Ivy Hoang: Graduate Student
Ivy earned her B.S. in Physiology/Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology from UCSD in 2017. Beginning her third year of her undergraduate career, she worked as a student intern-researcher for Dr. Olivier George and his lab at Scripps Research, where she became involved in projects investigating the CRF stress systems in animal models of alcoholism using neuropharmacological approaches.
Upon graduating, she began work as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Pietro Sanna at Scripps Research. She helped design, manage, and execute experiments alongside postdocs and staff scientists, but primarily worked on projects looking at the cognitive deficits associated with immunosuppressed systems (i.e. animal models of HIV/neuroAIDs). Because of her previous experience with models of addiction, she was heavily involved in experiments involving drug self-administration (e.g. alcohol, methamphetamine, etc.) which looked at the interplay between immunocompromised systems and drug addiction.
Through her role as a research assistant, she was able to engage in the entirety of scientific studies from start to finish, while also exploring her own research interests. This led her to join the Sharpe lab at UCLA as a PhD student in the Behavioral Neuroscience area of the Department of Psychology. Ivy has keen interests in investigating the LH-VTA dopamine learning circuit and how disruptions in this neural circuitry can produce psychopathology (e.g. substance abuse, schizophrenia, etc.), and likewise, how these neuropsychological disorders can affect learning and decision-making behaviors.
When not working or studying, Ivy enjoys doodling in her journal, snacking on potato chips, listening to music (most likely 2000’s jams), and spending quality time with her family and friends.