We may have an opening for an undergraduate or graduate student. This lab is a good place for people who are interested in improving clinical applications of neuroimaging -- especially as they apply to substance use disorders and neuroendocrinology.

Principle Investigator

The Translational Neuroimaging Lab at UCLA is directed by me, Dr. Nicole Petersen.

You can find my publications here. (This is my favorite project that I've done so far. If you want to read just one paper, that's the one I'd recommend.)

If you can't access a manuscript you'd like to read, drop me a note and I'd be happy to send a pdf.

Current Appointment: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.

Education & Professional Training:

  • 2014-2020, Postdoctoral training, UCLA, with Dr. Edythe London.

  • 2013, PhD in Neurobiology & Behavior, UC Irvine under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Cahill.

  • 2006-2008, research assistant for Dr. Douglas Levinson, Stanford University.

  • 2006, BS in Biospsychology, SUNY Binghamton.


  • PI: NIDA, K99/R00DA045749, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Tobacco Use Disorder: A Network-Level Approach with Attention to Sex as a Biological Variable

  • co-PI: Iris Cantor/CTSI, UL1TR000124, Sex/Gender Differences in the Neural and Behavioral Response to Reduced Nicotine Cigarettes

  • PI: NIDA, F32DA039715, Estrogen, dopamine D2-type receptors, and self-control

*Please contact me if you would like to see any of these grant proposals and/or summary statements. I would not have gotten any of them without similar resource sharing from colleagues who generously offered me their materials.

Selected Awards:

  • 2020, Cognitive Neuroscience Society Postdoctoral Fellow Award

  • 2019, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award

  • 2018, Brain Research Institute and Semel Institute Society for Neuroscience Meeting Travel Award

  • 2018, Friends of Semel Institute Scholar Award

  • 2017, NIDA Director’s Travel Award, College on Problems of Drug Dependence


I am Dr. Tim Jordan, currently a Postdoctoral researcher in the Translational Neuroimaging Lab. My goals and interests are in developing and applying new and old neuroimaging methods in the clinical setting for patient assessment, diagnosis, and treatments. I’m also interested in eventually applying these methods to chronic pain and migraine patients. Additionally, to my passion in research, I pursue ways to spread science through different methods of outreach into the community and the internet.

Undergraduate volunteers

My name is Riley Russell. I am a 5th year from Orange County, California. My main interest in life is learning about anything and everything. This is especially the case concerning anything that deals in the realm of science. My favorite subjects of study are biology and psychology. Outside of academic interest I love putting what I learn to good use in the activities I choose to pursue. These include surfing, snowboarding, hiking, rapping, socializing, and pretty much any activities this world has to offer.

My name is Anthony Sun, and I’m a third year psychobiology student at UCLA. Going forward, I’d like to apply for medical school and eventually become a physician. My hobbies include badminton, video games, and looking at things online that I’ll never buy.

My name is Ishaa Diwakar. I’m a 3rd year Neuroscience student at UCLA. I’m very passionate about the brain and mental health, and I hope to eventually become a clinical psychologist. I also love to oil paint, go shopping, and listen to music (especially rock and metal).


Hello my name is Melanie and I’m fascinated by the human experience and the different means by which that experience can be communicated (e.g. language, neuroimaging, art, etc.). I like to learn and help others learn (which is why I work as a speech-language pathologist), because knowledge is power!

My name is Mike Crawford, and I received my bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University, Fullerton in 2021. I am interested in areas of research involving emerging technologies and their impact on psychological research and clinical practice. I am particularly fascinated by the recent advances in Natural Language Processing, and I hope to investigate how machine learning models can be applied judiciously in clinical research. In my free time, I enjoy playing the guitar, participating in cybersecurity “Capture the Flag” competitions, and spending time outdoors with my dog.

Staff Research Associate

My name is Michael Apostol and I am a Staff Research Associate in the Translational Neuroimaging Lab. I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of San Diego, where I contributed to research in clinical, cognitive, and social psychology. I’m interested in pursuing a research career, and I’m currently exploring different research areas in clinical psychology and neuroscience before applying to graduate school. For fun, I enjoy trying new restaurants, playing tennis and ping pong, blogging about psychology, and spending time with my cat, Lexa.


Graham Pilger: Chief of Staff at Adamo Biosciences