West Virginia University
Jenny Ozga earned a BA in psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She was a research assistant in Dr. Michael Hoane’s laboratory, where she participated in several studies involving the development of pharmacological therapeutics for behavioral deficits following traumatic brain injury in rats. Jenny went on to West Virginia University, where she is currently working toward her Ph.D. in behavior analysis under the supervision of Dr. Karen G. Anderson. She earned her MS in psychology in May 2016, and her thesis focused on evaluating effects of environmental conditions and nicotine on delay discounting in Lewis and Fischer 344 rats—two genetically distinct strains. She is currently funded by a pre-doctoral training grant (NIGMS T32), which has enhanced the diversity of her training through interdisciplinary research opportunities. In addition to her animal work with Dr. Anderson, Jenny works on human research projects involving tobacco users with Dr. Melissa D. Blank.
Due to Jenny’s interest in dissociations between delay and probability discounting, her dissertation grant is for a project investigating potential genetic and pharmacological interactions and their effects on probability discounting. Specifically, probability discounting of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats will be assessed before and after acute administration of d-amphetamine. During delay discounting procedures, Lewis rats are more impulsive than Fischer 344 rats, and d-amphetamine has differential effects on delay discounting between these strains. Specifically, d-amphetamine reduces delay discounting of Lewis rats but increases or has no effect on delay discounting of Fischer 344 rats. However, due to reported dissociations between delay and probability discounting, it is unclear whether similar effects will be observed when assessing probability discounting.
Jenny aspires to finish her Ph.D. and secure a postdoctoral position in behavioral pharmacology. Ultimately, she would like to continue conducting both nonhuman animal and human research as a principal investigator in an academic setting.
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