Photo of Thomas Gould

Thomas J. Gould, Ph.D.

Director of NILA
219 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
Thomas.Gould@psu.edu

Dr. Gould is currently interested in the neurobiology of learning and memory with a specific focus on identifying the cellular and molecular events that underlie the effects of nicotine and ethanol on learning and memory. To that end, the NILA lab uses neurobiological, behavioral, pharmacological, genetic, and molecular techniques to investigate the effects of drugs of abuse on learning, with a specific emphasis on how those effects change as drug administration transitions from acute to chronic drug use, and then to withdrawal. Current projects in the lab include an examination of the effects of nicotine on hippocampus functioning and hippocampus-dependent learning. This research also examines genetic factors that may contribute to the effects of nicotine on cognitive processes.
Photo of Thomas Gould

Lisa R. Goldberg, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar
130 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
lrg33@psu.edu

Lisa is a post-doctoral scholar who joined the NILA lab in November 2017. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Neuroscience from Boston University School of Medicine, under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Camron Bryant. Her dissertation work focused on utilizing both forward and reverse genetics to identify genetic factors involved in opioid reward and aversion. Her research interests include identify genetic factors that affect susceptibility to nicotine withdrawal symptoms, as well as transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic changes associated with drug use.   

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Sean Mooney-Leber, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar
219 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
sxm1302@psu.edu

Sean joined the NILA lab in January 2018 as a post-doctoral scholar. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Wayne State University under the direction of Dr. Susanne Brummelte, investigating the impact of early life adversity on neurochemistry and behavior. His current research interests include biological mechanisms underlying impaired adult cognitive functioning and altered affective behaviors following adolescent nicotine exposure. Outside of the lab, he enjoys making homemade pizza and playing hockey.

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Laurel Seemiller

Graduate Student
118 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
laurelseemiller@gmail.com

Laurel earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2017 from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked on various projects in cell and molecular biology and behavioral neuroscience. Laurel enrolled in Penn State’s Molecular Cellular and Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS) Ph.D. program in fall 2017 and became a graduate research assistant in the NILA lab. She is most interested in the molecular mechanisms behind nicotine-induced cognitive deficits.

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Dana Zeid

Graduate Student
118 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
dana.zeid@psu.edu

Dana Zeid earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016 from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Her undergraduate research projects explored the psychological precursors to substance abuse disorders and the effects of neurotoxicity on behavior and health. In fall of 2016, Dana enrolled in Penn State’s Biobehavioral Health Ph.D. program and joined the NILA lab as a graduate research assistant. Her current research interests include genetic factors determining vulnerability to nicotine addiction as well as multi/transgenerational consequences of nicotine exposure.

Prescilla Garcia-Trevizo

Graduate Student
118 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
pjg5435@psu.edu

Prescilla earned her bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry. As an undergraduate student, her projects were focused on the effects of chronic ethanol exposure on innate behaviors that are relevant to addiction. Prescilla enrolled in Penn’s State Biobehavioral Health Ph.D. program and joined the NILA lab as a graduate research assistant in fall of 2019. Her current research interests are the genetic and environmental factors that underlie nicotine addiction.

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