Dr. Bates is Distinguished Research Professor and associate director of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies (CAS). She directs the Research Division and the Cardiac Neuroscience Laboratory at CAS. The mission of this multidisciplinary lab is to conduct integrated physiology, psychology and neuroscience research aimed at understanding alcohol and other drug effects on behavioral flexibility, and developing innovative bio-behavioral treatment approaches for persons with alcohol and drug use disorders. The lab is especially interested in learning how visceral bodily reactions are integrated with cognitive and emotional regulation through the baroreflex feedback loop.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of studies (see our website for more details http://research.alcoholstudies.rutgers.edu/active/cardiac-neuroscience-laboratory-cnl):

  1. Acute alcohol effects on psychophysiological arousal in relation to cognitive and emotional regulation and risk for substance use disorders
  2. Research at the Rutgers Brain Imaging Center (RUBIC), Rutgers-Newark, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychophysiological assessment tools to understand brain-body feedback systems during cue reactivity and breathing challenges
  3. Collaborative research with computational modelers at UC-Santa Barbara and AIMdyn, Inc., to build a personalized medicine model of resonance breathing intervention effects
  4. Randomized clinical trial of resonance breathing as an adjunct to treatment as usual with a community partner/treatment provider, The Center for Great Expectations (New Brunswick, NJ), to interrupt reactivity to triggers and negative affective states that promote relapse
  5. Collaborative research with neuroscientists and exercise scientists on college depression and risky alcohol use

Rising sophomore and junior undergraduates are encouraged to apply because the most valuable lab experience comes from a multi-year emersion in the lab. Post-baccalaureates seeking to do research in the gap year(s) before starting graduate school are especially welcome.  Prior research experience is not required, but useful. Key skills include attention to detail, dependability, ease with learning new software, and a desire to learn in a high-tech, multi-disciplinary lab. Students will be provided with comprehensive hands-on training.

Many of our previous students have gone on to gain admission to highly competitive Ph.D. and M.D. programs.

Contact: Marsha E. Bates, Ph.D., Research Professor, Center of Alcohol Studies