Kayla hails from Northern California, where she developed a love for anatomy and physiology. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry at Pacific University of Oregon. Kayla's senior thesis encapsulated a research proposal investigating biased signaling at the mu-opioid receptor via molecular dynamic simulations. She then went on to complete a Post-bachelor Research Experience Program at Boston University, working with Dr. Camron Bryant to investigate the neurogenetic basis of various substance use disorders.
She is currently working on a new project in the lab, exploring the endogenous opioid system's involvement in hedonic feeding behaviors. She draws inspiration from the substance use disorder field, utilizing the human condition to inform current research strategies to ultimately improve human health in the context of reward processing.