The Affiliated Laboratories of the Pearson Center


Laura M. Bohn, Ph.D.
TSRI, Jupiter, FL

Pain accompanies nearly every disease state and prolonged opioid therapies can lead to substance abuse and addiction.  Our laboratory is working to develop safer and more effective therapeutics to treat pain and to avoid unwanted side effects.

Candice Contet, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

The Contet laboratory aims to identify the source of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) being released in the central nucleus of the amygdala during ethanol withdrawal. While CRF release in this brain region is known to play a critical role in the emergence of negative affect and ensuing escalation of alcohol consumption, the cell body location of implicated CRF neurons still remains to be determined.


Olivier George, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

Dr. George is working on understanding how alcohol, nicotine and drugs of abuse affect the brain and on the development of novel therapeutic approaches, including new medications. "The brain is truly one of the last unknown territories in science, studying it is a little bit like sailing a ship to an unknown world."

Remi Martin-Fardon, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

A major challenge for the successful treatment of drug addiction is the long-lasting susceptibility to relapse during abstinence from drug use. The goal of our studies is to understand the role of the orexin (Orx/Hcrt) system in cocaine and alcohol seeking.


Barbara Mason, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

The focus of the research programs in the Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology is the clinical evaluation of potential medications for protracted abstinence and relapse prevention in alcohol use disorder and related disorders such as nicotine and cannabis use disorders.

Courtney Miller, Ph.D.
TSRI, Jupiter, FL

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder. Research in the Miller Laboratory is focused on developing new medications to prevent relapse. Efforts are also focused on understanding how prenatal exposure to prescription pain medications alters brain development.


Marisa Roberto, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing illness and available treatments are insufficient. Studies in my laboratory aim to understand the specific neuronal mechanisms that underlie synaptic and/or molecular changes the influence the development of dependence on alcohol.

Paul Schweitzer, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

Research in our laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of substances of abuse and their interaction with neurotransmitter systems. Our work is particularly centered on cannabinoids and the modulatory role of neuropeptides.


Michael Taffe, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

Research in the Taffe Laboratory focuses on determining how physical exercise and anti-drug vaccination strategies may be used at different points in the substance addiction arc to prevent or ameliorate negative effects on health.

Eric Zorrilla, Ph.D.
TSRI, La Jolla, CA

The Zorrilla laboratory seeks to understand the neural substrates of motivated behavior and of the regulatory control of energy balance using interdisciplinary molecular, biochemical, neuroanatomical, pharmacological, physiological, behavioral and statistical techniques.