Nicole Petersen, PhD
2018 Friends Scholar
Dr. Petersen completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging at UCLA. Dr. Petersen's work focuses on neuroendocrine influences on the biological basis of drug addiction, especially with respect to sex differences in addiction, using multimodal brain imaging techniques (functional MRI and PET) and cognitive/behavioral testing. In the project supported by the Friends Scholars, Dr. Petersen will use transcranial magnetic stimulation, a novel brain stimulation therapy, to attempt to reduce craving and withdrawal symptoms in male and female smokers who are abstaining from smoking. Brain imaging with fMRI will be used to evaluate effects of this brain stimulation on large-scale network connectivity. These findings will be used to develop brain stimulation therapies that are optimized for men and women who want to quit smoking.