Lab Alumni



Although all past members are valued and the BRAIN Group family is growing, only a few members are highlighted here.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Shengkai (Sunkey) Sun, Ph.D.
As a post-doctoral associate in the BRAIN Group, Sunkeyís research focused on affective flexibility. Sunkey moved to San Francisco in Summer 2016. 

Elizabeth Penela, Ph.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Penela was a Postdoctoral Psychology Fellow in the Child and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Treatment (CAMAT) program and assisted us with clinical assessments. She is currently a licensed Clinical Psychologist at Pediatric Psychology Associates.

Erin Girio-Herrera, Ph.D.
Dr. Erin Girio-Herrera was a Post-doctoral Psychology Fellow in CAMAT and assisted us with clinical assessements. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Towson University.

Graduate Students

Evan Burdette, M.S. 
Evan is in the Clinical Child Psychology Ph.D. Program. Joining the lab in 2018, Evan has broad interests in repetitive negative thinking as a transdiagnostic risk factor for emotional disorders (e.g., depression). His Masters project examined individual differences in RNT when inhibiting cognitive and emotional (e.g., sad faces) using personal and standard face stimuli. He also has examined the intersection of RNT, fluctuations in sleep duration, and perceived coping through ecological momentary assessment collected during COVID-19. With his growing clinical research interests, he will complete his dissertation with Dr. Annette La Greca. 

Travis Evans, Ph.D.
Travis was our first BRAIN doctoral student, joining in 2013. Broadly, he contributed to understanding how implicit processes (e.g. automatic attention deployment) and explicit processes (e.g. effortful decision-making) interactively contribute to reward and threat processing across anxiety disorders. For his master's thesis, he examined how the time-course of physiological threat responses is disrupted in social anxiety. His dissertation characterized the neural circuitry underlying implicit approach and avoidance responses to social cues and how this circuitry contributes to social behaviors in daily life. He completed his clinical internship at the Boston Veterans Administration in 2019 and is doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Boston VA/Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Jamie Sherman, Ph.D.
Jamie Mash, now Jamie Sherman, was a child clinical psychology graduate student in CAMAT with Dr. Jill Ehrenreich-May. In 2013-2014, she worked with the BRAIN Group on collaborative projects comparing evidence-based treatments, i.e.,. unified protocol vs. attention bias modification, for anxiety and mood disorders in adolescents. She completed her clinical internship at Mailman Center in Miami.

Research Coordinators

Beatriz Yepes B.A.‌
Beatriz was instrumental in assisting our investigation of Valence Flexibility across Development from 2019-2021. Beatriz is in a Masters program for clinical and health psychology at the Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicologicos in Spain. In addition, she is working part-time in the Brain, Respiration, Embodiment, Affect, Translational Health (B.R.E.A.T.H.) lab at the University of Miami on an intervention project to help individuals with HIV overcome past trauma. 

Katherine Walukevich B.A.‌
After working in the BRAIN Group full-time for two years in 2014-2016, Katherine Walukevich is now in a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. candidate in the Anxiety and Addictive Behaviors Laboratory (AABL) at Louisiana State University.  At LSU, she studies co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorders with a current focus on social anxiety and cannabis use. 

Ilana Seager, Ph.D.
After helping set up the BRAIN Group in 2012-2014, Ilana Seager is a Clinical Psychology PhD candidate at The Ohio State University where she investigates the roles of emotion and emotion regulation processes in the production and maintenance of psychological disorders.

Emily Ronkin, B.A.
Emily Ronkin worked remotely with Dr. Britton, while Emily was at the National Institute for Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland in the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience. She is now in a clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Georgia State University where she is studying the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders in children and adolescents. 

Carolyn N. Spiro, Ph.D.
Carolyn Spiro spent one year working with Dr. Britton while at NIH and transitioned to working with her remotely. Currently, Carolyn received her Clinical Psychology PhD degree from Rutgers University where she studied preventive interventions for depression in adolescents utilizing Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST). 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Jaclyn Foster ‘21
Jaclyn completed a Senior Honors Thesis examining the strategies used to exercise cognitive vs. affective flexibility in the Flexible Item Selection Task. She has plans to attend medical school. 

Emily Powell ‘20
Emily completed a Senior Honors Thesis examining individual differences in approach-avoidance behavior of happy, fearful and neutral faces. She is at the University of Pennsylvania getting her masters in Counseling.

Lindsey Hoshaw ‘20
Emily completed a Senior Honors Thesis examining individual differences in attention to overt and covert threat. 

Tia Rocchini ‘19
Tia completed a Senior Honors Thesis examining the relationship between resting heart rate variability and affective flexibility during threat. She is at Yale getting a degree in Hospital Administration.

Sirisha Gaddipati ‘18
Sirisha Gaddipati completed a Senior Honors Thesis in Neuroscience examining how sleep affected fear conditioning. She is attending the Miller School of Medicine. 

Talytha Campos ‘18
An advocate for mental health, Taly Campos wrote a paper that reviewed different perspectives of affective flexibility, helped us with our administrative needs when we needed her most, and was a leader in Counseling Outreach Peer Education (COPE). 

Sujatha Raman ‘18
Sujatha Raman developed expertise in psychophyisological data analysis and is attending medical school in New Jersey.  

Ana Rodriguez ‘17
Ana Rodriguez completed a Senior Honors Thesis examining ethnic differences in fear conditioning. She now attends Mount Siani Medical School in New York City. 

Roshni Bhat ‘17 ‌
Through the Summer Research Opportunities for Women and Minorities, she studied how social network quantity and quality affected endorsement of positive and negative attributes. After doing a year of full-time research, she is attending medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia.‌

Roberto Diaz ‘17
Robbie Diaz gained some experience with human subjects research before before transitioning labs to conduct undergraduate biochemistry research at UM. He is now at UCSF working towards his neuroscience Ph.D.  

Lee Kissel ‘17
Lee Kissel wrote a paper reviewing the potential application for attention bias modification in individuals with anxiety disorders or eating disorders and individuals with comorbidity. She realized her research interests were more molecular and cellular, so she pursued other undergraduate research opportunities at UM.. She is attending graduate school in Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Meghan Holzmacher ‘16
Meghan Holzmacher participated in the Summer Research Opportunities for Women and Minorities and investigated heart rate changes with fear conditioning. She now attends Medical School at Ohio State University. 

Molly Short '16
Molly Short was a dedicated member of the Brain Group and became a leader in psychophysiology data collection and skin conductance analysis. For the past two years, she worked as a medical scribe and hopes to become a Physician Assistant.

Viggy Kumaresan ‘16
Like Molly, Viggy Kumaresan was a key member of psychophysiology team for 3 years and mastered eye blink startle analysis. Viggy worked in the health care industry in Boston and is now attending Duke University to get a Master’s degree in data science. 

Brittany Tripp ‘15
Brittany Tripp was a long-standing member of the BRAIN group. She participated in the PRIME program where she examined how the variability in attention bias related to anxiety. She also completed a Senior Honors Thesis, which examined the effects of uncertainty on the anticipation of social threat. After obtaining a 2-year research position in an intensive clinical setting, she is pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work at Florida Atlantic University.

Juliana Berhane ‘15
Our first research assistant, Juliana Berhane attended initial lab discussions and after a short hiatus, returned to learn more about physiophysiology. She became a Research Coordinator for Dr. Michael McCullough's lab before attending a graduate school at Bucknell University to obtain a degree in Animal Behavior