Current Lab Members
Jacqueline Barker, PhD
Jacqui earned her BA in Psychology at Ohio Wesleyan University. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at Yale University, in the lab of Jane Taylor before moving to the Medical University of South Carolina to complete her postdoctoral training with Judson Chandler. Jacqui started her lab in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine in the fall of 2017.
Lauren Buck (Plyler), MS
Lauren completed her Master's in Neuroscience in 2018 where she developed expertise in the use of mouse models to investigate neural function.
PhD Student, Neuroscience
Sierra completed her Bachelor of Science in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience at the University of Michigan in 2020. Upon graduation she continued in her undergraduate lab as a research technician for two years studying the biological basis of temperament.
Christina Curran-Alfaro, MS
PhD Candidate, Neuroscience
Christina completed her MS in biology, with a concentration in neurobiology, at Rutgers-Camden in 2020. Her MS thesis work explored circuitry involved in spatial memory utilizing a teleost model. In the Barker lab, she is investigating the effects of low-dose ethanol on reward valuation, reward motivation, and neural substrates which may contribute to aberrant reward seeking.
Laura Giacometti, PhD
Laura completed her PhD with Dr. Ramesh Raghupathi in 2018, where her dissertation focused on sex differences in long term behavioral alterations following adolescent mild traumatic brain injury. She is building on her expertise in sex differences to investigate sex-specific effects of chronic ethanol exposure on astrocyte activity and its role in regulating reward seeking and depression-related behaviors.
Mark Namba, PhD
Mark completed his PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Drs. Janet Neisewander and Foster Olive at Arizona State University, where his primary focus was unraveling neuroimmune mechanisms of motivated behavior and the impact of HIV on cue-induced drug seeking. As a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, Mark is building upon his expertise in behavioral pharmacology and addiction neurobiology by examining the role of glutamatergic and neuroimmune mechanisms in cocaine craving using translational rodent models of comorbid HIV and cocaine use disorders.
Mitch Nothem, PhD
Mitch completed his PhD with Dr. James Barrett in 2020, where his dissertation focused on the effects of peripheral nerve injury and gabapentin on cortical pain processing. His postdoctoral work focuses on the interaction between chronic pain and substance use disorders.
Christine completed her BS in Biochemistry and BA in Psychology at Rowan University. She aspires to get her Ph.D in Neuroscience and is interested in research involving the neural substrates of substance use disorder.
Qiaowei Xie, MS
PhD Candidate, Pharmacology and Physiology