Meet the Experts

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

Meet the Post-Doctoral Fellows

Dr. Ashley Dowd
Dr. Bryan Jenkins
Dr. Harrison Elder

Meet the Research Program Coordinators

Lauren Pollak

Lauren has been with the Cannabis Science Lab as a Senior 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.

Hayleigh Tilton

Hayleigh Tilton is a Research Program Supervisor 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 Supervisor 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 the 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.

Neil Batra

Neil Batra joined the CSL in late 2022 as a Senior 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. 

Destiny Schriefer

Destiny joined the Cannabis Science Lab in 2023 as a Research Program Coordinator after graduating with her Master of Science in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include the behavioral pharmacology of cannabis, opioids, and novel substances as well as treatments and harm reduction services for substance use disorders. She hopes to pursue a PhD in a related field. Her current research in the CSL focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral and vaped Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC as well as the combined drug effects of THC, CBD, and caffeine. In her free time, she enjoys roller skating and spending time with her two bunnies.

McKenna Klausner

McKenna Klausner is a research program coordinator after recently graduating from Wake Forest University. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. At Wake Forest, she was a part of a pharmacology lab that investigated the impact of estrogen on brain function and cognition in rodent models of schizophrenia-like symptoms. McKenna is interested in the effects of cannabis on cognition, mental disorders, and sleep. She hopes to continue her education with a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. In her free time, McKenna loves to play soccer, play with her dogs, go for a run, and do embroidery.

Madyson Slutzky

Mady Slutzky is a Research Program Coordinator who joined the CSL in July of 2023. She has a B.S. in the concentration of Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. In the past, she has performed EKG Cardiac Stress Test, VO2Max, VO2subMax, hydrostatic weighing, and Body Composition Testing. She has experience with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, and Childhood schizophrenia. She is interested in observing the effects of cannabis as the response of the anatomy to exposure. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Wellness. She is considering further education in the form of a PhD, however undecided on the focus. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, traveling, and gardening.    

Kriti Rastogi

Kriti Rastogi joined the Cannabis Science Lab in July of 2023 as a Research Coordinator. She graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in neuroscience and psychology and has gone on to earn her master’s degree in public mental health from Johns Hopkins. Her research interests and past experiences include working with primates, anxiety disorders, substance use, and behavioral pharmacology. In her free time, Kriti enjoys painting, spending time in nature, and watching videos of monkeys on Instagram.

Josie Yodzis

Josie joined the CSL in August of 2023 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Political Science degree and a certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. While in college she also worked as an EMT in Baltimore County over her summers. Josie has an interest in Public Health Policy and hopes to pursue her Master’s in Public Health in the near future. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her German Shepherd puppy, Tweety Bird (Birdie), and volunteering at her local fire department (specifically being EMS standby for the local dog show every year!).

Fausto Alvarez

Fausto Alvarez joined the Cannabis Science Lab in August of 2023 as a Research Program Coordinator after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Psychology. His current research in the CSL focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral CBG as well as oral nicotine pouches. He hopes to continue his education by pursuing a MD and specializing in psychiatry. In his free time, Fausto enjoys dancing, listening to music, playing guitar, and practicing jiujitsu.

Noah Patton

Noah joined the CSL as a Research Program Coordinator in fall 2023. He received his degree in neuroscience in 2021 from the University of Chicago, where he worked in research on the acute psychomotor effects of THC, and later on the biochemistry of ion channels. Noah’s research interests include the combinatorial effects of cannabis constituents and THC, as well as the entheogenic and therapeutic applications of cannabis and psychedelics. To satisfy these interests, he hopes to pursue a PhD in neuroscience or a related field. Noah is also an avid pool player, home cook, and rock climber. 

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 the 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
Emily Lee
Lindsay Howard
Mikahla McDeavitt
Ben Huynh
Kushani Shah
Elizabeth Mascone
Riley Robinson
Sara Douglas

Annesha Datta
Diego Kaune
Kareem Chambers