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The HAPPY Lab

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Emma Childs PhD

  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Dr. Emma Childs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of The Human Addiction Psychopharmacology laboratory. Dr Childs’ research is dedicated to improving our understanding of addictive disorders. One of her primary areas of interest is studying how powerful associations are formed between abused drugs and cues (i.e., the people, places and paraphernalia) surrounding drug use.

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Yusra Ahmed

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Yusra is a second-year undergraduate student at UIC majoring in Biological Sciences. She is an honors college student and on the pre-med track. She is a volunteer with the University Health services. She also has experience shadowing in an immediate care clinic. She joined Dr. Yuru Liu’s lab in January 2022 and is a part of research on the roles of facultative stem cells in lung diseases. She is a hardworking and passionate student who enjoys learning through hands on experiences. She is interested in learning more about clinical psychiatry. She is keen to understand addictive disorders and how they impact people’s behavior and physiology. 

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Leah Alava

  • Undergraduate Research Volunteer, HAPPY Lab

Leah Alava is a second year undergraduate student at UIC planning to graduate in May 2026. She is majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Kinesiology. She is a member of Dr. Emma Childs’ laboratory within the Psychiatry Department at UIC working under the HAPPY LAB.

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Sissi Huang MA

  • Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Sissi graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. She then completed an M.A. in Psychology at the University of Chicago. With the experience and help from the HAPPY Lab, she is now pursuing her graduate studies in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her interests lie in the effects of substances in different age and biological sex groups.

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Diya Kamath

  • Student Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Diya Kamath is a student at the Illinois Math and Science Academy researching under the mentorship of Dr. Emma Childs at the UIC’s happy lab in the department of Psychiatry. Her current research focuses on understanding the transition from recreational to compulsive opioid use and its connection to the affordability and accessibility of opioid overdose medication.

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Armanjot Lakhen BS

  • Clinical Research Coordinator, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Armanjot received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois Chicago in the Spring of 2022, concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is interested in the field of psychiatry and hopes to be able to study more in the field of addiction psychiatry.

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Ayati Lala

  • Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Ayati Lala is a pre-med student interested in health disparities and bridging the gap in health equity. She is researching Nalaxone availability in the different pharmacies within Chicago communities under Dr. Childs. 

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Karen Lee

  • Undergraduate Research Volunteer, HAPPY Lab

Karen is currently a second year undergraduate student. She is on the pre-med track, pursuing a major in the biological sciences as well as a minor in psychology. She is interested in studying towards psychiatry, and recently became a student volunteer in Dr. Child’s research regarding substance abuse and addiction processes.

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Drey Maton

  • Research Aide, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Drey Maton is a senior undergraduate student-athlete majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish for the Professions. Drey is interested in a career in medicine and has been with the HAPPY Lab since May of 2021.

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Ellen Nguyen

  • Student Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Ellen is a current high school senior attending the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) enrolled in the Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) program. She is currently researching under Dr. Childs in the Happy Lab alongside a few other IMSA students. Her current independent study observes how drinking cultures affect substance use across different countries.

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Nam Nguyen

  • Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Nam Nguyen is a senior Neuroscience student at UIC. He is hoping to pursue a career in medicine.

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Fope Ojomalade

  • Student Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Fope Ojomalade is a self-motivated, hardworking, inquisitive, knowledge-seeking high school junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She has diverse experiences in community service, community engagement, and scientific investigation.

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Mumin A. Rabgie

  • Research Volunteer, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Meet Mumin A. Rabgie, an aspiring Clinical Psychology Ph.D./PsyD graduate and an undergraduate UIC student set to graduate at 19 years of age. With a psychology major and a sociology minor, he possesses a profound understanding of human behavior and societal dynamics. He is a member of Dr. Emma Childs’s HAPPY laboratory at UIC’s Department of Psychiatry.

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Mariam Razfar

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Mariam is a third year student studying biology at UIC. She is a member of Dr. Emma Child’s newest research project: access to MOUD in Cook County. As the daughter of a professor, research and curiosity has always been a part of her life. Mariam loves diving into the unknown, people-people interactions, and has a passion for the sciences. She is interested in pursuing a career in dentistry and works at two dental offices as a dental assistant.

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Eraj Shah BS

  • Clinical Research Coordinator, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Eraj Shah

Nida Ullah

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC

Nida Ullah is an undergraduate student at UIC, hoping to pursue a career in the medical field in order to serve underprivileged communities.

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Reem Zalloum

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The HAPPY Lab
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Reem is a second-year undergraduate student here at UIC currently pursuing a double major in Biological Sciences and Psychology, with a minor in Chemistry. Her interest forms around the physical and mental aspects of individuals and any effects that could influence certain behaviors.  Reem is passionate about creating positive changes, is very eager, and highly motivated about learning.

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Tory Eisenlohr-Moul PhD

  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Associate Director of Translational Research in Women’s Mental Health
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine
Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UIC, and holds an additional courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychology. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized fellowship training in the pathophysiology, assessment, and treatment of hormone-related psychiatric disorders-- particularly premenstrual disorders.

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Pauline Maki PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Director of Women’s Mental Health Research Program
  • Senior Director of Research, Center for Research on Women and Gender
For over 20 years, Dr. Pauline M. Maki has led a program of NIH-funded research focused on the role of sex steroid hormones on cognition, mood, brain function (neuroimaging) and stress responsivity in women. Women’s cognitive abilities, mood, and response to stress can be affected by changes in sex hormones, like estrogen, including changes that occur during the menopausal transition, during pregnancy, and across the menstrual cycle. In particular, the goal of her work is to improve the lives of women by identifying factors that alter their risk of cognitive decline and affective disorders.

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