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Jacqueline Paniccia, a graduate student in Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience, is the recipient of a 2019 Baughman Dissertation Research Award.

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC offers the Earl and Barbara Baughman Dissertation Research Award annually to 2-3 top researchers within the department. The purpose of this award is to promote and support innovative dissertation research in our department and to support award recipients in their completion of their dissertation projects.

Jackie won for her dissertation titled “Hippocampal Neuroimmune Interactions Mediate Heroin-Conditioned Peripheral Immunomodulation.” Repeated use of heroin in a certain environment creates an association between the drug and contextual stimuli. Exposure to these heroin-paired cues can induce cravings, drive drug seeking, and elicit heroin-conditioned effects, such as an impaired immune response. In her dissertation, Jackie is investigating the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the context-heroin association responsible for heroin-conditioned immune responses. She will receive a Baughman Dissertation Award of $6,000 to support her innovative research and dissertation project. Congratulations, Jackie!

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