Basic Science/Neurophysiology/Imaging Projects (2010-2012)


Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making
in Recovery from Alcoholism

Mitchell Karno, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (karno@ucla.edu)

This career development award will promote Dr. Karno’s progression into transdisciplinary research on recovery from alcoholism.  Building on Dr. Karno’s background in studying the mechanisms of action of behavioral treatments, the goal of this application is to gain expertise in cognitive neuroscience as it relates to efforts to change one’s alcohol use. The objectives of the project are to acquire sufficient knowledge of decision theory, neuroscience, and neuroimaging to permit Dr. Karno to conduct independent research that examines linkages between thought processes and brain activity with changes in alcohol use among problem drinkers.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making in Recovery from Alcoholism was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, grant 1 K02 AA018374, from August 2011 to July 2016.

Refinement and Validation of a Portable,
Salivary Biosensor of Psychosocial Stress

Vivek Shetty, D.D.S., Principal Investigator (vshetty@ucla.edu)
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D. (dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu), Co-Investigator
Rachel Fintzy, M.A. (rfintzy@mednet.ucla.edu), Project Director

In this two-phase study, we tested the effectiveness of a salivary biomarker, a small biosensor for salivary analytes.  In Phase 1, we optimized the performance characteristics of the biosensor among 50 healthy controls.  In Phase 2, we conducted functional validation of the biosensor in a cohort of 185 socio-economically vulnerable males with high systemic isolated facial injury, along with examination of the effect of psychosocial factors and addictive behaviors on salivary analytes, as determined by the biosensor.

Refinement and Validation of a Portable, Salivary Biosensor of Psychosocial Stress was funded by the NIH/NIDA to the UCLA Department of Dentistry, Grant 1 U01 DA023815, with collaboration by UCLA ISAP, from August 2007 to April 2011.


The Oral and Dental Consequences
of Methamphetamine Use

Vivek Shetty, DDS, Dr. Med. Dent., Principal Investigator
Debra A. Murphy, Ph.D., Co-Investigator (dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu)
Rachel Fintzy, M.A., Project Director

The primary objectives of this study are to validate that the rates and patterns of dental caries and oral disease are substantially different in methamphetamine (MA) users than non-MA users; to characterize the relationship between dental consequences, patterns of MA-use and other individual characteristics; and to investigate the extent to which negative self-image among MA-users is associated with a willingness to seek treatment. This project is currently in the data collection phase.

The Oral and Dental Consequences of Methamphetamine Use is funded by the National Institutes of Health, grant 1 R01 DA025680 to the UCLA Department of Dentistry, from April 2010 to January 2014.

Last Updated: 12/04/2012

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