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Join us for  “Towards a neurobiological understanding of how sleep links with drug use” a keynote presentation by Dr. Rui Zhang, School of Medicine – Psychiatry,  and Psychological Sciences MizzouForward faculty candidate.  Dr. Zhang will present on her research for approximately 40-minutes with a 20-minute question and answer session to follow.


Rui Zhang received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Marburg, Germany. In 2018, she obtained her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Technical University of Dresden (TU Dresden), Germany. During her PhD, Dr. Zhang's research centered around examining cognitive inhibition processes and their modulators in both healthy volunteers and clinical populations using EEG.  Following the completion of her PhD, Dr. Zhang was granted a German overseas research fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). She joined Dr. Nora Volkow’s lab at National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she expanded her expertise in neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI and PET. After completing her two-year fellowship, Dr. Zhang continued to work as a research fellow in Dr. Volkow's lab, focusing on investigating neurobiological mechanisms associated with sleep/circadian disruptions in individuals with substance use disorders using a multimodal imaging approach. Recently, she was awarded a k99/R00 grant to examine sleep and circadian rhythm in patients with opioid use disorder and the effects of a sleep/circadian intervention. 


Sleep is both important for preventing and treating substance use disorder. As of now, the current lack of an effective sleep intervention for substance use disorder poses a significant challenge, suggesting an intricate relationship between sleep and drug use. To tackle this challenge, my current research focuses on uncovering neurobiological mechanisms that link sleep with drug use at the molecular, structural, and functional levels. My work has significantly contributed to the field by shedding light on how different sleep components contribute to drug use through different neural pathways and illuminating the dynamic relationship between sleep, brain, and drug use across different addiction stages. 


You can access Dr. Zhang’s CV via OneDrive here:

​pdf icon cv_zhang_MU.pdf  (University log in required to access)


After the keynote, please provide candidate feedback with our brief survey.

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