Vicky graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and minor in Chemistry. She went on to receive a Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Neuroscience from the University of Florida, followed by a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology from the University of Central Florida. During her undergraduate career, Vicky was involved in research focused on investigating the efficacy of neuroprotective compounds to treat neurodegenerative diseases. As a master’s student, she investigated the role of cell senescence in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Vicky is currently being co-mentored by Dr. Lorenzo Leggio and by Dr. Leandro Vendruscolo (Dr. Koob’s Neurobiology of Addiction Section, NIDA Intramural Research Program). As a joint postbac between the two labs, her primary role is to conduct preclinical research to assist in screening for pharmacological compounds with the potential to treat addictions.