Our Team

Peter Kalivas, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Department of Neuroscience

Peter received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1980 with Akira Horita, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina with Art Prange in 1982. He moved to Charleston from the West Coast and began a position as Professor and Founding Chair of Neuroscience in 1998. He stepped down from department chair in 2019 and is currently a Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience.  Outside the lab, Peter likes to travel to off beat places

Brittany Kuhn, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow
Department of Neuroscience

Brittany received her B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. During her graduate work with Dr. Shelly Flagel, she studied the role of the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus and its associated circuitry in mediating individual variation in relapse propensity. Brittany joined the lab in February of 2019 and is focusing on two main projects: how individual variation in addiction-related behaviors contributes to vulnerability versus resiliency to opioid dependence; and using intersectional viral and cell-type specific approaches to elucidate the role of efferent projections from the ventral pallidum on behavior during extinction training and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Outside of the lab, Brittany loves running, anything soccer, traveling and exploring new places in Charleston.

Ritchy Hodebourg, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow
Department of Neuroscience

Ritchy received his M.Sc. in Neurosciences from University of Poitiers, France in 2013, and his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from University of Montreal, Canada in 2019. During his M.Sc. he investigated the influence of N-acetylcysteine on heroin seeking behavior under the supervision of Dr. David Belin. He then moved to Canada as a Ph.D. student. The main goal of his thesis, supervised by Dr. Pierre-Paul Rompré, was to determine the effect of N-acetylcysteine on the motivation to self-administer cocaine in rat. Ritchy joined the Kalivas lab in June, 2019 and is studying how pre-exposure to single traumatic event impacts cannabis self-administration and how cannabis use affects responsivity to a stress-conditioned stimulus in rats. Outside the lab, as a former top athlete in fencing, Ritchy enjoys playing sports and listening to music.

Anze Testen, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow
Department of Neuroscience

Anze received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) in Biology and Molecular Biology, respectively. He then moved to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studied structural plasticity of astrocytes and microglia following drug self-administration and withdrawal under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Reissner. After graduating in 2021 he joined Kalivas lab in 2022 to explore the interplay between different neuronal subpopulations as well as glia-neuron interactions in Nucleus Accumbens core during reward-seeking behavior using in vivo imaging. Outside the lab Anze enjoys exploring Charleston’s beaches, breweries and eateries as well as trying desperately to find a suitable mound of dirt that would enable him to continue mountain biking in the lowcountry. 

Eric Dereschewitz, B.A

Lab Manager
Department of Neuroscience

Eric received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the College of Charleston, in Charleston, S.C. in 2016. Eric first joined the Kalivas lab in January 2017 as a technician and transitioned over as Lab Manager in January 2018 and manages the day-to-day activities such as maintaining and updating animal protocols, and animal breeding colonies and ordering for the lab. Outside of the lab, Eric enjoys cycling, discovering new restaurants and engaging in the downtown Charleston social life.

Reda Chaloub, B.A.

M.D./Ph.D Student
Department of Neuroscience

Reda received his bachelor’s degree in Biology at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2016. He completed his first two years of medical school at AUB before joining the Medical Scientist Training Program through an academic partnership with MUSC in 2018. He joined the lab soon after and is currently using in vivo imaging techniques in freely behaving mice to investigate the different sub-circuitries of the ventral striatum that mediate addiction-related behaviors. Reda also enjoys sports, chess, cooking, and reading.

Stephen Walterhouse, M.Sc.

Research Specialist
Department of Neuroscience

Stephen received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina and his M.Sc. in Biology from Kansas State University. In his graduate studies Stephen investigated translesion synthesis pathway protein expression and stability variations between primary keratinocytes and cervical cancer cell lines, as well as due to growth factor deprivation. Stephen joined the lab in March, 2021 managing the microscopy and analysis portions of various projects. Outside of the lab, Stephen enjoys outdoor activities (especially climbing), going to extreme metal concerts, and having an engaging social life.