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Ansel Hillmer, PhD

Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Psychiatry

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Ansel Hillmer, PhD



Ansel obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. His dissertation focused on characterizing a novel PET radioligand to image α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Ansel is using PET imaging to study the neurochemistry of addiction and psychiatric disorders, with a particular interest alcohol dependence and substance use disorders. Current projects include using PET to image the glutamate system via mGluR5 receptors in alcohol dependent patients; neuroimmune function via TSPO in alcohol dependent patients; endogenous opioid signalling in the context of cannabis use; and method development for integrating PET imaging data with fMRI connectivity data.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of Wisconsin, Madison, Medical Physics (2014)
  • MS
    University of Wisconsin, Madison, Medical Physics (2011)
  • BS
    Valparaiso University, Physics (2009)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Yale University

Departments & Organizations