Department of Psychology

Laboratory of Alcoholism and Addictions Neuroscience (LAAN)



Last updated: 10 / 2014




Brendan Walker, Ph.D.

Dr. Walker received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the Psychology Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. During his time at UCSB, he was mentored by Dr. Aaron Ettenberg, and conducted research focusing on opiate / benzodiazepine interactions in animal models of reward and reinforcement and the neurobiology of ethanol reward. Upon graduation, he initiated postdoctoral studies with Dr. George Koob at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the Department of Neuropharmacology (today known as the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders). While at TSRI he focused on alterations in opioid peptide systems during the transition to dependence. In 2008, Dr. Walker came to WSU and started the LAAN. In 2012, Dr. Walker was promoted to a Associate Professor of Psychology with Tenure)..


Postdoctoral Research Associate(s)


Sunil Sirohi, Ph.D.

I received my undergraduate degree (B. Pharm.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Guru Jambheshwar University, India, and M.S., Ph.D degree in Pharmacology from St. John's University, NY. My graduate research work was largely based on studying various functional effects produced by different efficacy opioid antagonists and role of opioid agonist efficacy and treatment protocol in opioid receptor regulation, opioid analgesic tolerance and dependence. Dr. Walker’s lab has been exciting while we explore the biochemical, behavioral and neuropharm-acological aspects of alcohol and drug dependence.


Graduate Student(s)


Anthony Berger, B.S. - Grad Student

I am currently a graduate student at Washington State University.  I moved from Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ to attend Arizona State University where I earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology.  At ASU, I was a Research Assistant in a neuroscience lab which focused on the mechanisms underlying cocaine addiction.  I worked on projects that involved mediating symptoms of cocaine use through manipulation of the serotonin system and exploring genetic changes induced by cocaine self-administration.  At WSU, I plan to further explore the neurobiology of motivation and addiction.



Jessica Kissler, B.S. - Grad Student

I graduated from WSU Honors College in 2011 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. As I had already been an undergraduate researcher in the LAAN during my senior, I had the opportunity to apply for (and get) a Research Technician position in the LAAN, which I have held for over a year. I am now starting graduate school at WSU with Dr. Walker as my mentor.



Past LAAN Researchers












































Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164