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People

Faculty

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SCOTT LANGENECKER
(PhD - Psychology & History)

Dr. Langenecker directs Cognitive Neuroscience Center and the lab for Multifaceted Explorations of Neurobiology of Depression Disorders (MEND2). His work focuses on neuroimaging, neuropsychology, and treatment prediction in mood disorders.

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RACHEL JACOBS
(Research Assistant Professor, Licensed Clinical Psychologist)

Dr. Jacobs has background in treatment outcomes for pediatric mood disorders and is interested in studying mechanisms of effective treatment. Recently, Dr. Jacobs has focused on the problem of relapse in adolescent depression and whether mindfulness may protect against the return of depressive symptoms.

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ALESSANDRA PASSAROTTI
(Research Assistant Professor)

Dr. Passarotti is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist who employs neurocognitive and fMRI methods to examine the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive and affective dysfunction in pediatric mental illness. In particular she studies impulsivity, cognitive control and reward processes, as they relate to behaviour regulation, learning, and substance abuse, in adolescents with pediatric bipolar disorder and ADHD.

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SARA WEISENBACH
(Assistant Professor of Psychiatry)

Dr. Weisenbach is a clinical neuropsychologist studying the mechanisms and deficits underlying depression during late-life in a developmental/ longitudinal context and translating this knowledge into effective neuropsychological and neuroimaging tools to monitor and predict treatment response.

Post Doctoral Fellows

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LISANNE JENKINS
(PhD - Psychology)

Lisanne completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has been a postdoc in the MEND2 lab since July 2013, where she studies functional neuroimaging in mood disorders. Some of her other research interests include the reward system, consciousness and psychosis.

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JULIA RAO
(PhD - Neuropsychology)

After completing graduate degree in Neuropsychology from Northwestern Univ (2013) and her clinical internship at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University, she started at the University of Illinois at Chicago in July 2013. Spends half her time seeing patients in our neuropsychology clinic under the guidance of Dr. Neil Pliskin and the other half conducting functional neuroimaging research with Drs. Scott Langenecker and Sara Weisenbach. She is interested in functional brain abnormalities in depression and how these changes interact with normal brain functional changes due to aging.

Clinical Study Coordinators

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KRISTY SKERRETT
(Study Coordinator)

Kristy Skerrett is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 12 years of experience in the mental health and prevention fields. Kristy began her work with youth as a VISTA Americorps volunteer, moved on to working with DCFS involved youth and after completing her master’s degree her work focused on family and community counseling in the Chicago neighborhood of the Back of the Yards. In the last three years she began working with UIC’s Department of Psychiatry. She is excited to be a part of the CNC and hopes this research can support individuals dealing with the difficulties of depression to be their very best.

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LAURA GABRIEL 
(B.A Psychology)

Laura has been working under Dr. Scott Langenecker's supervision for over 4 years, traveling from the University of Michigan somewhere along the way. Her adventure began way back in 2010 when she jumped head first into a senior honors thesis. To this day, there is confusion surrounding her title: 'To Go or Not to Go? Differential Activation During Response Inhibition in Major Depressive Disorder.' After managing much of the day to day fun of the MEND2 lab, Laura will begin an MBA program at UIC in Fall 2014.

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Victor G Patron
(MD, Clinical Study Coordinator)

Victor joined UIC psychiatry department in 2013. He is currently in charge of clinical and neuropsychological assessment of participants at UIC and the VA, as well as functional MRI processing and analysis.

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NATALIE GRUBMAN
(Clinical Research Coordinator)

Graduate from University of Miami in Psychology (2010), Natalie moved to Chicago to complete her Masters in Social Work from UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, with concentration in Mental Health. Has worked extensively with clients suffering from wide range of mental illnesses and is passionate about empowering people to advocate for better community based services for themselves. She is currently works for Dr. Weisenbach’s study: Cognitive, Clinical, and Neural Markers of Late Life Depression.

Research Specialist

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ERICA HYMEN
(M.S. Clinical Counseling, LCP; B.S./B.A. Psychology/French)

Erica has been a research assistant in the MEND2 lab for one year. Her primary research interests utilize neuropsychology and imaging techniques to investigate cognitive and emotional outcomes in traumatic brain injury. She plans to begin her doctorate, but in the meantime, hopes to attend as many White Sox games as possible while here in her home city.

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JENNIFER GOWINS
(Clinical Research Coordinator)

Jenn has been a clinical research coordinator in the MEND2 lab since January 2014. Before becoming well-versed in all things related to fMRI pre-processing, she worked in book publishing and taught writing and reading skills to adolescents as both a classroom teacher and tutor. She plans to pursue graduate work in clinical psychology; her research interests include mood disorders and more specifically the mechanisms that underlie the onset of adolescent depression.

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NOLAN BROUSSARD
(Visiting Clinical Research Coordinator)

Nolan studied psychology at Brown University and then earned an MPH degree in Epidemiology from the University of Texas. He spent a year teaching in Chicago Public Schools and is now pursuing his research interests in all things MEND2. He plans to go back to school and ultimately work as a clinician-researcher.

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ALYSSA BARBA
(Research Assistant)

Alyssa is a research assistant in the MEND2 lab. Her primary interests are individual differences in mood disorders, integrative medicine, and Buddhist meditation. Alyssa enjoys the challenge of attempting to transform her daily SPM duties, such as 1st level model building and ROI extractions, into forms of meditative practice.

Graduate Students

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NATANIA CRANE
(M.A. - Psychology)

Natania is a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at UIC and has worked in the MEND2 lab since August 2012. Her primary research interests involve using neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to understand how substance use, particularly adolescent substance use, and affective states may interact to impact brain functioning, especially executive functioning and emotional processing. Natania likes to do yoga, ballet, spend time outdoors, and loves to travel.

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SOPHIE DELDONNO
(Graduate Student - Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program)

Sophie's general research interests include identifying trait markers for depression and the cognitive, affective, and neural components of reward processing in depressed individuals.

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AMY PETERS  
(Graduate Student - Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program)

Amy is a graduate student in clinical psychology PhD program at UIC. Amy's research interests involve using neurobiological and neuropsychological methods to study risk of onset, relapse, and mechanisms of treatment response in bipolar disorder and major depression across the developmental lifespan. Recently, she has focused on the question of how biochemical abnormalities relate to affective dysregulation and cognitive dysfunction among adolescents and young-adults with mood disorders.

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KHUSHBOO SHARMA
(Graduate Research Assistant - Programming)

Khushboo completed her under graduate degree in India and moved to Chicago to complete her Master's in Management Information Systems at UIC. She is working for Dr. Scott Langenecker as Research assistant for IT and programming, assists with design and development of research tasks and website development. She loves to learn new things, dance, music and being outdoors.

Undergraduate Students

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STEPHANIE POCIUS 
(Research Assistant)

Stephanie is a freshman at UIC, where she is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Philosophy. She is a research assistant for Dr. Scott Langenecker in the Multifaceted Explorations of the Neurobiology of Depression Disorders lab.

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KAYLA KREUTZER
(Research Assistant)

Kayla is a sophomore at UIC where she is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. She is a research assistant for Dr. Scott Langenecker in the Multifaceted Explorations of the Neurobiology of Depression Disorders lab. Kayla hopes to go on to study mood and personality disorders post-graduation.

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