Rani Richardson is a predoctoral fellow who joined the CPN laboratory in 2020. Rani graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior and a minor in Chemistry. She is currently an MD/PhD student at the University of North Carolina who joins CPN through the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program. Rani’s thesis project will involve collaborative research projects between Dr. Leggio’s lab and Dr. George Koob and Dr. Leandro Vendruscolo, Neurobiology of Addiction Section. Rani is interested in the biological mechanisms of how stress and cortisol impact alcohol-seeking behaviors. Her thesis work will include studying the microbiome-gut-brain axis to identify novel neuropsychopharmacological targets for alcohol and substance use disorders and stress-related mood disorders in preclinical models.