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Greenville Business Magazine

Furman Psychology Professor Receives Role Model Award

Oct 02, 2018 10:12AM ● By Kathleen Maris

Furman University Associate Professor of Neuroscience Onarae Rice was honored as a Minority Access National Role Model at the 19th National Role Models Conference held Sept. 28-30 in National Harbor, Md.

Minority Access, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, assists individuals, academic institutions, federal, state and local government agencies, and corporations in diversifying their campuses and work sites. The group aims to identify inspirational role models in various categories to inspire others to emulate them, and thereby increase the pool of scholars and professionals who will find cures for illnesses or solve technological problems or address social disparities in society.

Rice joined the Furman Department of Psychology in 2006. A Spartanburg native, he graduated from Wofford College with a bachelor’s in psychology.

While attending Wofford, he interned at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island, N.Y. Rice accepted a position in the medical department at BNL and later pursued a master’s in biopsychology at Stony Brook University.

At BNL, Rice completed his doctorate in biopsychology from Stony Brook University, where he studied the brain's endogenous cannabinoid system and its potential role in mediating or modulating the rewarding properties of various classes of abusive drugs.

At Furman, Rice examines the role of the brain’s dopamine D3 receptor in blocking the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse; blocking the expression of PTSD; and blocking the self-medication with abusive drugs in those with PTSD.

He is a recipient of the Alester G. Furman, Jr., and Janie Earle Furman Meritorious Advising Award.