A graduate of King's College in London, Dr. Francesca Filbey researches the causes and consequences of reward system dysfunction at the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.


Postdoctoral Fellowship (Neuroimaging) - 2005

National Institute of Mental Health, NIH

Bethesda, MD, USA

Supervisor: Robert M. Cohen, Ph.D., M.D.


Ph.D., Experimental Neuropsychology - 2002

King’s College London, United Kingdom

Supervisors: Professor Robin Morris, Ph.D. and Sir Robin Murray, M.D.


Master of Science (Applied Cognition and Neuroscience) - 1997

University of Texas at Dallas

Dallas, Texas, USA


Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) - 1995

University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, Texas, USA


Grant Funding


2012 - 2017            1R01 DA030344-01 by NIDA

“Genetic and Environmental Modulators of the Brain's Response to Marijuana Cues”

Role: PI


2007 - 2012            KO1 DA021632-01A1

“The Effects of CNR1 on Brain Function in Cannabis Users”

Role: PI


2009 – 2011           R21 DA027626-0109 (PI: Jingyu Liu)

“A multilevel vulnerability study of substance abuse via CNV, brain activation and behaviors”

Role: Co-I


2010 – 2011           RO3 DA27892-01 (PI: Feldstein Ewing)

“Adolescent response to psychotherapy: The role of neuronal networks”

Role: Co-I


2010 – 2011           ARRA State of Texas (sub-award)

“Reward sensitivity and risky behavior in adolescents”

Role: PI


2009 – 2014           RO1 DA025074-01A210 (PI: Kent Hutchison)

“Effectiveness of Varenicline: Testing Individual Differences”

Role: Co-I


2010 – 2011           DOE Seed Project Grant

“The trajectory of the neurodevelopmental impact of adolescent-onset marijuana abuse”

Role:  PI


2008 – 2009           MRN Transition Grant

“Neurogenetic determinants of tobacco initiation and maintenance”

Role: PI


1999 - 2000            Margaret Temple Fellowship, British Medical Association

“FMRI of attention in people with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives”

Role: PI

2013 – Present      Associate Professor

                                  School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

                                  University of Texas at Dallas


2010 – 2013           Assistant Professor

                                  School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

                                  University of Texas at Dallas


2010 – Present      Adjunct Assistant Professor

                                  Department of Psychiatry

                                  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


2010 – Present      Adjunct Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience

                                  The Mind Research Network


2002 – Present      Honorary Researcher

                                  Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College

                                  University of London

Francesca Filbey, Ph.D.

Read Dr. Filbey's research interests ...
In the United States, addictive disorders including substance use disorders and pathological overeating cause an extensive burden in terms of morbidity, mortality, and public health costs, yet treatment strategies are only modestly effective. Better understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie addictive disorders and increase susceptibility could substantially improve current prevention and intervention efforts. The overarching goal across my line of translational research is to characterize factors that increase risk for addictive disorders. Specifically, I am interested in how early life factors such as period of exposure (e.g., adolescent onset of regular use) or early life stress mediate the neural mechanisms that are associated with addictive disorders, and how genetic risk moderates these effects.
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