Meet the Experts

Dr. Ryan Vandrey
Dr. Elise Weerts
Dr. Tory Spindle
Dr. Dustin Lee
Dr. Justin Strickland
Dr. Cassie Moore

Meet the Post-Doctoral Fellows

Dr. Austin Zamarripa
Dr. Ashley Dowd
Dr. Bryan Jenkins

Meet the Research Program Coordinators

Riley Robinson

Riley Robinson is a Research Program Coordinator and joined the CSL in 2021 after graduating from UMBC with a B.A. in psychology. In school she focused on abnormal psychopathology. She also has a passion for forensic psychology, and hopes to begin her PhD in Forensic Psychology in the next few years. After school she hopes to do research into reducing recidivism rates among the incarcerated population, specifically juveniles, in Baltimore City. In her spare time she enjoys axe throwing, gardening, baking, and flow hoop dancing. With the CSL she currently does research focused on the terpenes found in the cannabis plant, and what behavioral influence those terpenes may have when ingested.

Lauren Pollak

Lauren has been with the Cannabis Science Lab as a Research Program Coordinator since January 2020. She has her B.A. in Psychology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland as well as her M.S. in Clinical Research Administration through Laureate International Universities. She is primarily interested in substance use disorders, mental illness, and psychopharmacology, as well as regulatory issues and strategies to protect the health and safety of research subject participants. Lauren hopes to work in the pharmaceutical industry in the future, helping to bring new therapeutic products to the market for myriad mental health conditions. In her free time, Lauren races her sailboat (a Laser Radial dinghy) and also enjoys walking her golden retriever, running, and practicing yoga. Lauren works on both acute and chronic dosing studies, examining the effects of vaporized THC in combination with isolated terpenes as well as the effects of oral CBD when chronically consumed.

Sara Douglas

Sara Douglas is a research coordinator after recently graduating from Washington college. Upon graduation, she received a degree in both sociology and psychology. Her research interests primarily include social psychology, media psychology (impact of social media usage of consumers), psychopathology, the school to prison pipeline, and the socio-cultural impacts of drug legalization in the U.S. In the future, she hopes to be accepted into a master’s program in the social psychology field. Her hobbies include playing soccer, trying new coffee shops, and going on hikes with friends. In the cannabis lab, she works on a drug interaction study focusing on the interaction between cannabis and commonly ingested pharmaceuticals. She also works on a study that explores the impacts of topical CBD on drug testing.

Hayleigh Tilton

Hayleigh Tilton is a Research Program Coordinator in the Cannabis Science Laboratory. She graduated with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry from Florida State University, where she was able to work on research involving anxiety sensitivity’s relationship to cannabis use. Hayleigh’s research interests include the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis as well as the neuropsychopharmacology of psychedelic drugs and their implications on consciousness. She is looking to continue her education with a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience in order to continue studying these drugs and their effects on the human mind. In her free time, Hayleigh enjoys yoga, traveling, live music, drug harm-reduction, and cross-stitching. Her current projects are focused on the pharmacology of hemp-based topical products and drug-drug interactions with edible cannabis.

Spencer Lin

Spencer joined the CSL as a Research Program Coordinator in August of 2021, after earning his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. In the CSL, Spencer works on both THC and CBD research, studying the effects of topical CBD products and the individual and combined effects of nicotine and cannabis. Spencer is interested in research on pharmacodynamics of commonly used substances, especially regarding impairment. He is also interested in counseling psychology and plans to pursue a Ph.D. program in clinical or counseling psychology in the near future. In his free time, Spencer enjoys photographing squirrels, cooking, cycling, and gaming.

Kushani Shah

Kushani has been with the Cannabis Science Laboratory since May 2021. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois. Her primary research interests are substance use, co-occurring mental illness and addiction, therapeutic use of substances, as well as forensic psychology, wherein providing effective mental health treatment for the incarcerated population. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in a clinical psychology program soon. Currently, Kushani works on two projects that aim to understand the impact of oral cannabis and alcohol administration on impairment as well as the behavioral pharmacology of nicotine and cannabis. In her spare time, Kushani loves to read, bike, hike, play board games, and collect ocean-scented candles.

Ben Huynh

Ben joined CSL in February 2022, after he studied at the University of Maryland and graduated in spring 2020 with a degree in Family Science, a subfield of public health focusing on social determinants of health and psychology. He is interested in studying trauma, its effects, and effectiveness of various coping skills/strategies. He is also interested in addressing racial health equity and health outcomes of incarcerated individuals. His future goals are to continue his education in public health and serve as an advocate for prison reform and minority mental health equity. In Ben’s spare time, he enjoys reading & writing poetry, and playing tennis & basketball. He is also a sucker for a good sitcom. His favorite sitcom is Community and is currently enjoying Abbott Elementary. At the lab, Ben’s research focus is on the combined effects of tobacco and cannabis. 

Mikahla McDeavitt

Mikahla arrived at the BPRU in February 2022, after graduating from UC San Diego the previous year with a B.S in Human Developmental Sciences and a minor in Psychology. Mikahla hopes to enhance her understanding of the intersectionality  between behavior and drug interventions. She aims to obtain a Ph.D in clinical psychology or developmental psychology. In her spare time, Mikahla enjoys practicing yoga, painting and exploring the city of Baltimore. Mikahla is currently working on a study that is investigating different doses of CBD and its biological and cognitive effects on human subjects. 

Bess Mascone

Bess is a Research Program Coordinator in the Cannabis Science Laboratory. She graduated from Washington College with a BS in Psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and Sociology. During undergrad, she was able to work in a preclinical lab researching biological differences of addiction vulnerability. She enjoys researching the potential behavioral benefits of using medicinal marijuana to treat symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the intersectional stigmatization disabled populations would face with illicit drug use due to drug policy. She hopes to pursue a master’s in social work (MSW). On her spare time, she enjoys going for walks, hikes, and watching Netflix.

Lindsay Howard

After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Gettysburg College, Lindsay joined the CSL in 2022 as a Research Program Coordinator. In school she mainly became interested in behavioral neuroscience and human cognition. She hopes to pursue a PhD in psychopharmacology or behavioral neuroscience in the next few years. Her hobbies include running, hanging out on her family’s boat, and playing with her dog. In the cannabis lab, she plans on studying the pharmacokinetics of different cannabinoid compounds and plans to work with chronic CBD dosing.

Neil Batra

Neil Batra joined the CSL in late 2022 as a Research Program Coordinator. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 2013 and has been working in medical research since 2009. Over the past decade and a half, his research has focused on vascular and adipose biology with an emphasis on inflammation, oxidative stress, and atherosclerosis as well as mechanisms of atherothrombosis and optimization of antithrombotic therapies. Neil came to Johns Hopkins University in October 2020 and joined the Healthy Aging Studies Unit as a Research Program Coordinator within the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology. He is currently enrolled in the Medical Cannabis and Science and Therapeutics Master of Science program at the UMB School of Pharmacy and hopes to use his experience to help older adults with complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When not in the office, you can find Neil hiking in the mountains around the DMV, performing at the Baltimore Improv Group theater, or playing with his two cats Kale and Arugula. 

Meet the Student Interns

Allie Hausker

Allie is a Senior at Johns Hopkins University studying Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. She works in the preclinical research division on projects relating to the behavioral pharmacology of cannabinoids with a particular focus on inflammatory pain.

Robbie Kuang

Robbie is an undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying neuroscience and psychology. She is interested in understanding how various substances affect the brain and human behavior, and she hopes to use this knowledge to enhance current therapies and improve drug policies. Robbie hopes to pursue a PhD in neuroscience or psychopharmacology after graduation. Robbie was awarded the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) for research in the CSL under mentorship of Dr. Moore. She is working on a project studying the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on protracted opioid withdrawal. In her free time, she enjoys making bread, playing music, and crocheting.

Meet the Collaborators

Affiliated Johns Hopkins Faculty

Dr. Cecilia Bergeria
Dr. Kelly Dunn
Dr. Annie Umbricht
Dr. Denis Antoine
Dr. Paul B Rosenberg
Dr. Elizabeth Wise
Dr. Jay Salpekar
Dr. Johannes Thrul
Dr. David Wolinsky
Dr. Edward Cone
Dr. Dionna Williams
Dr. Lauren Jantzie

External Scientific Collaborators

Dr. Marcel Bonn-Miller
Dr. Ron Flegel
Dr. Ruth Winecker

Meet the Facilitators

Yvette Rogers, PA-C
Pilar Dutton, LPN
Leeza Wager, PharmD
Robin Clay, RN
Jimler Asis, LPN
Krista Schaefer, CPhT

Lab Alumni

Elia Goffi
Josh Elmore
Erin Martin
Sarah Prince
Jake Freas
Victor Enomanna
Dennis Sholler
Renuka Surujnarain

Annesha Datta
Diego Kaune
Kareem Chambers