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.)

I am recruiting research staff, graduate students, and postdocs. See the Positions tab above. Please join me and help build this research program from the ground up!

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

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!


Graham Pilger: Chief of Staff at Adamo Biosciences