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Cucinello-Ragland honored with 2024 NIH Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award

Jessi Cucinello-Ragland, PhD, has been named a recipient of the 2024 NIH Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience Award. This award recognizes early-career scientists who demonstrate great promise in neuroscience, highlighting Cucinello-Ragland’s exceptional research and scientific training.

Jessi Cucinello-Ragland, PHD, post-doctoral fellow
Jessi Cucinello-Ragland, PHD

Cucinello-Ragland is a postdoctoral fellow in the Moron-Concepcion Lab, which is known for its innovative approaches to studying pain and addiction. The lab provides a collaborative and resource-rich environment that supports cutting-edge research.

Cucinello-Ragland’s research focuses on neurobiology at the intersection of chronic pain and polysubstance use. Using a combination of behavioral, molecular, pharmacological, and viral approaches, they explore the sex-dependent contributions of endogenous opioids in alcohol-opioid interactions in the context of chronic pain. Specifically, their current work examines the role of amygdalostriatal endogenous opioids in regulating the effects of combined fentanyl use and persistent inflammatory pain on alcohol drinking. The goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets for treating polysubstance use in individuals with chronic pain.

“This award is a tremendous honor and motivation to continue my research,” said Cucinello-Ragland. “I hope my work will contribute to developing effective treatments for those struggling with both chronic pain and substance use disorders.”

Cucinello-Ragland’s work not only advances our understanding of complex neurobiological interactions but also holds promise for developing new treatments for chronic pain and substance use disorders. Congratulations to Cucinello-Ragland on this well-deserved recognition! They will be honored at the OSNAP Symposium, where they will present their research at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, on November 7-8, 2024.