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Puig Lab Team

The Puig Lab is a group of dedicated individuals working together to identify new targets to make opioids safer and decrease the incidence of addiction. Learn more about our research goals here

Headshot of Dr. Stephanie Puig

Dr. Stephanie Puig, M.S., Ph.D (She/Her)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry 
Twitter: @StefPuig

Dr. Puig holds a Masters in Neuroscience and Physiology from the Universty Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France), and a Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from the University of Paris Descartes (Paris, France). Her thesis work on neurobiology of addiction and her postdoctoral training on mechanisms of opioid signaling and pain have led her to develop a research program focused on mechanisms at the intersection of chronic opioid use for the treatment of pain and prevention of side-effects and opioid addiction. She is always excited to learn and share ideas with current and new collaborators, so please do not hesitate to reach out to chat!

Current Members

Anita Khasnavis (She/her)

1st-Year Ph.D. Student, UMass Chan Medical School GSBS
ORCID iD:  0009-0007-7218-3503

Anita graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a B.A . in Neuroscience, after working in a lab focusing on dopaminergic signaling's effect on FXS behaviors in mice (Poughkeepsie, NY). After college, she spent two years teaching 7th and 8th grade science in Hartford Connecticut through Teach for America. Before matriculating into UMass Chan Medical School, Anita spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital as a lab technician in the Hyman Lab studying Alzheimer's disease and the role of tau in pathology development in mice (Boston, MA). She is currently a first-year student at UMass Chan Medical School in the GSBS and is very excited to gain experience through her rotations. In her free time, Anita enjoys crocheting, listening to audiobooks, and annoying her new cat!

Professional headshot of Anita Khasnavis

Headshot of Dr. Ljubica Petrovic

Dr. Ljubica Petrovic, M.S., Ph.D (She/Her)

Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry 

Dr. Petrovic earned a Master's in Physical Chemistry from the University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia) and Applied Physics from the University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, Massachusetts). She also holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. During her Ph.D. studies, she concentrated on assessing the potential
of gold nanoparticles to improve the effectiveness of radiation and photodynamic therapy in 3D tumor models. In her postdoctoral research, she delved into evaluating photomedicine and combination therapies involving anti-microRNA in 3D cancer cells. Additionally, she investigated the mutual impact of clinically translatable near-infrared dyes on photoacoustic image contrast and photodynamic therapy efficacy in vitro. Dr. Petrovic is passionate about acquiring fresh knowledge, particularly in the realm of opioid research, and engaging in idea exchange.  

The Puig Lab is currently recruiting at all levels!

Join our team

Puig Lab Alumni

Luca Posa, PharmD., Ph.D.

Luca is a former postdoctoral fellow in the Puig Lab. He received his B.Sc. in Biology and later his Pharm.D., both from the University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy). During his Pharm.D., Luca studied the rationale of opioid treatment during a rotation at the University of Paris Descartes. He then pursued his Ph.D. in Psychiatry at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), where he used cutting-edge techniques to study the interaction between the melatonergic and opioid systems in the antinociceptive pathway and reward. He received the Fonds de Recherche- Santé du Québec Fellowship and the Edwards Studentship in Pain Research. Luca moved to the University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland) as postdoctoral fellow to study the role of monoamines in chronic pain condition, and later joined the Puig’s lab at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) where he is investigating the neural circuitry and cellular determinants of opioid analgesic tolerance. When not in lab, Luca loves cooking, hiking, music, and exploring the wonderful city of Boston.

Luca is now a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University in New York!