At USF, START is supported by faculty and administrators at USF and the University of Vermont.

Dr. Johnson

Micah E. Johnson, Ph.D. (PI/USF Faculty)


Vincent Lucas (USF Staff)

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Hugh Garavan

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Alexandra Potter

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Nicholas Allgaier

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Faith Adams


Dawn Bounds, Ph.D.


Skye Bristol


Carlos Cardenas-Iniguez


Rick Anthony Cruz


Byron Garcia

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Erik Garcia 


Priscilla Deb Goncalves


Neo Gebru

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Natrina Johnson


Oshea Johnson


Stacy Ryan-Pettes


Cohort 1 START Trainees
Faith Adams-Faith is a Neuroscience Ph.D. Student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is interested in understanding the impact of early life experiences on adolescent neurodevelopment.     
Dawn Bounds, Ph.D.-Dr. Bounds is an Assistant Professor in Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include marginalized youth, adolescence, risk, resilience, commercial sexual exploitation, social media, mental health, integrative health, wearable, and biofeedback technology.
Skye Bristol-Currently a doctoral student in the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. Skye’s primary research interests are in alcohol use, racial/ethnic health disparities, neighborhood disadvantage, public policy, and youth development. 

Carlos Cardenas-Iniquez, Ph.D.-Dr. Cardenas-Iniguez earned his Ph.D. in Psychology and Integrative Neuroscience from the University of Chicago in 2019. His research focuses on using the ABCD Study dataset to expose the impact of social stratification on the environments in which people live and how these environments, in turn, impact neural and cognitive development and mental health.
Rick A. Cruz-Dr. Cruz is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. He is a clinical child psychologist by training, and his research focuses on the development, prevention, and treatment of mental health and substance use problems among diverse youths and families.
Byron Garcia-Byron is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Arizona State University. The purpose of his research is to understand the developmental progression of externalizing/internalizing behaviors among ethnic minority youth from a social-ecological perspective.
Erik Garcia, Ph.D.-Dr. Garcia is a behavioral neuroscientist and neuropharmacologist. His research is at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and neuropharmacology. He aims to understand individual-level predictors that govern the transition to compulsive drug use.
Priscilla D. Goncalves, Ph.D.-Dr. Gonçalves is a SAETP affiliated post-doctoral research fellow in the MSPH Department of Epidemiology. She is interested in examining correlates and trends of simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis.   
Neo Gebru-Neo is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Education and Behavior with a concentration in Health Behavior. He is also an NIH/NIAAA F31 predoctoral fellow and NIH/NIAAA T32 trainee with the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium.
Natrina Johnson-Natrina is a doctoral student in the Health Services Research program within B.U.’s School of Public Health. Before coming to BU, Trina provided mental health services to dual diagnosis clients in San Francisco and provided clinical services to clients at risk for viral hepatitis.
Oshea Johnson, M.A.-Oshea, M.A. is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology with a concentration in Medical Sociology. He will be interning at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Department of Violence Prevention.   
Stacy Ryan-Pettes, Ph.D.-Dr. Ryan-Pettes is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory and Clinic within the Department of Psychiatry at U.T. Health San Antonio.