M.D., UAMS College of Medicine, 2013-present
Ph.D., UAMS Graduate School, Brain Imaging Research Center, 2015-present
B.S., Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, 2011
I am currently a NIDA T32 sponsored MD/PhD student working on the completion of my PhD training in the Brain Imaging Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. My dissertation project involves testing a computational model of fear learning for its ability to predict variable tendencies for fear recovery in women with PTSD, a population highly prone to substance use disorders, as well as to investigate the effects of dopamine neurotransmission (as per genetic and L-DOPA drug dose variables) on fear generalization. My first experience in neuroimaging was an internship at the UAMS Brain Imaging Research Center in 2014, where I investigated differences in resting-state brain connectivity associated with drug abuse liability, trauma history, and variance in self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation in adolescent girls. From 2012 to 2013, I studied the effects of ovarian hormones on serotonergic neurotransmission at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, to uncover the mechanisms by which these systems influence SSRI drug efficacy and animal models of depression. My first research experience was in 2010, where I cloned and tested the properties of a novel GABA-rho receptor prior to its use in basic research on GABA receptor microstructure.
My interests include characterizing network-level mechanisms of neural dysfunction which can distinguish groups and individuals more accurately than clinically observed symptomatology and therefore guide more empirical selection of treatments for psychiatry disorders. Particularly, I see promise in the use of nonlinear computational modelling to extend our ability to test hypotheses which match the complexity of the behavioral phenomena we wish to understand. I am interested in combining this approach with multiple modalities of experimentation (e.g. fMRI, pharmacological modulation) to enhance its explanatory and therapeutic potential.
Zielinski, M. J., Privratsky, A. A., Steele, J. S., Smitherman, S., Kilts, C. D., Herringa, R. J., & Cisler, J. M. (2016, August). Development Moderates the Effect of Interpersonal Violence on Resting-State Network Connectivity. Manuscript under review.
Benmansour, S., Adeniji, O. S., Privratsky, A. A., & Frazer, A. Effects of Long-Term Treatment with Estradiol and Estrogen Receptor Subtype Agonists on Serotonergic Function in Ovariectomized Rats. Neuroendocrinology. 2015. PMC4698103.
Benmansour, S., Privratsky, A., Adeniji, O., & Frazer, A. Signaling mechanisms involved in the acute effects of estradiol on 5-HT clearance. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014;17:765-77. PMC3969768.