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Dr. Shirley Cole-Harding
Addiction Studies & Psychology

Researching What Produces the Buzz

I am an active researcher in psychopharmacology and for some years, have been focusing on the effects of alcohol. Ive been especially interested in conducting alcohol research in a natural environment instead of a clinical setting.

This type of research, partly because its fun and social, lends itself to involving undergraduate students. They enjoy it but also learn how to do research and complete specific tests within a closely-timed routine. Our students have also given presentations about their research at regional and national conferences. Graduate schools are very impressed by undergraduates who have participated in these types of activities. Weve had 12 students accepted into graduate programs in recent years. Im proud of our students!

Next semester, three other faculty members will join me in doing research on energy drinks. Well be studying what ingredient or combination of ingredients in the drinks produce the effect. Is it the sugar, the caffeine or both?