Recent Ph.D.s

Alexandra Stolyarova, Ph.D. (2020) Alex received her Bachelors at CSU Los Angeles before joining the BNS Ph.D. program at UCLA. Her dissertation work focused on cortico-amygdalar contributions to reward learning and credit assignment during adolescence. She completed a minor in Applied Mathematics and is an eLife early career community ambassador. For her Ph.D. work she employed classic lesion methods, chemogenetic manipulation, drug administration, immunohistochemical techniques, and developed new rodent behavioral paradigms. She pioneered several new analyses for learning under uncertainty. She is currently a software engineer at PolicyFly.

Evan Hart, Ph.D. (2019) Evan started his scientific career at the University of Connecticut under the mentorship of Dr. John Salamone where he studied dopaminergic mechanisms of the motivational symptoms of depression. His dissertation work focused on the basic mechanisms of effort-based choice. He employed classic lesion methods, bidirectional chemogenetic manipulation, and was among the first to adapt the use of miniaturized fluorescence microscopes for recording calcium activity in awake, behaving rats. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NIDA-IRP Cellular Neurobiology Research Branch working in the lab of Dr. Geoffrey Schoenbaum.

Andrew Thompson, Ph.D. (2017) Andrew started in science as an undergraduate researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working with Dr. Karen Szumlinski. His dissertation work was on the striatal mechanisms of impulsive choice in protracted drug withdrawal. He was awarded the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and is currently working in Washington D.C. as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the State Department.