, and for, people from all over the world with lived experience in substance use and mental health challenges has been a highlight of my life.”  READ MORE >


UF CARE Member Dr. Erica Levitt received the 2021 New Investigator Award from the Respiration Section of the American Physiological Society (APS) for her work on opioid-induced respiratory depression.

Dr. Levitt chaired and Sebastian Maletz (a post-bac in her lab) presented in the "Respiratory Depression" session at the International Narcotics Research Conference virtual meeting held July 12-14.

Adrienn Varga, PhD (a post-doc in Dr. Levitt's lab) had her K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award funded from NHLBI titled "Role of an arousal circuit in respiration and opioid-induced respiratory depression".


UF CARE Member Dr. Jenny Lo-Ciganic has been awarded an R01 grant from NIDA:

Developing and Evaluating a Machine-Learning Opioid Prediction & Risk-Stratification E-Platform (DEMONSTRATE)

"[This] study aims to harness advanced natural language processing and longitudinal neural network approaches to build on our previously developed machine-learning prediction algorithms to identify patients at risk for opioid overdose or opioid use disorder."


UF CARE Members Drs. Jennifer Bizon (left) and Barry Setlow (right) (MPIs) have been awarded an R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging:

Effects of cannabis on age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimers disease pathology

"Older adults represent the fastest growing group of cannabis users, as well as the age group at greatest risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, but little is known about how cannabis affects age-related cognitive impairments and Alzheimer's disease pathology. The proposed project will use aged rats to determine the effects of cannabis (beneficial, detrimental, or neutral) on cognitive decline in aging and Alzheimer's disease-like neuropathology."


UF CARE Affiliate Conference / Meeting (Travel/Virtual) Awards for Fall 2021

Deadline: 9/15/2021

This award cycle is for conferences taking place through February 2022.  There will be a separate call for award applications for conferences taking place after February 2022.

Note: You may only receive conference awards totaling $750 per academic year cycle (August 1, 2021 - July 30, 2022).  If you apply and are awarded for a Fall 2021 conference costing $750 you may not apply for a Spring/Summer 2022 award.  Awards to support virtual / online attendance of a conference will only cover the registration fee, up to $750.  In-person awards are $750. The primary mentor will need to provide a letter of support for this application process (confirming affiliate member is the presenting author, which conference to be attended, and that the work is addiction/substance use/abuse related).

Apply Online


UF CARE Member Dr. Lance McMahon is featured in a recent episode of the Kratom Science PodcastCheck it out here.



Urs Seminar September 15, 2021 at 3:00 PM


UF CARE Podcast Episode 15 Jeff Boissoneault

UF CARE Podcast Episode 15: Dr. Jeff Boissoneault, Clinical & Health Psychology

UF CARE Executive Committee Member Jeff Boissoneault, Ph.D. joins podcast host Dr. Oliver Grundmann for this our 15th installment of the UF CARE Podcast. Read about Dr. Boissoneault's work. WATCH NOW »

UF CARE Podcast Affiliate Episode 12: Bo Sortman, Pharmacodynamics

UF CARE Podcast Affiliate Episode 12: Bo Sortman, Pharmacodynamics

UF CARE Affiliate Member Bo Sortman joins Affiliate podcast host Victor Schneider for this our 12th Affiliate installment of the UF CARE Podcast. Mr. Sortman works with Dr. Brandon Warren. LISTEN NOW »


UF CARE Affiliate Member Sabrina Zequeira (Setlow Lab) defended her master’s thesis entitled “Effects of Cannabis Smoke Exposure on Cognition in Aged Rats”.  Congratulations, Sabrina!


UF CARE Affiliate Member Erin Ferguson (Boissoneault lab) has completed her MPH training.  Congratulations, Erin!

Ms. Ferguson recently presented as an invited speaker: "The effect of next day responsibilities and an adaptive purchase task on cannabis demand" at the University of Kansas Behavioral Economics of Addiction symposium on Monday, August 16th.


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

Bush, N.J.†, Schneider, V. II†, Bishop, M.D., Sevel, L., & Boissoneault, J. (in press). Associations of regional and network functional connectivity with resilience to exercise-induced low back pain. Journal of Pain. PMID: 34111507. †These authors contributed equally to this work.

Cottler LB, Lasopa SO, Striley CW, Cicero TJ, Fitzgerald ND, Ben Abdallah A. Prescription stimulant brand name recognition among a national sample of 10- to 18-year-old youth. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2021 Jul 10:e1884. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1884. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34245080

Crowley ML, Restrepo LF, Gamez-Jimenez LR, Patel A, Braun T, Pallares VLC, Ho NP, Reeves ME, McCurdy CR, McMahon LR, Hiranita T. The use of hypercapnic conditions to assess opioid-induced respiratory depression in rats. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2021 Jul 7:107101. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2021.107101. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34242797

Ferguson, E.†, Bush, N.†, Yurasek, A., & Boissoneault, J.  The effect of next day responsibilities and an adaptive purchase task on cannabis demand. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Jul 28;227:108919. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108919. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34340160

Ferguson E, Vitus D, Williams M, Anderson M, LaRowe L, Ditre JW, Stennett B, Boissoneault J. Sex differences in associations between delay discounting and expectancies for alcohol analgesia. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021 Aug 19. doi: 10.1037/pha0000517. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34410797

Garcia CC, Lewis B, Nixon SJ. Racially invariant stimuli may bias outcomes in assessment of emotion processing. Psychol Addict Behav. 2021 Aug 19. doi: 10.1037/adb0000775. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34410755

Obeng S, Hiranita T, León F, McMahon LR, McCurdy CR. Correction to "Novel Approaches, Drug Candidates, and Targets in Pain Drug Discovery". J Med Chem. 2021 Aug 12;64(15):11746. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01159. Epub 2021 Jul 15. Erratum for: J Med Chem. 2021 May 27;64(10):6523-6548. PMID: 34264657

Richards VL, Liu Y, Orr J, Leeman RF, Barnett NP, Bryant K, Cook RL, Wang Y. Sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with transdermal alcohol concentration from the SCRAM biosensor among persons living with and without HIV. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/acer.14665. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34342009

Rung JM, Horta M, Tammi EM, Perez E, Ojeda MC, Lin T, Harris G, Somerville J, Salmeron D, Beltz SE, Sandesara B, Feifel D, Ebner NC. Safety and tolerability of chronic intranasal oxytocin in older men: results from a randomized controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2021 Sep;238(9):2405-2418. doi: 10.1007/s00213-021-05862-3. Epub 2021 May 12. PMID: 33982141; PMCID: PMC8115997

Sobolev M, Vitale R, Wen H, Kizer J, Leeman R, Pollak JP, Baumel A, Vadhan NP, Estrin D, Muench F. The Digital Marshmallow Test (DMT) Diagnostic and Monitoring Mobile Health App for Impulsive Behavior: Development and Validation Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2021 Jan 22;9(1):e25018. doi: 10.2196/25018. Erratum in: JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2021 Jan 26;9(1):e27439. PMID: 33480854; PMCID: PMC7837672

Staud R, Boissoneault J, Lai S, Mejia MS, Ramanlal R, Godfrey MM, Stroman PW. Spinal Cord Neural Activity of Fibromyalgia Patients and Healthy Controls During Temporal Summation of Pain: An fMRI Study. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Aug 18. doi: 10.1152/jn.00276.2021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34406893