Faculty Mentors

Laura O’Dell, PhD

Department of Psychology
University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. O’Dell is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Arizona State University. She conducted post-doctoral training at Amethyst Technologies and The Scripps Research Institute, where she was also a staff scientist. In recent years, Dr. O’Dell’s research program is focused on the neural mechanisms that promote tobacco use in vulnerable populations, such as adolescents, females, and persons with diabetes. Her laboratory combines neurochemical and molecular approaches with behavioral models to study the neural basis of addiction to substances, such as nicotine and alcohol. Her research program is supported by a R01 grant from the NIDA and a Basic Science Award from the American Diabetes Association.

Selected Publications:
O’Dell, L. E., & Nazarian, A. (2016). Enhanced vulnerability to tobacco use in persons with diabetes: A behavioral and neurobiological framework. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry65, 288-296.

Torres, O. V., & O’Dell, L. E. (2016). Stress is a principal factor that promotes tobacco use in females. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry65, 260-268.

Torres, O. V., Gentil, L. G., Natividad, L. A., Carcoba, L. M., & O’Dell, L. E. (2015). Behavioral, biochemical, and molecular indices of stress are enhanced in female versus male rats experiencing nicotine withdrawal. Brain Reward & Stress Systems in Addiction, 161.