Addictions and Gender: Presenter Bios


Susan Mosher Ruiz, PhD

Susan Mosher Ruiz, PhD

Susan M.M. Ruiz, Ph.D.

The Role of Gender in Alcoholism: Insights From Neuroimaging

Dr. Ruiz is a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology at the Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System. Her research focuses on using multimodal neuroimaging methods to examine gender differences in the effects of long-term alcohol abuse on white and gray matter morphometry as well as on memory, emotional, and executive functioning, and on alcohol craving. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Boston University and an S.B. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT.

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Kimberly Leite-Morris, Ph.D.

Kimberly Leite-Morris, Ph.D.

Kimberly A. Leite-Morris, Ph.D.

Sex Differences in Long Term Ethanol Binge Drinking of Long Evans Rats

Dr. Leite-Morris is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine, and the VA Boston Healthcare System. She is the director of a neurochemisty and behavioral neuroscience laboratory. Her current research focuses on understanding the neurochemical mechanisms that underlie anticipation and craving of alcohol and other abused substances. She has established several translational animal behavioral models including ethanol self-administration paired with in vivo microdialysis to determine neurotransmitter changes during treatment with GABA receptor modulators. Dr. Leite-Morris was the recipient of a NIAAA K01 award and is a Co-investigator on NIH and VA Merit awards studying preclinical and clinical neurochemical biomarkers of alcohol, drug addiction, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Irina V. Zhdanova, M.D., Ph.D.

Irina V. Zhdanova, M.D., Ph.D.

Irina V. Zhdanova, M.D., Ph.D.

Gender Differences in Responses to Cocaine: Lessons from Zebrafish

Dr. Zhdanova is Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her M.D. degree in Internal Medicine from the First Leningrad Medical Institute specializing in Clinical Physiology. She then received her Ph.D. in Physiology of Behavior from the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg. She completed post-doctoral training at the Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Joni L. Utley, Psy.D.

Joni L. Utley, Psy.D.

Joni L. Utley, Psy.D., LCDR, USCGR

Women and Addiction: Themes and Treatment Strategies

Dr. Utley serves as project director, clinician, and trainer as part of several clinical research studies being conducted within VA Boston and VA Bedford for substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. She also holds a teaching appointment in psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Utley completed her APA-accredited internship in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she obtained a broad range of clinical training experiences with a focus on trauma, addictions, and co-occurring disorders working within an academic medical center.

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Marlene Oscar Berman, PhD,

Marlene Oscar Berman, PhD

Marlene Oscar Berman, Ph.D.

Discussant

Dr. Berman is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Ph.D. Program at Boston University School of Medicine. For the past few decades, her research on alcoholism-related brain damage has been supported by grants from NIH and from the Medical Research Service of the VA. Her current research examines gender differences in brain structure and function. Dr. Berman is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MERIT Award and a Senior Scientist and Mentorship Award from NIH, Research Career Scientist Awards from the VA, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.

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