I grew up in the French Alps and received a B.Sc in Biology and M.Res in Neurobiology and Neuroscience from the University Grenoble Alpes (UGA), then pursued graduate studies in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Grenoble Institute for Neuroscience under the joint supervision of Dr. Julien Bastin (UGA) and Dr. Jean-Philippe Lachaux (Lyon Neuroscience Research Center). In 2020, I joined Rutgers University to complete a 3.5-year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Anna B Konova in Addiction and Decision Neuroscience. I joined LIBR in 2023 as an Associate Investigator, working closely with Drs. Paulus, Stewart and Smith.
What type of research is being done in your lab?
My lab uses behavioral, neuroimaging and computational modeling techniques to investigate the neurocomputational mechanisms underlying maladaptive appetitive and aversive outcome processing in Substance Use Disorders, how they are linked to mood and affective states and how they can lead to drug reuse. A major overarching goal is to identify actionable behavioral intervention targets to promote long-term abstinence.
In addition to research, what are some of your favorite parts of being a scientist?
Over the past decade, I've had the chance to teach biology and biochemistry to over 250 students, and mentor a dozen undergraduate and graduate students on cognitive experiments, computational modeling, sEEG and fMRI methodology, data collection/analysis, and scientific communication. I'm always happy to talk about science and aspire to empower junior scientists to develop their skills and discover their own career path.
Nick Obradovich, Ph.D.
What is your scientific background?
I earned my Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2016 and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. I then worked as a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, teaching a graduate course on data science and causal inference, before transitioning to work as a Senior Research Scientist and Principal Investigator at the Max Planck Society. Prior to joining LIBR, I was the Chief Scientist for the environmental nonprofit Project Regeneration.
What research is being done in your lab?
My lab applies tools from computational behavioral science, methods from statistical inference, and large social trace data to study a complex array of environmental and technological determinants of mental health. The overarching goal of the lab is to identify exposures that modify mental health -- both protective and harmful ones -- and to isolate the causal mechanisms underlying identified relationships to enable successful intervention. My studies so far have included the use of billions of social media posts to study how the weather alters online emotional sentiment as well as the use of global fitness band data to study how environmental factors alter human sleep patterns as a potential precursor to altered mental health status.
What interests you most about this area of research and where can we learn more about your previous studies?
My research combines personal interests in artificial intelligence, climate change, and mental health with my affinity for data science and computational methods. My work has regularly appeared in top academic journals and in major media outlets. Two recent articles can be found here and here.