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Christina Lessov-Schlaggar, PhD

Current Position
Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

University Roles
Research, mentorship

Education and Training
BS, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Western Washington University; PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University; Postdoctoral training, Psychiatric Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine


Areas of Research Interests
Brain mechanisms of tobacco dependence and its development; genetic and environmental architecture of tobacco dependence and its development; Tobacco use and comorbid drug use and psychiatric illness; Twin research; Racial/ethnic disparity; Sex differences


Key Publications
Lessov CN, Martin NG, Statham DJ, Todorov AA, Slutske WS, Bucholz KK, Heath AC, Madden PA (2004 Jul). Defining nicotine dependence for genetic research: evidence from Australian twins. Psychol Med. 34(5): 865-79.  Full Article ->

Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Hops H, Brigham J, Hudmon KS, Andrews JA, Tildesley E, McBride D, Jack LM, Javitz HS, Swan GE (2008 Feb). Adolescent smoking trajectories and nicotine dependence. Nicotine Tob Res. 10(2): 341-51.  Full Article ->

Dosenbach NU, Nardos B, Cohen AL, Fair DA, Power JD, Church JA, Nelson SM, Wig GS, Vogel AC, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Barnes KA, Dubis JW, Feczko E, Coalson RS, Pruett JR Jr, Barch DM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL (2010 Sep 10). Prediction of individual brain maturity using fMRI. Science. 329(5997): 1358-61.  Full Article ->

Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Kristjansson SD, Bucholz KK, Heath AC, Madden PA (2012 Sep). Genetic influences on developmental smoking trajectories. Addiction. 107(9): 1696-704.  Full Article ->

Duncan AE, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Sartor CE, Bucholz KK (2012 Sep 1). Differences in time to onset of smoking and nicotine dependence by race/ethnicity in a Midwestern sample of adolescents and young adults from a high risk family study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 125(1-2): 140-5.  Full Article ->

Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Lepore RL, Kristjansson SD, Schlaggar BL, Barnes KA, Petersen SE, Madden PA, Heath AC, Barch DM (2013 Jan). Functional neuroimaging study in identical twin pairs discordant for regular cigarette smoking. Addict Biol. 18(1): 98-108.  Full Article ->


Funded Research Projects
NIDA (PI K01 career development award; 9/09-8/14): Reward and Control Processing in Cigarette Smoking Using fMRI

NCATS (PI Pilot; 06/1/12-11/30/13 as part of NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award, PI Evanoff ): Cotwin-Control Study of Cigarette Smoking and Brain Reward Processing