Lab Members

Back-Flanagan Group

Investigators

Sudie Back 


Sudie Back, Ph.D.

Dr. Back's primary research focus is the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She leads a variety of studies to examine SUD and PTSD, including randomized controlled trials of behavioral as well as pharmacologic interventions, laboratory-based investigations, and neuroimaging studies.

Julianne Flanagan

Julianne Flanagan, Ph.D.

Dr. Flanagan's program of research focuses on the relationships between post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and interpersonal violence. She is currently conducting laboratory and treatment development studies aimed at better understanding behavioral and neurobiological underpinnings of violence among individuals and couples. She is also conducting studies examining behavioral and pharmacological interventions to mitigate these commonly co-occurring problems.

Elizabeth Santa Ana, PhD

Elizabeth Santa Ana, Ph.D.

Dr. Santa Ana is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC and the Evidence-Based Training Coordinator for the VISN 7 Homeless Program at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is a core investigator within the Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC) at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and she collaborates with other MUSC faculty in Psychiatry on projects involving PTSD, substance use disorder, relapse prevention, and chronic pain for patients with substance use and other co-existing disorders.

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Delisa Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brown is a Research Assistant Professor in Addiction Sciences at MUSC.  Her research focuses disparities in substance use disorders and comorbid stress-related conditions ( e.g., PTSD, racial trauma, early childhood adversity) that impact women and African Americans.  She is currently examining the impact of race-related stress among individuals with alcohol use disorder and PTSD with a goal of understanding behavioral and neurobiological underpinnings of experiences of racial discrimination among African Americans and other racial minorities. She is also conducting a laboratory study to investigating sex differences in the impact of early childhood stress on opioid craving among men and women with opioid use disorder.

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Amber Jarnecke, Ph.D.

Dr. Jarnecke is an Assistant Professor in the Addictions Sciences at MUSC. Her research focuses on individual and contextual factors that contribute to the association between substance use disorders and intimate partner violence. She is currently collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to study the neurobiology of and pharmacological treatments for alcohol use disorders.  

Jasara Hogan, Ph.D.

Dr. Hogan is a Research Assistant Professor in the Addiction Sciences Division at MUSC. Her research focuses on understanding how romantic relationships influence alcohol use behaviors, particularly among emerging adults (ages 18-29). She is currently studying how romantic relationship conflict and autonomic nervous system functioning influence heavy episodic drinking.

Andrea Massa, Ph.D.

Dr. Massa is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and MUSC. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive and affective processes underlying trauma- and alcohol-related intimate partner aggression. She aims to apply this work to the development of accessible interventions for individuals with co-occurring PTSD, alcohol use disorder, and intimate partner aggression.  

Study Personnel

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Anjinetta Johnson, PAC

Anjinetta graduated from MUSC's Physician's Assistant Program in 2001. She has been involved in behavioral health research since 2010 in the role of Medical Clinician for Research Studies. She performs history and physical exams on research participants to help determine if they are healthy enough to be a part of the study. She also dispenses study medications, and monitors and follows up on study-related adverse events.  

Chris DeLeon

Chris DeLeon, BS

Chris is a Program Coordinator for the POET Study. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University. He was previously a research assistant on a study investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness in Veterans with substance use disorders (SUD). He joined the Back-Flanagan Lab in 2018.

Hannah Shoemaker

Hannah Shoemaker, MS

Hannah is the Program Coordinator for the PaNACea study. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Sociology from the College of Charleston in 2015 and her Masters in General Psychology from the University of Memphis in 2019. Hannah is interested in developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for children and families exposed to trauma (e.g., family violence, intimate partner violence, and community violence) or affected by substance use. Further, Hannah is currently enrolled in the Clinical Counseling Psychology Masters Program at the Citadel and has 3 years of experience at MUSC across various research studies. 

Jessica Brower, MA

Jessica is the Study Coordinator in the Flanagan lab, currently working on the HeART Couples Study. She received her Masters in Psychology from New York University and has worked in clinical research since 2016. 

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Charli Kirby, BA

Charli is a Program Assistant for the HeART Couple Therapy research study. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice in May 2018.

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Hayley Feigl, MA

Hayley Feigl has over 7 years of professional research experience. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology from Clemson University, followed by a Master's from the University of Chicago. She has worked at MUSC for the past 5 years as a research coordinator on several different clinical trials involving PTSD and alcohol or substance use disorder.

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Chloe Wildman, BA

Chloe is the Study Coordinator for the START study and a Program Assistant for the HeART Couple Therapy research study. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Criminology from the Pennsylvania State University in December of 2021. She is interested pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to longitudinal research investigating how emerging adults may be affected by interpersonal childhood trauma. She would like to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical or Quantitative Psychology.

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Gillian Bello, BS

Gillian Bello is the Program Assistant for the Diversity in Addiction Research Training (DART) Program (R25, DA020537). She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Clemson University in May of 2022. She is interested in addressing mental health concerns within the United States Army and currently serves in the South Carolina Army National Guard. Gillian wants to continue her education by obtaining a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology or Neuroscience.

Ashley Dixon, BS

Ashley joined the team as the Program Assistant for the COPE study in June 2022. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Ashley is interested in studying PTSD in the context of sexual trauma, and has a particular interest in the efficacy of sexual trauma education and intervention programs. She has plans to continue her education after gaining valuable experience in a clinical setting.

Back-Flanagan Group Program Manager

Stacey Sellers, MS

Stacey Sellers, MS

Stacey is the Program Manager for the Back-Flanagan Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Neuroscience from the College of Charleston and her Masters of Clinical and Translational Science from Creighton University. She has worked in research at MUSC and Creighton University for over 10 years, focusing her work on the treatment of substance use.