West Virginia University
Jenny Ozga is working toward her Ph.D. in behavior analysis at West Virginia University under the supervision of Dr. Karen G. Anderson. Her MS thesis focused on evaluating effects of environmental conditions and nicotine on delay discounting in two genetically distinct rat strains. Specifically, she compared delay discounting of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats housed individually and in same-strain pairs following acute nicotine administration. Results from this project indicated that paired housing attenuated strain differences between Lewis and Fischer 344 rats; these results have been consistently replicated when rats are individually housed. Future research will help determine whether individual housing produces changes in neurochemical functionality, which may contribute to the observed strain difference.
Jenny received a pre-doctoral training grant (NIGMS T32) that has enhanced the diversity of her training through interdisciplinary research opportunities. In addition to her animal work with Dr. Anderson, Jenny works with Dr. Melissa D. Blank on human research projects involving tobacco users. One such project involves assessing patterns of dual-tobacco use in individuals who smoke cigarettes and use smokeless tobacco products. Another project involves assessing timing of varenicline treatment for smoking cessation in individuals with comorbid opioid-use disorders. Jenny hopes to continue researching relations between impulse control and substance abuse, including the biological and environmental determinants of impulse control. Her other interests include dissociations between probability and delay discounting, drug tolerance, and neurobiological mechanisms of impulsive behavior. Jenny plans to finish her doctoral degree in behavior analysis and obtain a postdoctoral position in behavioral pharmacology. Ultimately, she would like to continue conducting both animal and human research as a principal investigator in an academic setting.
Jenny would like to thank SABA for supporting her master’s thesis work, and for its continued dedication to graduate student research in behavior analysis. She would also like to thank her mentors, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Blank, as well as her lab-mates, for their unwavering support.
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