Meet the Team

Edith Vioni Sullivan, Ph.D.

Dr. Sullivan, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, uses multiple neuroimaging modalities and component process analysis of cognitive, sensory, and motor functioning to identify brain structural and functional mechanisms disrupted in diseases affecting the brain. Target conditions include alcoholism, HIV infection, and normal development and aging from adolescence to senescence. Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), and MR diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are acquired in animal models of alcoholism in parallel with the human studies. Multi-site research projects examine 1) the development of the adolescent brain and neuropsychological function and how initiation of hazardous drinking and consumption of other drugs of abuse alter normal trajectories of brain structure and function (National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence: NCANDA.org); 2) the effects of high alcohol exposure on brain structure and function in animal models (Integrated Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism: INIA-west.org); and 3) the use of neuroimaging, neuropsychology, and biomarkers of nutrition in alcoholics, with and without Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and controls to compare and contrast the effects of alcohol on brain structure and function across 3 countries: the US, France, and Korea. With more than 300 peer-reviewed publications in national and international journals, the American Psychological Association, the International Neuropsychological Society, the Research Society on Alcoholism, and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have recognized Dr. Sullivan for her outstanding contributions to the fields of neuropsychology and neuroimaging. Coupled with an NIAAA K05 Senior Mentor Award and a MERIT Award, this integrated research program provides a rich environment for mentoring promising young investigators, who will be the next generation of scientists dedicated to the field of alcohol and addiction research

Rosemary Fama, Ph.D.

Dr. Fama, a clinical and research neuropsychologist with a broad background in investigating brain-behavior relations, has special interest in component processes of memory and underlying neural networks. Dr. Fama has made substantial contributions to the investigation of neural correlates of memory impairment such as those observed in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, an amnesia associated with thiamine deficiency in individuals with chronic heavy alcoholism. Her current research focuses on how cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning are affected by chronic heavy drinking in adults and adolescents, how comorbid conditions affect these processes, and what neural correlates are associated with these functions. Translational goals are to inform treatment and improve quality of life.

Eva M. Müller-Oehring, Dr. rer. nat.

Dr. Muller-Oehring, a neuropsychologist, focuses on relations between brain structure and function using multimodal imaging approaches (e.g., MRI, DTI, resting state MRI, functional MRI) in healthy and disease. Her current work is aimedat a mechanistic understanding of the combined effects of aging and neuroinflammation in HIV on cognition and motor function in comparison with age-related neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson’s disease; neurofunctional mechanisms of automatic attentional bias (toward salient events, emotional and alcohol cues) and negative priming, and their role for relapse and the treatment of alcohol use disorders (AUD); and the effects of age, sex, and alcohol use during adolescence.

Anne-Pascale Le Berre, Ph.D.

Dr. Le Berre, a neuropsychologist, has made contributions in the joint fields of neuropsychology and neuroimaging of alcoholism and alcoholism-related memory disorders. During training, her work included assessment of patients with Alcoholic Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This experience directed her current focus toward identifying neurological mechanisms of the lack of awareness, i.e., anosognosia. Her studies concern memory disorders observed in newly detoxified alcoholic patients and combine metamemory behavioral assessment with structural and functional MRI. Dr. Le Berre contributes significantly to ongoing multi-site, international studies conducted in France and the United States

Natalie M. Zahr, Ph.D.

Dr. Zahr, a translational neuroscientist, conducts human and rodent studies using in vivo MR imaging and spectroscopy. She is particularly interested in how the effects of alcohol on peripheral physiological processes may contribute to changes in the central nervous system. Her rodent work has thus explored the potential contribution of alcohol to liver, nutrition, and peripheral inflammatory mechanisms of brain changes.