Dr. Jesse Kaye is a VA advanced addiction postdoctoral fellow who will be working with UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Jessica Cook for the next two years. Kaye will spend part of each week at UW-CTRI analyzing data from the Wisconsin Smokers’ Health Study 2 (WSHS 2).
In particular, he’s interested in the role alcohol plays in contributing to smoking lapse or relapse, and how to develop more effective treatments for smokers who drink heavily. He’s also exploring how varenicline affects not just smoking cessation but also alcohol use among WSHS 2 participants.
Kaye began at UW-CTRI in 2006-2007 as an undergrad working on a varenicline study under the mentorship of UW-CTRI Director of Clinical Services Dr. Doug Jorenby. “It was a good experience,” Kaye said. “Doug is fantastic, a great clinical mentor.”
Kaye returned to UW-CTRI in 2010-2011 to lead smoking-cessation groups working under Dr. James Davis on smoking and mindfulness research. Kaye also received a Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) Developmental Research Award to study stress reactivity in smokers, which became his master’s thesis and served as pilot data for an R01 grant for his grad-school advisor, UW Researcher Dr. John Curtin. Last year, Kaye graduated from UW-Madison after he completed a clinical psychology internship at the VA Hospital in Madison.
Now Kaye’s research focuses on the role of stress in maintaining addiction and contributing to relapse. His program of research has used an experimental therapeutics approach to examine how the antihypertensive medications prazosin and doxazosin, noradrenergic alpha1 blockers, might impact stress reactivity and their potential to reduce stress-related relapse in alcohol-use disorders.
Kaye said he’s happy to be back at UW-CTRI. “I love the team here. It’s team science, a true team approach.”