chelsea brown

Psychological & Brain Sciences

Research Interests

My research focuses on the neurobiology of the reward system. I use molecular and chemogenetic techniques to investigate the proteins and circuits underlying methamphetamine use in mouse models. My hope is that elucidating changes in the brain that come with drug exposure will advance the development of addiction treatment and further our understanding of motivation and reward. 

Mentoring Experiences

Mentoring undergraduates has been an integral part of my graduate school experience. It has not only enabled my research progress, but also deepened my scientific understanding and strengthened my communication and leadership skills. Because the efforts of my research assistants are so essential, they have a great deal of responsibility, for which it is my duty to prepare them. This strategy requires initial effort to teach them but produces independent researchers who eventually lead their own studies. Though it is bittersweet to lose them from my projects, it is even more rewarding to witness them thrive in a more advanced position. 

Meaning of the Award

Mentorship in a laboratory environment is significant to me because working as a research assistant was my most meaningful undergraduate experience. UCSB has some wonderful research mentorship programs that deserve more attention, including the California Alliance for Minority Participation, the UC Leadership Excellence Through Advanced Degrees program, and the Psychological and Brain Sciences department's mentorship program, and I appreciate the Graduate Division and Fiona and Michael Goodchild's efforts to promote them. I feel honored to be recognized as an example of distinguished mentorship, which is such important work.