I graduated from Colorado State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Deana Davalos, I gained experience utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) to assess individual differences in affective processing and emotional reappraisal. After graduation, I continued to be involved in a collaboration project with the Neurorehabilitation Lab in Fort Collins which investigated the potential therapeutic effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for stroke victims. I also acquired an internship at the Center for Neurorehabilitation Services where I evaluated the neurocognitive symptoms exhibited by multiple sclerosis patients throughout the progression of the disease. In the summer of 2011, I married my high school sweetheart and moved (with our two dogs and two cats) to North Carolina to join the Curriculum in Neurobiology.
The goal of my dissertation project in Dr. Aysenil Belger’s lab, and my research training under the Howard Hughes Translational Medicine fellowship, is to investigate the elaborate neural correlates of schizophrenia in order to elucidate the dynamic processes that mediate illness onset. I use a multimodal approach involving electrophysiological scalp recordings and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as well as peripheral psychophysiological and neuroendocrine measurements, to investigate the neurobiological substrates of the stress response in healthy adolescents and adolescents at high risk for developing psychiatric illness. Advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of psychosis onset in vulnerable individuals will allow us to devise innovative treatment approaches and potentially improve intervention strategies.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar - Program in Translational Medicine