Ben Sachs, Principal Investigator.  Dr. Sachs first got involved in research in Dr. James Cherry’s Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology & Behavior at Boston University, where he majored in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Psychology. He then joined the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California-San Diego where he joined Dr. Katerina Akassoglou’s lab in the Department of Pharmacology. After completing his dissertation describing a novel signaling pathway downstream of the p75 neurotrophin receptor, he joined Marc Caron’s laboratory in the— Department of Cell Biology  at Duke University where he first began performing research related to mental health – investigating the consequences of brain serotonin deficiency. Dr. Sachs came to Villanova in 2015 and started his lab here in 2016. When not demonstrating gross violations of laboratory safety guidelines to his children, Dr. Sachs enjoy spending time with his wife, two daughters, and African Grey parrot.


Graduate Students

Shama Huq – Shama is performing her Master’s Thesis work in the lab. She has worked on studying the effects of subchronic stress on binge drinking in mice and is currently focusing on testing the ability of drugs to reverse stress-induced behavioral disturbances.





Kassidy Manning, CBN ’21. Kassidy has been working on studies evaluating the behavioral consequences of binge drinking.



Elisabeth Dimitratos, CBN ’21. Elisabeth started in the lab her first year on campus (Spring of 2018) through the Villanova Match Program for First Year Students . She has been studying the effects of stress on binge drinking behavior and gene expression. She presented some of her results at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.