My overarching focus in substance use, my dissertation topic focuses on how stress affects substance use and ways in which we might be able to use neuromodulation techniques, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to modulate the effects of stress.
I also have other smaller projects that include:
- Genetic variations in behavior and response to opioids in people who use heroin
- People’s motivations to obtain naloxone and experiences requesting it
- Consequences of concomitant sedative and heroin use
I currently have three main neuroethics foci:
- Exploration of neuroprosthetics and their roles within treatment and enhancement of different populations. I want to explore our definitions of disability and how that affects the way in which we create new technologies and justify their uses.
- The ethical implications of certain advances in addiction science (e.g. genetic markers).
- The use of memory modulation to impact mental health, specifically in response to traumatic events.
There are multiple areas of bioethics that I have explored, I am currently:
- Working with a medical interpreter in order to develop a deeper understanding of the ethical risks associated with language access in medical settings and develop guidelines for patient care providers.
- Exploring the role of parents in decision making for children with health problems when the role of the parent contradicts the recommendations of members in the disease community.
I am currently engaged in multiple projects that aim to improve medical education surrounding substance use disorders and harm reduction, these include:
- Longitudinal studies examining changes in knowledge and attitudes towards opioid use and naloxone among students throughout all 4-years of medical school.
- Examining the short and long term effects of an Opioid Overdose Prevention and Response Training on medical students.
- Developing clinical volunteering opportunities with patients with substance use disorders and exploring how engaging in these opportunities effects attitudes.