Who We Are

Christopher J. Evans, Ph.D.

Professor, Hatos Center Director

Christopher Evans received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London, conducting his thesis research on endorphins and enkephalins, at the Medical Research Council Institute in Mill Hill. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, Dr. Evans joined the UCLA faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science. His research accomplishments have included identification of a number of novel endogenous opioid peptides and the cloning of the first opioid receptor. Dr. Evans was Director of the UCLA Brain Research Institute for over 10 years and is currently a Hatos Professor directing the Shirley and Stefan Hatos Center for Neurophamacology in the UCLA Semel Institute. Dr. Evans is also director of a P50 NIH-funded center - The Center for Study of Opioid Receptors and... more

Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Chemistry & Biochemistry Understanding how the serotonin neurotransmitter system modulates complex behaviors including anxiety, mood, stress responsiveness, and learning and memory. Current holder of the Shirley Hatos Endowed Chair in Clinical Neuropharmacology.

Professor-in-Residence, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine

Molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission, and the relationship between changes in neurotransmitter release and neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative illnesses such as addiction, depression and Parkinson’s disease.

David Krantz is Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. An undergraduate at Brown University, he completed an MD/PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program at UCLA in 1991, where he performed his dissertation on Drosophila eye development with Larry Zipursky. After a residency in psychiatry at UCLA, he was awarded a Howard Hughes... more

Catherine (Cathy) Cahill is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles where she leads basic and translation research on pain and opioid addiction. Dr. Cahill is a member of the scientific planning committee for the World Congress on Pain (International Association for the Study of Pain, IASP) and a former member of the executive council for the International Narcotic Research Conference society. Dr. Cahill’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Drug abuse, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Department of Defense and the Shirley and Stefan Hatos Foundation.

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Brigitte Kieffer, Ph.D.

Scientific Director, Douglas Institute ; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University Molecular psychiatry, addiction and mood disorders, pain, development disorders.

Areas of expertise: Molecular psychiatry, addiction and mood disorders, pain, development disorders

As of January 2014, Brigitte L. Kieffer, PhD, is the new Scientific Director of the Research Centre. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry and the Monique H. Bourgeois Chair in Pervasive Developmental Disorders at the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University.

Dr. Kieffer graduated from the University of Strasbourg, where she later became a Professor. She then went on to become Research Director at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) in France. She developed her main research activity at the Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire (IGBMC) in Strasbourg in 2001 and directed this institute from 2012 to 2013.

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Nigel T. Maidment, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences

Mechanisms of reinforcement are studied using in vivo microdialysis and primary culture measurements of monoamine, amino acid and neuropeptide transmitter release combined with behavioral models in both rats and receptor knockout mice.

Lara Ray, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Dr. Lara Ray has an active program of research on the clinical neuroscience of alcoholism. Her research focuses on translating insights from addiction neurobiology to clinical populations affected by alcoholism. Dr. Ray’s studies apply insights from addiction neuroscience into treatment development for alcoholism, including novel medications tested in the human laboratory and in clinical trials.

X. Willam Yang, M.D, Ph.D.

Professor, Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics ; Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences In the Hatos Center

Dr. Yang focuses on addressing how the BG circuits may control the behaviors related to natural rewards and opioid rewards. Dr. Yang’s laboratory is interested in studying the cortical and basal ganglia (BG) circuitry and molecular mechanisms involved in normal behavioral control and in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease.

Dr. X. William Yang received his undergraduate education at Yale University, obtaining combined B.S./M.S. degrees from the Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry (MB&B) in 1991. He did his master’s thesis research in the laboratory of Professor Joan A. Steitz. He then completed M.D./Ph.D. training at Rockefeller University (Ph.D., 1998) and Weill Medical College of Cornell University (M.D., 2000).... more

Zhan Shu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Hoa Lam

Senior Research Associate

Lindsay Lueptow, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Ana Elias

Senior Administrator

La Tasha Atkins

Administrative Assistant

Patrick O’Neill

Assistant Researcher

Courtney Cameron

Project Scientist

Cherka Kibaly

Lab manager