Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership


Loren Riedy

Loren Riedy
Graduation Year
Psychology and Neuroscience
Dr. Stephan Steidl

Why did you choose your research topic? Working as a certified nursing assistant at Swedish Covenant Hospital, I am often called upon to be a sitter in the ICU. Patients, such as those going through alcohol withdrawal, necessitate the constant supervision of a sitter due to the violent nature of their withdrawal. I have spent countless hours witnessing firsthand alcohol withdrawal patients so agitated and stricken with constant tremors that they cannot carry out basic activities of daily living such as taking a sip of water … Though they may function in different ways, alcohol and the opiates I study in Dr. Stephan Steidl’s lab are both dangerously addictive drugs that take hold of the brain and destroy lives in a way that I cannot ignore. Drug addiction is detrimental to an individual’s health, personal relationships, and surrounding community and that is why I have chosen drug addiction as my research topic.

How will your research benefit the world at large? In order to fix any problem, one must first understand the nature of the problem. This research project will allow us to address drug addiction that plagues the lives of many by working to deciphering the mechanisms through which opiates act on the brain’s reward and reinforcement system in both male and female mice. It is with this understanding that we can work toward the ultimate goal of developing treatment and intervention options.