Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

faculty photo

Rebecca L Ashare

Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Psychiatry
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction
3535 Market St, Suite 4100
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 746-5789
Education:
B.A (Psychology)
State University of New York at Buffalo, 2003.
M.A (Clinical Psychology)
State University of New York at Buffalo, 2007.
Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology)
State University of New York at Buffalo, 2011.
Post-Graduate Training
Predoctoral Clinical Psyhology Internship, Yale University School of Medicine, Division of Substance Abuse, 2010-2011.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, 2011-2012.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
I am a clinical psychologist and conduct research in translational science, medication development, and neurocognition applied to nicotine dependence. My primary area of research has focused on identifying risk factors for smoking relapse, with a focus on cognitive control, decision-making, and stress, and evaluating novel treatments to improve abstinence rates. My work leverages tools from the fields of psychology, neuropharmacology, and cognitive neuroscience to understand the mechanisms that underlie smoking relapse and mechanisms of efficacy of novel interventions.

Keywords
Addiction, Nicotine dependence, Cognition, HIV, Decision-Making, Stress

Research Projects
Several of my current research projects are focused on the intersection of smoking, HIV, and cognitive function:
One project is investigating whether HIV-infected smokers experience greater withdrawal-related cognitive deficits and whether these deficits explain the high smoking rate in this population.

In collaboration with Center for AIDS Research, we are also evaluating whether targeting the cholinergic pathway among HIV-infected individuals suppresses inflammation and reverses neurocognitive deficits and whether this effect is stronger in chronic tobacco users.
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Last updated: 12/11/2017
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