Dr. Tristan Watkins
Chief Scientific Officer, LucidMood
2:30 pm–3:30 pm - Precision Cannabis Products That Appeal to Mainstream Users
Dr. Tristan Watkins initially focused on the clinical aspects of drug addiction and reward-driven behaviors – utilizing neuroimaging tools (e.g. fMRI, PET). In this time, he discovered altered neural areas during cognitive tasks in ecstasy (MDMA) users and neurobehavioral changes in drug craving in cannabis users.
As Dr. Watkins established a foundation in neuroimaging methodologies, he sought to develop a well-rounded set of scientific skills, while also directing my focus towards a major public health concern – obesity. Using the same principles of addiction and reward-driven behaviors, Dr. Watkins designed a study to examine the neurological, genetic, and behavioral correlates of obesity. The results revealed maladaptive behavioral and neurological components of disgust in obese individuals.
From there, Dr. Watkins began an interdisciplinary project to examine the neuroinflammatory effects of obesity, utilizing immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and animal models. The results revealed cellular- and parenchymal-level alterations to the brain’s feeding control center (i.e. arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus).
Dr. Tristan Watkins now studies how terpenes and cannabinoids interact with the nervous system and