Student News from Sartor Lab – Summer 2022

Congratulations to the following students working in the Sartor Lab this summer.

UConn School of Pharmacy building

Aerial view of the School of Pharmacy, courtyard on Oct. 15, 2019. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Congratulations to the following students working in the Sartor Lab this summer:

Christopher Babigan
Christopher Babigan

Christopher J.  Babigian (Ph.D.  ’25 Behavioral Neuroscience) received the CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences IBACS Graduate Summer Fellowship.

Research focus: Novel epigenetic treatments for cocaine addiction

Description: “For this IBACS summer fellowship, I will continue to work on my research project focused on epigenetic mechanisms of substance use disorder. In addition to my research, I will attend the IBACS sponsored grant writing workshop in order to prepare my NRSA application for submission.”


Suzannah De Almeida
Suzannah De Almeida

Suzannah De Almeida (’22 BS Honors Molecular Cell Biology and University Scholar) won 1st place in the ASPET neuropharmacology poster competition and 2nd place in the Dolores C. Shockley* competition. De Almeida also won the ABRCMS Neuroscience Presentation Award

Research focus: “My undergraduate research aimed to identify a role for Bromodomain and extra terminal domains (BET) proteins in animal models of Opioid Use Disorder. More specifically, I investigated mechanisms involved in oxycodone- induced withdrawal-like behaviors.”

Winning Posters:

American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) Annual Conference 2022

Poster: BET Proteins as Novel Epigenetic Targets for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (April 6, 2022)

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Annual Conference 2021

Poster: The Potential Therapeutic Role of BET Bromodomains in Opioid Use Disorder (November 13, 2021)

*The Dolores C. Shockley Poster Award was established by ASPET in 2010 to honor Dr. Dolores C. Shockley*, the first African American woman to earn a PhD in pharmacology and first appointed to chair a pharmacology department in the U.S. The award aims to promote diversity in pharmacology.


Caryssa Drinkuth
Caryssa Drinkuth

Caryssa Drinkuth (’22 B.S., Molecular and Cell Biology) received the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Award 2022.

Research focus: Epigenetic-Based Therapeutics for Opioid Use Disorder

“For my SURF project, I will continue to investigate the role of Bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) proteins in opioid use disorder. Specifically, I will look at BET protein expression and withdrawal-like behaviors in mice following repeated oxycodone exposure.”


Jack O'Connell


Jack O’Connell (’24, B.S. Biology, B.S. Psychology, Eastern Connecticut State University), received a summer 2022 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) scholarship.

Research focus: Epigenetic mechanisms in fentanyl use

“For my project, I will identify novel roles for histone methylation readers in animal models of opioid use. Specifically, I will quantify changes in chromodomain protein expression within the rat brain following different schedules of fentanyl self-administration.”