Undergraduate Training Opportunities

Women's Mental Health Research Program

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WMHRP Undegraduate Training Opportunities

Student Research Assistants are valuable members of the Women’s Mental Health Research team and play an important role in the implementation of our research studies. Students should be self-motivated and display a high attention to detail.

Student RAs complete Initial Investigator and Human Subjects Protection HIPAA training. Depending on available studies and level of involvement, RAs may receive additional training in neurocognitive testing/scoring, specimen processing, bloodborne pathogen handling and conducting the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID).

For more information on Undergraduate Research at UIC, please visit the UIC Office of Undergraduate Research or the Undergraduate Research Experience websites.

 

Research Assistant Qualifications

The student should be in good academic standing with a strong GPA (3.0 or above) and have an interest in women’s mental health, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, epidemiology, microbiome, biology, nutrition, immunology, computational biology, engineering or related field.

We strongly prefer a 2-year commitment from students because of the effort required to train students in our research methods. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for seniors. Students should plan to commit 10 hours per week during the school year to the WMHRP.

Preference may be given to students in the Honors College; students who have completed courses in research methods or statistics; and/or students with a background in statistics, engineering, epidemiology and/or computer science. Familiarity with Excel and/or REDCap is ideal.

Interested applicants should complete the WMHRP Research Assistant application form and send it, along with a resume and copy of current transcripts to BrainResearchatuic [dot] edu.

Adriana Arteaga

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Adriana is a senior at UIC's College of Nursing and is a member of the Honors College, with a minor in Psychology. After graduation, she hopes to seek a position at a hospital as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse. She looks forward to learning more about how cognition is related to menopausal symptoms and hopes to use this knowledge in her future career as a nurse.

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Yasmina Darwish

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Yasmina is a sophomore studying Biochemistry at UIC and is a member of the Honors College. After graduation, Yasmina plans to attend medical school to fulfill her dreams of becoming a pediatrician. She hopes her experience with the Women’s Mental Health Research Program will help bring her closer to her goal.

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Loren Escot

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Loren is a sophomore at UIC majoring in biological sciences with a minor in psychology; she is also a member of the Honors College. She is on the Pre-Medicine track and hopes to be a pediatrician in the future. Loren is involved in the Society of Future Physicians student organization and is part of the physician lecture committee. Additionally, Loren is a Las Ganas research fellow. She is excited to be a part of the Women’s Mental Health Research team and gain valuable experience as well.

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Bianca Gallardo

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Bianca is a junior studying Psychology at UIC. She intends on pursuing graduate school in order to become a clinical psychologist. In the future, she would like to conduct her own research because she believes that research can be helpful and impactful. The Women's Mental Health Research Program allows Bianca to explore her combined interest in the psychological and biological effects on women. She believes that the opportunities she strives for as an undergraduate will continue to shape her as a psychology student and person, in general.

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Tanmayi Kadamuddi

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Tanmayi is a sophomore at UIC majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Gender & Women’s Studies. She is a senior health educator through Peer Health Exchange, treasurer of Club Badminton, volunteer in the Inpatient Pediatrics department at UI Health, as well as a member of the Honors College and GPPA Medicine. Following her graduation, Tanmayi plans on attending medical school while continuing to be a lifelong advocate for mental health.

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Sherine Thomas

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Sherine is a freshman studying Biological Sciences at UIC; she is also a member of the Honors College. She aspires to be a pediatrician in the future. Sherine is involved in UIC’s dance team, Chicago Adaa, volunteers at Bolingbrook Hospital, and is a Religious Education assistant teacher at her parish. She is thrilled to be a part of the Women’s Mental Health Research Team and hopes to gain experience in this field of medicine as well as help change negative connotations towards mental health care issues.

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Rafia Ali

Rafia graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from March 2017 until graduation in May 2019. She hopes to attend medical school following her gap year. She completed an Honors Capstone research project looking at the “Influence of Maternal Adiposity and Gestational Weight Gain on Perinatal Mental Health in an Urban Population.”

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Mia Bakis

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Mia is a junior studying Neuroscience at UIC and hopes to have a career in research. She is currently interested in neuroplasticity and the microbiome. Mia received the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award (CURA) to support her research in the lab in the 2018-19 academic year.

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Brittany Beard

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Brittany graduated from UIC with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from April 2018 until graduation in May 2019. She will be spending a gap year abroad teaching English in Korea and hopes to continue her professional education when she returns.

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Hira Chouhdry

Hira graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She plans on attending medical school after graduation and following her dream of serving those in need. Hira joined the Women’s Mental Health Research Program in 2016. She completed a capstone project on “The Effects of Pregnancy Intention on Perinatal Depression.” Hira was awarded the Hodgkin and Huxley Award by the faculty of the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience for her outstanding undergraduate achievements in neuroscience.

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Brianna David BS

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Brianna is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator with BeaLab in UIC’s Bioengineering Department. She graduated from UIC with a B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies in May of 2019. She was a research assistant for the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from February of 2018 to May of 2019. Her goal is to attend graduate school. Brianna is interested in understanding the neurobiological components of trauma and perinatal depression and anxiety.

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Annesti Elmasri

Annesti graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biology. She is currently enrolled in the College of Pharmacy at UIC. Annesti joined the Women’s Mental Health Research Program in 2015 due to her belief that when you change the life of a woman, you change the life of an entire community. Annesti completed a capstone project on “Anxiety in Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes”.

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Agatha Fernandez

Agatha graduated from the Honors College and UIC’s College of Nursing. Agatha joined the Women’s Mental Health Research Program in 2015. She completed a Capstone project on “Determining the Prevalence of Perinatal Depression in a Diverse, Urban Population Using PHQ-9 and Computerized Adaptive Diagnostic test for Major Depressive Disorder (CAD-MDD).”

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Mennat Gharib

Mennat graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from March 2017 until graduation in May 2019. She will be taking a gap year before attending graduate school. She completed an Honors Capstone research project looking at the “Effects of Race, Stress and Income on Neonate Birthweight.”

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Erykah Harris

Erykah graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Nursing. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from September 2015 until graduation in May 2019. She completed an Honors Capstone research project looking at the “Convergent Validity of PHQ-9 and CAT-MH and the Relationship between Screening Outcomes and Treatment for Depression in Perinatal Women.” She will begin her nursing career at Emory University Hospital – Midtown.

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Marina Isaac

Marina graduated from UIC with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from October 2018 until graduation in May 2019. She will be taking a gap year before attending medical school.

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Jessaly John

Jessaly graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from March 2018 until graduation in May 2019. She completed an Honors Capstone research project looking at the “Sociodemographic Factors in Antenatal Depression and Anxiety During the Third Trimester on Infant Birth Weight.” Jessaly will be pursuing a Masters in Nursing with the intent to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

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Nisha Haider

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Nisha is a junior studying psychology, with a minor in biology. With this, she plans on to continue her academic career and apply to a Physician’s Assistant school. Nisha’s interest in working as an advocate for mental health aspired her to join The Women’s Mental Health Research Program. She is interested in understanding depression and plans to gain an understanding in women’s health with respect to microbiome. She hopes to apply such knowledge in her career path of medicine and help people with associated mental health issues.

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Abha Mahajan

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Abha is a junior studying Public Health at UIC. She is involved in the professional, pre-health fraternity Delta Epsilon Mu, as well as serving as a tutor for low-income students. Abha aspires to go to medical school and hopes to become a pediatrician in the future. Outside of as well as exploring places to eat. She is excited to start her journey with the Women’s Mental Health Research Program and looks forward to collaborating with other interprofessional students to better her understanding of the field.

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Unnathi Nagelli BS

  • Research Associate (Academic hourly)
Unnathi graduated from UIC with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from April 2018 until graduation in May 2019. Her goal is to attend medical school. During her gap year, Unnathi will continue her involvement with the Women’s Mental Health Research Program as staff member.

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Nandini Sarup

  • Psychiatry Volunteer
Nandini Sarup is a first-year student majoring in Integrated Health Studies on a Pre-Health Information Management and Pre-Medicine Tracks. She is excited to assist in the MoMent research study and bring new ideas to the Women's Mental Health Research Program. Additionally, Nandini is freshman representative on Indian Student Association Board and member of Society of Future Physicians. She is also on the Volunteering Committee of the Honors College Advisory Board in the Honors College. During her free time, Nandini pursues Indian classical dance and Hindustani singing as well as playing the violin. After graduation, Nandini is hoping to attend medical school and work with international organizations.

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Zainab Shah

Zainab graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She worked on the Perinatal Mental Health research projects in the Women’s Mental Health Research Program from August 2017 until graduation in May 2019. She hopes to attend medical school following her gap year. She completed an Honors Capstone research project looking at the “Relationship between Perinatal and Postpartum Depression and Glucose Levels.”

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