JAXtaposition - Addiction


Luann Ballesteros, Vice President, External and Government AffairsLuAnn BallesterosVice President, External and Government Affairs

Ballesteros is the vice president for External and Government Affairs.  She joined The Jackson Laboratory in 2005 as a senior development officer, responsible for planning, organizing and implementing individual and corporate philanthropy activities in Maine, Florida and California.  In 2011, she was promoted to director of government affairs, where she helped grow the government relations program.  Prior to JAX, Ballesteros held an executive position at Bangor Hydro-Electric Company. An active participant in the state’s business community and a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine Xi Class, she is a member of the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce Board. In September 2018, Governor LePage, Senate President Thibodeau and House Speaker Sarah Gideon reappointed Ballesteros to a second three-year term on the Maine Economic Growth Council.  Ballesteros was recently appointed to the Maine Workforce Investment Board and is a member of the Machias Savings Bank Board.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Husson College, graduating summa cum laude, and was elected to Lambda Epsilon Chi. Ballesteros holds an associate’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Maine, Farmington. 

Elissa CheslerElissa J. Chesler, Ph.D., Professor

Dr. Chesler is an interdisciplinary scientist developing integrative genetics and genomics methods for the challenges of alcohol and substance use. She received a BS from University of Connecticut, PhD from University of Illinois and was a post-doc at University of Tennessee. She was group leader of Mammalian Genetics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and currently leads the NIDA Center of Excellence for Systems Neurogentics of Addiction at JAX.

Click here to view a write-up of the virtual event THE SCIENCE OF ADDICTION held on October 7, 2020.

Geneticist Elissa Chesler, Ph.D., has been studying the foundations of addiction for over 15 years. Join LuAnn Ballesteros, vice president for external and government affairs at The Jackson Laboratory, for a virtual conversation with Dr. Chesler about how her studies of behavioral traits in mice and the genetic underpinnings of addiction are contributing to her ultimate research goal of improving outcomes for people with addiction.  

For questions about upcoming events, please contact Marisa Marinelli by email (marisa.marinelli@jax.org) or by phone at (207) 288-6753. 

  • Addiction Neurogenetics: New approaches to modeling an old disease

    In this TED-style talk, learn how JAX has taken a different approach to understanding and treating addiction with Assistant Professor, Vivek Kumar, Ph.D.