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Dr Zayra Millan 
University of New South Wales 

Chief Investigator  

Dr Millan’s research program examines how the brain controls alcohol consumption. Her research spans neuropharmacology, cognitive models of decision-making, associative learning, and direct stimulation of brain circuits to curb alcohol consumption. She focuses primarily on the brain’s limbic-striatal system, prefrontal cortex and paraventricular thalamus, and uses preclinical animal models of relapse, abstinence, and decision-making, combined with state-of-the-art optical tools, to probe, image and map critical brain circuits. Currently, she is using computational models and machine learning frameworks to identify clusters of cells that can predict drinking and decision-making.    

Dr Millan did a combined Master of Psychology (Clinical) and PhD at the University of New South Wales. During her clinical training, she worked with individuals seeking treatment for alcohol consumption and studied brain circuits of relapse in animal models. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco, then at the Johns Hopkins University, and is now a lecturer at the University of New South Wales.  

Her research is currently funded by international and national grants, including the NARSAD Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (Young Investigator Grant) and the NHMRC (through an NHMRC Ideas Grant, and an NHMRC Synergy Grant).  

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