Candice Contet

Principal Investigator

Candice is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA). She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Strasbourg (France) under the mentorship of Dr. Brigitte Kieffer. She pursued her postdoctoral training with Dr. Athina Markou (UCSD) and Dr. George Koob (TSRI). She became Assistant Professor at TSRI in 2011 and has since developed an NIH-funded research program dedicated to the elucidation of molecular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying drug addiction, and excessive alcohol drinking in particular.

Max Kreifeldt

Research Assistant

Max has been a Research Assistant in the Contet lab since 2012. He conducts behavioral testing, alcohol vapor exposure, stereotaxic surgeries, brain sectioning, mouse genotyping, and molecular analyses. He trains students and manages the everyday life of the lab.

Giovana de Macedo

Research Associate

Giovana graduated from Federal University of Sao Paulo in 2017. She joined the Contet lab as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2018. She uses her behavioral expertise to improve the characterization of alcohol abstinence in mice and identify behaviors driven by parasubthalamic CRF neurons. She also contributes to analyzing molecular changes in brain regions of alcohol-dependent animals.

Agbonlahor Okhuarobo

External Graduate Student 

Agbonlahor is a graduate student from the University of Benin, Nigeria, where he is also a Junior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Toxicology. He obtained his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Benin and his Master of Science degree in Pharmacology from the University of East London (UK). He joined the Contet lab for a 2-year research exchange in November 2018. He is currently working on developing a mouse model of the interaction between early life stress and vulnerability to alcohol dependence. He also contributes to our investigation of the role of parasubthalamic CRF neurons in alcohol drinking escalation and withdrawal-associated negative affect.

Pushpita Bhattacharrya

Research Technician

Pushpita graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2018 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science, and joined the Contet lab as a Research Technician in December 2019. She analyzes fiber photometry data to study neural pathways associated with alcohol drinking and dependence in mice. She also analyzes proteomics data to study molecular changes in brain regions of alcohol-dependent mice.


Harpreet Sidhu

Harpreet graduated from University of California Riverside in 2014 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Contet lab from September 2014 to October 2017. She identified molecular, cellular and behavioral alterations associated with withdrawal from chronic alcohol exposure in mice. She was awarded an F32 fellowship from NIAAA to study the implication of matrix metalloproteinases in the transition to alcohol dependence. Harpreet is now a Research and Development Associate at Rinati Skin LLC, Los Angeles, CA.

Scott Goulding

Scott graduated from Colorado University in 2015 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Contet lab from June 2015 to August 2017. He conducted proteomic analysis of brain samples from alcohol-dependent mice and identified novel molecular adaptations driving alcohol drinking escalation. Scott is now a Scientist at Neon Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA.

Undergraduate students

Carissa Perez (University of California San Diego, 2012)

Roxana Shahryari (San Diego Miramar College, 2017-2018)

Ryan Hakim (University of California San Diego, 2018)

Tanvi Shah (Scripps College, 2018-2019)

Sophia Zhu (University of Pennsylvania, 2019)

Thao Nguyen (Newman University, 2019)

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