Skip to main content


TRAC is comprised of a number of established research groups whose expertise ranges from basic science to treatment of substance use.

Michael C. Gibson Addiction Research Program Therese A. Kosten, Ph.D., PI

Director, Therese Koston, Ph.D.
Dr. Therese Kosten was recently being recruited from Baylor College of Medicine. Her team will take a neurobehavioral perspective to study the contributions of genetic and environmental influences (stress, sex differences, early life exposure) on addiction behavior and research the pharmacological and translational development of drug targets for alcoholism.

Behavioral Neuroscience Lab

Director, J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.
Dr. Leasure's lab uses animal models to study the effects of exercise on brain healing after damage. The focus  is on exercise-driven changes to glia and vasculature, which form a supportive network that keeps neurons healthy. Dr. Leasure believes that brain health is best promoted by targeting glia and vasculature, both of which respond well to exercise. Presently, the lab is focused on exercise-induced changes to glia and vasculature following damage caused by binge alcohol exposure or cranial radiation.

Social Influences and Health Behaviors Lab

Director, Clayton Neighbors, Ph.D.
Dr. Neighbors group’s focus is social psychological principles related to etiology, prevention, and treatment of health related behaviors, particularly alcohol and substance use. Their research findings on social norms and application to prevention and intervention will be disseminated to stakeholders and will make practical and meaningful contributions to reduce use and impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Developmental Psychopathology Lab

Director, Carla Sharp, Ph.D.
Dr. Sharp is a developmental psychopathologist who uses a variety of methods (behavioral experiments, functional neuroimaging and survey) to examine reward-related processing in social and non-social contexts as it relates to psychiatric outcomes in youth, including problems of addiction. Recently, her work has been extended to include a translational focus with emphasis on developing and testing social-cognitive interventions in populations likely to suffer from addiction and related conditions.

Cognitive Neuropsychology of Daily Life (CNDL) Laboratory

Director, Steven Woods, Psy.D.
The team’s research aims to improve the clinical detection, prediction, and management of real-world health outcomes (e.g., medication taking behaviors) in addictions, including methampetamine use disorders and related health conditions. Their approach is to identify and understand relevant theories and associated constructs from basic cognitive neuropsychology and to develop and test theory-driven hypotheses regarding the sensitivity of those constructs to specific types of brain dysfunction and real-world health outcomes. The ultimate goal is to translate those laboratory findings into clinically useful tests and novel treatments.

The Anxiety and Health Research Lab / Substance Use Treatment Clinic (AHRL-SUTC)

Director, Michael Zvolensky, Ph.D., Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor
Dr. Zvolensky’s research laboratory and treatment clinic is designed for the study, assessment, and prevention / treatment of anxiety-substance use disorders, as well as for the general promotion of positive health behavior changes. Active research projects include substance use and cessation of tobacco, marijuana, and psychological well-being among HIV/AIDS Individuals. It is also a teaching laboratory that trains undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and visiting scholars in the measurement, analysis, and integration of processes that govern anxiety-substance use relations and their physical health and socioeconomic correlates.