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Kristine B Bonacchi

is a first-year doctoral student in Neuropsychology (Clinical Track) at CUNY. The high school for Math, Science, and Engineering (MSE) located at the campus of CCNY in NYC is hosting her as a GK12 Fellow for the 2008-2009 school year. She is presently developing a curriculum that focuses on the ways in which people are conditioned to respond to stimuli in the environment related to feeding behavior, and how in turn this may impact community health issues brought on by being overweight and obesity. This curriculum is intended to be used as a College Now Authentic Research Module for 11th and 12th grade high school students. She is also working on developing a curriculum for an Introduction to Scientific Research course in collaboration with the teachers at MSE. This curriculum is intended to facilitate student placement in scientific research settings so that they may gain hands on experience in scientific research in areas of their interest, after which they will be guided through the process of presenting their work to their peers and the scientific community at local and/or national science conferences.

Kristine earned her B.S. in Psychology at Brooklyn College, CUNY. While earning her undergraduate degree, she began working as a student in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Sclafani, where he mentored her in researching the neurochemical substrates of feeding behavior. Upon earning her B.S., Dr. Sclafani invited her to remain in his lab as a Research Assistant, during which time she focused on researching the role of the opioid system in feeding behavior. She presented this research at the Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington, DC in 2008. Upon entering CUNYs doctoral program, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert Ranaldi of Queens College, where her dissertation research will focus on the anatomical and neurochemical substrates of reward and motivation related to drug abuse as well as feeding behavior. Over the past two years she has taught undergraduate Physiological Psychology as well as Advanced Experimental Social and Personality Psychology at Brooklyn College and Queens College, respectively.

Publications – Research Papers

Bonacchi, K.B., Ackroff, K., and Sclafani, A. (2008). Sucrose taste but not Polycose taste conditions flavor preferences in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 95, 235-44.

Ackroff, K., Bonacchi, K., Magee, M., Yiin, YM., Graves, JV & Sclafani, A (2007). Obesity by choice revisited: effects of food availablility, flavor variety and nutrient composition on energy intake. Physiology & Behavior, 92, 468-78.

Bonacchi, K.B., Ackroff, K., Touzani, K., Bodnar, R.J. & Sclafani, A., Opioid mediation of sugar and starch preference in the rat. Manuscript in preparation.