Michael BallardMichael Ballard

Michael Ballard

Postdoctoral fellow

San Francisco, California
Joined Jan 2016

Dr. Ballard is a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSF, Research Affiliate at UC Berkeley, and Research Health Science Specialist at the VA Northern California Healthcare System. His current research uses functional MRI brain imaging to investigate the capacity of dopamine-enhancing drugs to improve emotional regulation and self-control in veterans who have mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prior to joining Dr. Andy Kayser's laboratory at UCSF, Dr. Ballard was a NIDA T32-funded Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Edythe London's Laboratory of Molecular Neuroimaging at UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, where he used positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging to study the role of dopamine receptors in maladaptive decision-making and poor self-control among methamphetamine abusers. Dr. Ballard completed his PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Chicago, as a NIDA T32- and F31-funded Fellow in Dr. Harriet de Wit's Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory. There, his thesis work focused on the acute effects of amphetamines and THC on emotional processing and memory in healthy human volunteers. Before entering graduate school, Dr. Ballard worked in preclinical drug discovery at Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie) for several years, using rodent models to identify potential novel psychiatric medications. As an undergraduate at Emory University, he studied opioid withdrawal in rodents under Dr. Stephen Holtzman.




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