Raina Pang, Ph.D.  


Assistant Professor of Research

Dr. Pang is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and a member of the USC Norris Cancer Center. She earned her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Oregon, PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, and completed a TRDRP postdoctoral fellowship at the Health, Emotion, and Addiction Laboratory at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Pang’s interdisciplinary psychosocialbiology research program utilizes human behavioral pharmacology and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods to investigate mechanisms underlying tobacco related health disparities (e.g., sex/gender differences, female-specific factors, psychiatric comorbidity). This interdisciplinary research carries direct clinical relevance because it will improve our understanding of tobacco addiction in females and individuals with co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and also bears translational relevance to the development of neuroendocrine-based pharmacotherapies to reduce smoking.

Staff & Students

Alexandra Mills, B.A. 

Doctoral Candidate in Health Behavior Research

Alexandra Mills is a doctoral student in the Health Behavior Research Ph.D. program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She was a Foote Fellow honors student at the University of Miami and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology and human social development. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Alexandra worked as a research assistant in several labs at the University of Miami, the University of Copenhagen, and at the University of South Florida. Alexandra completed two senior honors theses, one evaluating the convergent validity of the Multidimensional Fairness Scale and the second one examining the mediating effect of depression and anxiety on the relationship between sexual assault and binge drinking. Alexandra is interested in interdisciplinary research investigating racial and sex/gender disparities in substance use. Additionally, she is interested in researching risk and protective factors for women who engage in substance use, along with elucidating the transdiagnostic processes underlying psychiatric disorders and substance use disorder. Aside from research, she enjoys traveling, yoga, hiking, and spending time with friends.

Natalie Cereseto, M.A. 

Project Specialist


Natalie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University. After working in the legal and book publishing fields, she earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from Hunter College, where she completed a thesis investigating the impact of daily stigma-related stressors on mood and PTSD symptoms in trauma-exposed sexual minority adults. Prior to joining the POWER lab in October 2020, Natalie worked as a research assistant in Hunter College’s Gender-Based Violence Lab and as a clinical coordinator in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Natalie is primarily interested in better understanding stress-mediated health disparities through intensive longitudinal design. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree and improve clinical interventions for underserved populations. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, reading literature, and traveling with family and friends.

Chyna Tucker, B.A. 

MSW Candidate

CHDAS Trainee

Chyna Tucker graduated from the University of Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Business. Her research interests include mental health related disparities, and the intersection between culture and mood disorders. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology, where she hopes to investigate and develop culture specific therapeutic interventions. Outside of research, Chyna enjoys fashion, cooking, yoga, and visiting family in her home country, Jamaica.

Frequent Collaborators

Casey Guillot, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Matthew Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Research

Lina D’Orazio, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology