Photograph of Jessica Burket in her laboratory

Professor Awarded NIH Grant

Jessica Burket and CNU undergrads to probe potential new HIV treatments.

Above: Dr. Jessica Burket

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Dr. Jessica Burket, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, is a part of a collaborative team of scientists awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the interaction between HIV, drug abuse and the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Christopher Newport undergraduates and researchers from Eastern Virginia Medical School will join the team.

For her part in the project, Burket and her research students will assess the emergence of neuropsychiatric behaviors in an HIV model to gain a better understanding of the specific neurobiological mechanisms involved.

"Although people living with HIV have a normal life expectancy, their quality of life is often diminished by depression, anxiety and substance abuse," Burket said. "This research may provide insights into future treatment strategies and medication targets for HIV. I’m excited to involve students in this collaborative and interdisciplinary research project."

Burket teaches in Christopher Newport's biology and neuroscience programs and specializes in research to understand neurobiological mechanisms and development of novel treatments in neuropsychiatric disorders, including neurodevelopmental disorders and schizophrenia. She holds a PhD from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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