Who We Are

Principal Investigator

Matthew Kirkpatrick, PhD

Associate Professor of Research Population and Public Health Sciences

mgkirkpa@usc.edu
(323) 442-8221


Matt Kirkpatrick, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He is associate director of the USC-Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory (USC-HEAL), which conducts interdisciplinary research at the intersection between drug abuse, emotion, and health-related behaviors. He earned his B.A. in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ph.D. in Psychology at Columbia University. Dr. Kirkpatrick completed postdoctoral training in neuropsychopharmacology at the University of Chicago.

Matthew Kirkpatrick, Principle Investigator

Dr. Kirkpatrick is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He earned his B.A. in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his PhD in Experimental Psychology at Columbia University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropsychopharmacology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Kirkpatrick works in collaboration with scientists at all career levels – from senior faculty to undergraduate research assistants – and uses behavioral pharmacology, Ecological Momentary Assessment, and survey methods to examine the complex, bi-directional interactions between social contexts, social behavior, and drug use. He has scientific expertise in a wide range of drugs, including amphetamines, MDMA, alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Dr. Kirkpatrick is committed to conducting research that will inform more just and rationale drug policies and will lead to more effective drug treatments for individuals and families that may develop drug-related problems.

Doctoral Students

Esthelle Ewusi Boisvert

NRA Scholarship

ewusiboi@usc.edu


Esthelle Ewusi Boisvert is a doctoral student in Clinical Science in USC's Department of Psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology (Honours) from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in May 2016, as well as her Certificate in Substance Abuse Counselling from the University of Montreal in December 2016. Broadly, Esthelle is interested in the etiology and treatment of addiction, especially when comorbid with other psychiatric disorders. She is also interested in examining the factors that contribute to the initiation and maintenance of substance use. Outside of doing science, Esthelle likes to go for runs, cook good meals in the least amount of time possible, explore microbreweries, and attend free concerts!

Shirlene Wang

Research Assistant

shirlenw@usc.edu


Shirlene is a 4th year PhD student in the Health Behavior Research Program at USC. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology and Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University, she has been conducting research testing approaches to increasing physical activity, improving diet, smoking cessation, and treatment adherence using wearable devices and apps. Her current research focuses on increasing engagement and improving the quality of longitudinal data collected using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). She has worked with the DUB Lab since 2019 analyzing data from the SCOR and SYNC studies. The first smoking study Shirlene designed involved daily counts of the number of cigarette butts in a Wendy's parking lot.


Research Staff

Kendrick Canizales

Project Specialist

kcanizal@usc.edu


Kendrick Canizales graduated from The University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychobiology. Kendrick has extensive experience in human subjects research, particularly in the field of tobacco control and human health behaviors. As a project specialist at the Drug Use & Behavior Laboratory, Kendrick manages and conducts data collection for the INSPIRE study, along with other administrative tasks for the DUB Lab. In his free time, Kendrick enjoys trying new foods, exploring Southern California, and going to concerts.


Rajiv Sheth

Project Assistant

rajivshe@usc.edu


Rajiv Sheth is a Project Assistant at the Drug Use & Behavior Lab and the Project Coordinator for the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative, as part of the NCI Cancer Moonshot program. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California in 2021 with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in Performance Science. As an undergraduate, Rajiv worked as a Research Assistant (and eventually a Research Fellow) at USC Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory. Before joining DUB Lab as a staff member, he joined as an Undergraduate Research Fellow in Fall 2020. Rajiv enjoys spending time with friends at the beach, watching and playing sports, and cooking.


Research Fellows

Nikki Jafarzadeh

Undergraduate Research Fellow

jafarzad@usc.edu
(323) 442-2598


Nikki Jafarzadeh is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Addiction Science, set to graduate in 2022. At USC, Nikki serves on the Executive Board of Interaxon and plays on the USC Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team. She is also involved with smoking research at the Health, Emotion, and Addiction Laboratory and mental health research at the Race, Disparities, and Interventions Laboratory. After graduation, Nikki plans to continue her education by obtaining a doctorate in Health Behavior Research, and hopes to ultimately pursue a career in research. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with friends, and hanging out with her cat.


Research Assistants

Nayeli Ayala

Student Research Assistant

ndayala@usc.edu


Nayeli Ayala is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California pursuing a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in Business Administration, set to graduate in 2023. At USC, Nayeli serves on the Executive Board of GlobeMed and is also a member of Delta Delta Sigma, a pre-dental honors society. After graduation, Nayeli hopes to attend dental school and pursue a career in Dentistry. In her free time, Nayeli enjoys painting, spending time with friends, and trying new food around LA.


Halle Greenbaum

Student Research Assistant

hallegre@usc.edu


Halle Greenbaum is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California pursuing her B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Keck School of Medicine. At USC, Halle is the founder and president of the Food SC'ience & Nutrition Club which she started to spread awareness about the expansive field of food science, as well as to address food-related disparities in the nearby LA area. Halle hopes to obtain her MPH at USC before going on to study food science and work in the industry.


Eden Mohabber

Student Research Assistant

emohabbe@usc.edu


Eden Mohabber is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California perusing a degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Keck School of Medicine, set to graduate in 2022. At USC, Eden works within the Mind-Body Medicine Lab focusing on biobehavioral research. Eden is also involved in "SunSmart", a sun safety program for adolescents developed by the Keck School of Medicine of USC. On campus, he is a member of AED, a pre-medical honor society dedicated to creating a community of individuals with a passion for medicine and promoting personal and professional growth. He is also a volunteer mentor at the Lifespan Psychological Center. In the future, Eden hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in pediatric emergency medicine. Outside of school, Eden enjoys spending time with his friends and family, going to the beach, playing basketball, cooking, and exploring nature.


Anna Miner

Student Research Assistant

acminer@usc.edu


Anna Miner is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California pursuing a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in Addiction Science, set to graduate in 2024. At USC, Anna is a senior health educator within Peer Health Exchange, an organization that provides a skills-based health curriculum to students in under-resourced high schools. Anna also develops content for USC Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, a club which offers kidney health screenings and education to the surrounding Los Angeles community. She is also involved with neonatal research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and type 2 diabetes research within the environmental health division of the Keck School of Medicine, USC. In the future, Anna hopes to obtain her MPH at USC. In her free time, Anna volunteers in the disaster management sector of the American Red Cross and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.


Kelvin Nguyen

Student Research Assistant

kelvinng@usc.edu


Kelvin Nguyen is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California pursuing a degree in Health and Human Sciences with a minor in Public Health, set to graduate in 2023. At USC, Kelvin is Assistant Director of Trojan Health Volunteers (THV), an organization under the Joint Educational Project (JEP) whose goal is to provide students with opportunities to receive volunteer experience in clinics and hospitals within LA County. Furthermore, he is on the executive board for the USC Emergency Medical Services organization (EMSC), working as a volunteer EMT during campus events. Lastly, Kelvin is the lead research associate at the Center for Health Financing, Policy, and Management, working on topics such as healthcare utilization. In the future, Kelvin hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in primary care. In his free time, Kelvin enjoys cooking, physical exercise, and spending time with friends and family.


Andrew Otterson

Student Research Assistant

aotterso@usc.edu


Andrew Otterson is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California perusing a degree in Global Health in the Keck School of Medicine, set to graduate in December 2021. At USC, Andrew has served as a member of the American Red Cross, AIESEC, and the LGBTQ+ Peer Mentoring Program. Andrew is also a regular volunteer at Being Alive, a HIV service organization serving all of Los Angeles County by providing low to no-cost mental health, and health and wellness programs. Andrew has also volunteered as a COPE Health Scholar at California Hospital Medical Center in Downtown LA. In the future, Andrew hopes to obtain a master's degree at USC in Neuroimaging and Informatics. His long-term goal is to attend medical school and explore the mind-body health connection through a career in neuroscience. In his free time, Andrew enjoys exploring the outdoors, surfing, practicing meditation, and spending time with his friends and family.   


Hanna Raskin

Student Research Assistant

hraskin@usc.edu


Hanna Raskin is a rising undergraduate senior at the University of Southern California pursuing a degree in Neuroscience at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. On campus, Hanna has served on the executive board at USC Hillel for three years working to create mental health and wellness programming for students. Hanna is also training to become a postpartum doula so that she can support new parents in their healing process and parenting journey. In the future, Hanna hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In her free time, Hanna enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, practicing yoga, lifting weights, and gardening.


Frequent Collaborators

David Black, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences

davidbla@usc.edu
(323) 442-8223
DOWNLOAD CV
https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-black-phd-mph-2b9637a0/
Biobehavioral Research in Mind-Body Medicine laboratory (Biomind)|https://biomind.usc.edu
campus (mindful.usc.edu)|https://mindful.usc.edu
global (goAMRA.org)|https://goAMRA.org
https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Mindfulness-Research-Association-AMRA/101978449882177?ref=br_tf
http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=9QIzyCwAAAAJ&hl=en


Dr. David S. Black is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and faculty member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research focuses on the delivery and evaluation of mind-body medicine modalities, specifically mindfulness training, in order to modify psychological stress and other mental/physical health symptoms and states. He is broadly interested in how mind-body approaches impact stress biology, specifically neuroendocrine and immune system function in humans. His studies incorporate both observational and experimental methodology with measurements quantified by survey, brain imaging, gene expression, and biomarker (from saliva and blood) research. The overall goal of this work is to elucidate the harmonious interactions between mind and body, and to inform how these interactions can be harnessed for the prevention and treatment of psychological suffering and disease states in order to promote public health.

Raina Pang, PhD

Assistant Professor of Research Population and Public Health Sciences

rpang@usc.edu
(323) 442-7251
DOWNLOAD CV


Broadly speaking my research interest lies in understanding sex/gender differences and women specific factors in addiction. As part of these efforts, I have completed a postdoctoral fellowship investigating the interactive role of menstrual cycle and nicotine on response inhibition and smoking behavior using laboratory based behavioral pharmacology. Currently, I am PI on a five year study aimed at understanding within and between subject effects of ovarian hormones on mood and smoking behavior across the menstrual cycle using ecological momentary assessment.