December 2021 Newsletter


The last year has been a bit like a video loop of Charlie Brown and Lucy. Every time we are about to kick that football, it’s pulled out from under us. The reality is that COVID-19 remains a challenge to the conduct of daily life and scientific endeavors. That said, we keep getting closer to the ball! As we engage this holiday season, my hope is that the continuing chaos and uncertainty will not cause us to “take our eyes off the ball”. Addiction science is a critical force in informing public policy and intervention efforts regarding this pandemic and our sustained resolve in conducting this science is essential. I’m optimistic that this period of hope and celebration will provide the venue for each of us to enter 2022 with a new sense of purpose and the mental and physical energy to meet the challenge! Before we get to 2022, please look inside and meet our new administrative staff, as well as member updates. AND to be sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, look inside for the award winning poem by one of our affiliates, Andrew Moore. His “Best Poem” was crafted in response to a call for “A Grinch-worthy poem about the third reviewer”. (And P.S. - think "The Raven"). 

Happy New Year and May the 3rd Reviewer be Kinder in 2022,




We are excited to welcome back our External Advisory Committee. Thank you for you continued commitment to CARE! 


We are excited to welcome back Dr. Bussing, Dr. McNealy, and Ms. Pennypacker to our ICAC. Thank you for your continuing commitment to CARE! 

We extend a warm welcome to the new members of our ICAC, Dr. Keller-Wood and Dr. Maldonado-Molina. Welcome to CARE! 


Accomplishments & Events


Dr. Dan Wesson and his colleagues Drs. Minghong Ma and Marc Fuccillo were awarded a new R01, entitled “Novel Role of a Ventral Striatal Circuit in Motor Control” from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The project will provide insights into the neural circuitry of the IC/OT D3 neurons and its role in neurobiological control of a highly important motor pattern.



Dr. Jalie Tucker (PI) and co-Is Drs. Cheong, Leeman, Yurasek, and McCarty were awarded a R01, entitled “Digital Motivational Behavioral Economic Intervention to Reduce Risky Drinking Among Community-Dwelling Emerging Adults” from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The five year project is designed to evaluate a brief behavioral economic intervention to reduce risky drinking among emerging adults recruited from disadvantaged communities.


Upcoming Deadlines

North Central Florida Society for Neuroscience Chapter Conference: Call for Registration and Abstract Submissions 

12th Annual Conference: Friday, January 28, 2022

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Yokoyama, University of California San Francisco

Registration (Deadline January 7th):

Abstract Submission & Data Blitz Application:

Questions? Please reach out to the conference Chair, Courtney Wilkinson (, or Vice-Chair, Janna Jernigan (


Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (PAB) Special Issue: “Addictive Behavior as Behavioral Allocation”

Submission deadline: February 15, 2022

The special issue honors Dr. Howard Rachlin, who died in 2021, in recognition of his seminal and wide-reaching influence on applied research on addictive behaviors. The call for papers at seeks manuscripts in all research areas on human addictive and health-risk behaviors spanning the basic to applied continuum that aim to understand addictive behavior as molar behavior allocation patterns over time. Conceptual, empirical, and methodological contributions that advance applied research on addictive behaviors and inform beneficial behavior change at the individual or community level will be considered. PAB seeks articles on a range of addictive and health-risk behaviors, including but not limited to substance use (e.g., risky sexual behavior, eating-related behaviors, physical activity, gambling). All contributions should make an explicit connection with Dr. Rachlin’s work that focused on understanding behavioral patterning over time in context.

Guest Editor Jalie A. Tucker and Associate Editors Joanna Buscemi, James Murphy, and Derek Reed


Upcoming Speakers and Newly Posted Podcasts

January 19, 2022 at 3:00pm

Harriet de Wit, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
The University of Chicago 


March 16, 2022 at 3:00pm

David Belin, PhD
Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
University of Cambridge

CARE Affiliate Podcast #14 Carolin Hoeflich

UF CARE Podcast Affiliate Episode 14: Carolin Hoeflich, Department of Epidemiology

UF CARE Affiliate Member Carolin Hoeflich joins Affiliate podcast host Victor Schneider for our 14th Affiliate installment of the UF CARE Podcast. Carolin is in her second year as a predoctoral fellowship through the NIDA T32 Training Program under the mentorship of Catherine Striley, PhD, MSW, MPE.



Affiliate Accomplishments

Sandy Saunders (BMS-Pharmacology student in the Dr. Erica Levitt Lab) defended her PhD thesis titled "The role of dorsolateral pontine respiratory neurons in fentanyl overdose" on October 27. She will start a post-doctoral position with Dr. Joe Santin at UNC-Greensboro in January 2022. Congratulations, Sandy!


Victor Schneider in Dr. Jeff Boissoneault's laboratory, Department of Clinical & Health Psychology, passed his qualifying exam on 12/6/21. He is now an official PhD candidate. Congratulations, Victor!


Nicholas Bush in Dr. Jeff Boissoneault's laboratory, Department of Clinical & Health Psychology, passed his qualifying exams on 12/7/21. He is now an official PhD candidate. Congratulations, Nicholas! 


Neo Gebru MPS, MS, CHES (Dr. Leeman's lab) was awarded the CA Boyd Scholarship from the College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida. Congratulations, Neo! 


Vinita Sharma PhD, MPH, CPH, presented her work "Mental health: Intersections with HIV and substance use" on December 15, 2021 at a capacity building web-series for mental health researchers in Nepal. The series is sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health through a grant provided to George Washington University and coordinated by Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal. Wonderful job, Vinita!





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

Berthold EC, Kamble SH, Raju KS, Kuntz MA, Senetra AS, Mottinelli M, León F, Restrepo LF, Patel A, Ho NP, Hiranita T, Sharma A, McMahon LRMcCurdy CR. The Lack of Contribution of 7-Hydroxymitragynine to the Antinociceptive Effects of Mitragynine in Mice: A Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Study. Drug Metab Dispos. 2021 Nov 10:DMD-AR-2021-000640. doi:10.1124/dmd.121.000640. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34759012.

Canidate, S. S., Schrimshaw, E., Schaefer, N., Gebru, N. M., Powers, N., Maisto, S., Parisi, C., Leeman, R., Fields, S., Cook, R. L. The Relationship of Alcohol to ART Adherence among Black MSM in the U.S.: Is it Any Different among Black MSM in the South? AIDS and Behavior. In Press.

Chakraborty S, Uprety R, Slocum ST, Irie T, LeRouzic V, Xiaohai L, Wilson LL, Scouller B, Alder A, Kreugel AC, Ansonoff M, Váradi A, Eans SO, Hunkule A, Allaoa A, Kalra S, Xu J, Xian-Pan Y, Pintar J, Kivell B, Pasternak GW, Cameron M, McLaughlin JP, Sames D, Majumdar S: Oxidative metabolism as a modulator of kratom’s biological actions. J Med Chem 2021 Nov 16, online ahead of print. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01111. PMID: 34783240.

Cheong, J., Lindstrom, K., Chandler, S. D., Bacon, J. P., & Tucker, J. A. (2021). Social network feedback and drinking outcomes among at-risk emerging adults living in urban communities. Substance Use & Misuse, 56(13),1989-1996.

Dick AS, Silva K, Gonzalez R, Sutherland MT, Laird AR, Thompson WK, Tapert SF, Squeglia LM, Gray KM, Nixon SJCottler LB, La Greca AM, Gurwitch RH, Comer JS. Neural vulnerability and hurricane-related media are associated with post-traumatic stress in youth. Nat Hum Behav. 2021 Nov;5(11):1578-1589. doi: 10.1038/s41562-021-01216-3. Epub 2021 Nov 15. PMID: 34795422; PMCID: PMC8607811.

Doke M, Tamizhselvi R, Sundar V, McLaughlin JP, Thangavel S: Proteomics profiling with SWATH-MS quantitative analysis of changes in the human brain with HIV infection reveals a differential impact on the frontal and temporal lobes. Brain Sciences 2021 Oct 28, 11(11):1438-1452. brainsci-1415225; PMID in process).

Reichmann, G., Parlier-Ahmad, A.B., Beck, L., Thakkar, B., Alappattu, M., Boissoneault, J., & Martin, C.E. (in press). Chronic Pelvic Pain and Sexual Dysfunction among Females and Males Receiving Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Frontiers in Pain Research.

Schneider, V.J., Bush, N., Vitus, D., Carpenter, R., Robinson, M., & Boissoneault, J. (in press). A Virtual Reality Platform for the Measurement of Drinking Topography. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Sharma V, Cottler LB, Bares CB, Lopez-Quintero C. Kratom Use Among U.S. Adolescents: Analyses of the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. J Adolesc Health. 2021 Nov 23:S1054-139X(21)00502-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.10.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34836801.

Swan, J. E., Aldridge, A., Joseph, V., Tucker, J. A., & Witkiewitz, K. (2021). Individual and community social determinants of health and recovery from alcohol use disorder three years following treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 1-10.

Zhang YF, Vargas Cifuentes L, Wright KN, Bhattarai JP, Mohrhardt J, Fleck D, Janke E, Jiang C, Cranfill SL, Goldstein N, Schreck M, Moberly AH, Yu Y, Arenkiel BR, Betley JN, Luo W, Stegmaier J, Wesson DW, Spehr M, Fuccillo MV, Ma M. Ventral striatal islands of Calleja neurons control grooming in mice. Nat Neurosci. 2021 Dec;24(12):1699-1710. doi: 10.1038/s41593-021-00952-z. Epub 2021 Nov 18. PMID: 34795450; PMCID: PMC8639805.

A Grinch-Worthy Poem

The Third Reviewer

Once upon a midnight dreary, creating figures, weak and weary,
Over many an empty pot of coffee with grounds still a smolder
While I nodded, R refreshing, suddenly there came a ringing,
As if a bird gently singing, singing from my Outlook folder.
“Tis my PI” I muttered, “ringing from my Outlook folder.
Only this and nothing more.”
I glanced aside with great disdain
Only to find it twas not mundane
Not mundane, but reviews! From J Neuro whom I always do adore
Not only this but so much more!
Eagerly I went to tapping, searching here and there for something catching
Some review, or acceptance, a simple revision to explore
“Please, just have minor edits…”
Only this and nothing more
Through page and page, I went a scrolling
Kind remarks, “add this citation”, “excellent ideas”,
Reviewer 1 and 2, my loves from some distant and anonymous shore
“Could this really be it?” I whispered, “and nothing more?”
But then the words got denser, the suggestions got intenser
Got intenser, “but why??” I did implore
Somehow the ink got darker, and the words, they got sharper
Sharper than the wit I figured that I had more
With one small sentence, I knew, there was no penance
Reviewer 3 had cast their sentence
Quote “Publish here, Nevermore”
“But how??” I did implore
From love and love, even praise, for my methods the first reviewer did adore
And my stats! Reviewer 2, never kinder words I had ever read before.
But Reviewer 3 simply writes “Publish here, Nevermore”
And still I am revising, still, even if they are uncompromising
Trying to get this publication out the door
In the shadow of The Third Reviewer, gatekept from J Neuro whom I always had adored
And my soul from out that shadow, curses their review

Andrew Moore, 12/2021


Career & Training Opportunities


Addiction Scientist Position (94383)

The Department of Psychiatry at UF is seeking to fill a new faculty position with a dynamic clinical addiction scientist. Please participate in this search by sharing this position ( to those who might be interested and those who might know qualified candidates or, if appropriate, consider the position yourself!


Research Coordinator Level III (518944)

Independently coordinates community-based human research protocols and related activities in the Department of Health Education and Behavior and Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research under minimal supervision. Serves as the lead staff position for the overall implementation and day-to-day conduct of community-based human research protocols investigating risky drinking and related health behaviors including recruitment and retention of participants, data collection, IRB and budget management, and coordination of the work of other research staff and students.


Post-Doctoral Research Associate (87187). 

The UF Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research is accepting applications for a postdoctoral research associate to begin in 2022 (start date negotiable). Center-affiliated faculty are engaged in collaborative research projects on substance misuse; HIV, STI and sexual risk behaviors; physical inactivity; and unhealthy eating behaviors that offer exciting educational opportunities. The postdoctoral research associate will work closely with CBEHR Director Jalie Tucker and other Center faculty members with research programs variously funded by CDC, DOD, NIA, NIAAA, NCI, NIDA, NIMHD, NHLBI, and SAMSHA (CBEHR Faculty). Center investigators utilize a range of laboratory and field research methods including digital applications. The postdoctoral associate will gain skills and expertise to be successful as an independent investigator through participation in existing and planned research projects, manuscript preparation, grant development, seminars and related educational experiences, supervision of Center research assistants and staff, and other Center and professional service activities. This is a time-limited 12-month, non-tenure track position with an initial 2-year appointment, conditional on satisfactory performance. Compensation competitive with NIH postdoctoral fellowship stipend levels.  Interested candidates should submit their CV and a cover letter describing their research experience and interests to Dr. Jalie Tucker ( Position URL