Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience

Department of Psychology

University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Serafine is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She currently serves as the Graduate Program Director for doctoral and master's programs in Psychology and as the Co-Director of the Undergraduate Neuroscience major at UTEP. Dr. Serafine earned her B.A. in psychology from Norwich University in Northfield, VT., and her M.A. in psychology as well as her Ph.D. in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience from American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Serafine was appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2015 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 2021. Dr. Serafine’s research interests include examining the impact of diet and drug history on abuse vulnerability. Recently, Dr. Serafine's research has also focused on sex differences in drug sensitivity, and the neurochemical and behavioral overlap between drug abuse and food-related conditions, such as obesity and binge eating disorder. She has over 20 peer-reviewed publications and an edited book chapter. Dr. Serafine is currently the Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences focused on examining the impact of diet on sensitivity of rats to opioid pain-relieving drugs.

Dr. Serafine was selected to be the 2018-2019 Biomedical Research Awareness Day Fellow by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Americans for Medical Progress. In 2019, she was also named as one of fewer than 30 "Future Research Leaders" by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Serafine was selected as the 2022/2023 American Psychological Association Executive Branch Science Fellow. Dr. Serafine also engages in community outreach, by visiting local K-12 schools to talk to students about careers in STEM research.

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