Neuroscience and Behavior
Leo earned a BAs in Psychology and Spanish from California Baptist University in 2015. Following his undergraduate studies, Leo worked in behavioral health case management, developing and mobilizing treatment plans for adolescents with mental health afflictions. In 2017, Leo completed his MS in Research Psychology and Data Analytics from Azusa Pacific University. After receiving the NSF GRFP fellowship in 2017, Leo began his doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Karen Szumlinski at UCSB.
My current research is focused on the neurobehavioral and biomolecular effects of adolescent alcohol binge-drinking. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how an early onset of binge-drinking plays a role in the onset and progression of affective and cognitive decline in both males and females. This project employs a well-established murine model of alcohol binge-drinking, a range of classic behavioral paradigms, and immunohistochemistry approaches in order to provide indices of neuropathology within brain regions regulating cognition and affect.
[adolescent alcohol binge-drinking, alcohol-related neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive impairments, neuropathology of neurodegeneration, sex differences, rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive functioning ]