Chelsea Robertson

Chelsea Robertson is a PhD candidate in the Molecular and Medical Pharmacology department at UCLA and joined Dr. Edythe London’s laboratory at the Semel institute for Neuroscience and Human behavior in 2010. She received her BSc in Pharmacology from UC Santa Barbara with a minor in Health and Exercise Science, and spent 3 years working in the pharmaceutical industry with Gilead Sciences investigating the therapeutic effects of pharmacological interventions for cardiac arrhythmias and diabetic indices.

As part of her dissertation research at UCLA, Chelsea utilizes positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to identify the dopaminergic molecular underpinnings of self-control and impulsivity in both healthy volunteers and those with drug addictions. She is interested in examining the neurochemical and cognitive changes in the brain during the course of abstinence from drugs and in response to an exercise intervention in order to improve treatment strategies for patients with substance-use disorders.

Outside of the lab, Chelsea is an active member of the UCLA Business of Science Center, the Advanced Degree Consulting Club, and the Association of Women in Science and Engineering. Outside of UCLA, Chelsea enjoys yoga, meditation and taking advantage of the beautiful Los Angeles weather by walking, hiking, exploring and enjoying the beach. She also likes to avoid LA traffic, which never happens.


Robertson CL, BermanSM, London ED (2013) Molecular Imaging in Addictive Disorders. In: The Neurobiology of Mental illness, 4th Edition (Charney DS NE, Sklar P, Buxbaum JD, ed). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ishibashi K, Robertson CL, Mandelkern MA, Morgan AT, London ED (2013) The simplified reference tissue model with 18F-fallypride positron emission tomography: choice of reference region. Mol Imaging 12.

Kohno M, Ghahremani DG, Morales AM, Robertson CL, Ishibashi K, Morgan AT, Mandelkern MA, London ED (2013) Risk-Taking Behavior: Dopamine D2/D3 Receptors, Feedback, and Frontolimbic Activity. Cereb Cortex.

Ghahremani DG, Lee B, Robertson CL, Tabibnia G, Morgan AT, De Shetler N, Brown AK, Monterosso JR, Aron AR, Mandelkern MA, Poldrack RA, London ED (2012) Striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptors mediate response inhibition and related activity in frontostriatal neural circuitry in humans. J Neurosci 32:7316-7324.

Brown AK, Mandelkern MA, Farahi J, Robertson CL, Ghahremani DG, Sumerel B, Moallem N, London ED (2012) Sex differences in striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability in smokers and non-smokers. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 15:989-994.

Zorick T, Lee B, Mandelkern MA, Fong T, Robertson CL, Ghahremani DG, Brown AK, Sumerel B, London ED (2012) Low striatal dopamine receptor availability linked to caloric intake during abstinence from chronic methamphetamine abuse. Mol Psychiatry 17:569-571.


Ishibashi K, Berman SM, Paz-Filho G, Lee B, Robertson CL, Mandelkern MA, Wong ML, Licinio J, London ED (2012) Dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability in genetically leptin-deficient patients after long-term leptin replacement. Mol Psychiatry 17:352-353.

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