I am a behavioral neuroscientist whose research focuses on understanding the interactions between addiction, emotions, and memory. Using a rodent model, my team of undergraduate researchers and I employ a number of behavioral, pharmacological, and immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the underlying circuitry and neural mechanisms involved in addiction. Ultimately my research hopes to translate rodent models to human pathology to provide insight into human addiction and potential therapeutic avenues.
Neuroscience, as a field, benefits from being studied by scholars in multiple disciplines and I enjoy taking this same interdisciplinary approach in my teaching. I believe that understanding an organ as complex as the brain can only be achieved by drawing from the strengths of different scientific disciplines. I take this approach into the classroom, covering concepts from psychology, biology, and chemistry, in order to provide students with the most current understanding of the brain.
Ph.D. - Texas A&M University
M.S. - University College London
B.A. - Pepperdine University
Vasquez, J. H., Leong, K. C., Gagliardi, C. M., Harland, B., Apicella, A. J., & Muzzio, I. A. (2019). Pathway specific activation of ventral hippocampal cells projecting to the prelimbic cortex diminishes fear renewal. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 161, 63-71.
Leong, K. C., Cox, S., King, C., Becker, H., & Reichel, C. M. (2018). Oxytocin and rodent models of addiction. International Review of Neurobiology, 140, 201-247.
Leong, K. C., Freeman, L. R., Berini, C. R., Ghee, S. M., See, R. E., & Reichel, C. M. (2017). Oxytocin reduces cocaine cued fos activation in a regionally specific manner. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 20(10), 844-854.
Leong, K. C., Berini, C. R., Ghee, S. M., & Reichel, C. M. (2016). Extended cocaine-seeking produces a shift from goal-directed to habitual responding in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 164, 330-335.
Leong, K. C., Goodman, J., & Packard, M. G. (2015). Post-training re-exposure to fear conditioned stimuli enhances memory consolidation and biases rats toward the use of dorsolateral striatum-dependent response learning. Behavioural Brain Research, 291, 195-200.