Rachel Penton received her doctorate in Neurobiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Robin Lester. Her dissertation work examined hippocampal cellular excitability in an animal model of nicotine dependence. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship at California Institute of Technology in 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Henry Lester. Her postdoctoral work focused on visualizing the upregulation of receptors involved in nicotine addiction as well as recording hippocampal network activity in animals dependent on nicotine. Dr. Penton is currently a full-time lecturer at California State University, Channel Islands, where she teaches Behavioral Neuroscience and Addiction Studies.