Christine A. Rabinak, PhD, Assistant Professor & Lab Director

I am an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Departments of Pharmacy Practice, Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Translational Neuroscience Program at Wayne State University. I received my PhD in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 2009 under the mentorship of Dr. Steve Maren.  Following my graduate work, I was accepted as a Postdoctoral Translational Scholar in the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), an NIH- supported institutional multidisciplinary career development award designed to foster the development of individuals with a PhD in biomedical science disciplines for independent careers in translational research. I carried this work out in the Psychiatric Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory and Trauma, Stress, & Anxiety Research Group within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan and the Mental Health Service at the Veterans Administration Healthcare System in Ann Arbor under the mentorship of Drs. K. Luan Phan, Israel Liberzon, and James Abelson. The focus of my current research is to build on my recent work on the neural circuits involved in regulating extinction of fear memories using a rodent model and translate it to humans, to better dissect the neural mechanisms of fear memory-related psychiatric conditions.


Hilary Marusak, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. I received my PhD in Translational Neuroscience from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Moriah Thomason. My PhD research was focused on understanding the impact of early emotional trauma on brain and behavioral development in children and young adolescents. In that research, we identified structural and functional changes in the emotion centers of the brain. These changes may predispose some children to later emotional problems, particularly for children reared in socioeconomically disadvantaged settings. My postdoctoral work with Dr. Christine Rabinak will expand on those findings mechanistically - testing how early violence and/or abuse impacts the learning and regulation of fear memories. Another area of interest is medical trauma: we hope to understand the impact of the childhood cancer experience (cancer treatments, concerns about safety) on brain and behavioral development of the child, and on the family as a whole. 


Craig Peters, Research Technologist

One major role I have in the lab is to help with image processing and analysis. Prior to joining the TNP2 Lab I studied genetic interactions, specifically miRNA and mRNA, and helped facilitate high school educational workshops at the local Ann Arbor non-profit, miRcore, with Dr. Inhan Lee. I earned my undergraduate degree in Life Science Informatics at the University of Michigan, and have worked in the past for U of M's Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences Department. My interests include information science in health industry, how information technology is transforming the way we operate in the scientific world, and nerdy board games.


Farrah Elrahal, Research Coordinator

I am the research project coordinator in the lab. I received my BS in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to this position, I worked in Dr. Thomason's SCAN lab at Wayne State as the project coordinator. I am interested in conducting research related to neuropsychology and neuroimaging. I plan on attending graduate school and earning a PhD in the future. I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. I am excited to be a part of the TNP2 lab team!


Brian Silverstein, Neuroscience PhD Student


Allesandra Iadipaolo, Research Assistant

As a research assistant, I am greatly involved with the THINK project, studying neurodevelopment in kids. In addition to data analysis and various other tasks in the lab, I assist with running the weekend fMRI visits. I recently graduated from Wayne State with a BA in Psychology, and am looking forward to applying to graduate programs in either clinical psychology or clinical neuroscience.  I am particularly interested in continuing to study the neural bases of risk and resilience in children and adolescents.  When I’m not busy being a huge neuro-psych nerd, I love to read, paint, spend time outdoors, and check out new restaurants and businesses in the Detroit area.  Being a part of the TNP2 lab crew is awesome!


Narcis Marshall, Clinical Research Assistant

I’m serving as a clinical research assistant on several clinical and neuroimaging projects (EEG, fMRI) in the lab, and assisting with data collection, preprocessing, and analysis. I’m also currently co-serving as lab manager and project coordinator for our collaborator's NIH/NICDH neurodevelopment research lab, also at Wayne State. Prior to coming to Detroit, I studied at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and received my bachelor’s in Psychology in 2015. Since then, I have continued my focus on neuroscience, specifically the intersection between clinical psychology and neurodevelopment. I am very interested in the effects of early adversity and family environment on brain and behavioral development. I look forward to continuing this work in a graduate clinical PhD program. When I’m not working, I can usually be found enjoying the great indoors or hunting down interesting new food to try.


Shelley Paulisin, Research Assistant Volunteer

I am currently a undergraduate student at Macomb Community College and will be transferring to Wayne State University working towards pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences. My future career aspiration is to become a Oncologist. I am looking forward to volunteering in the lab as a research assistant. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and reading. I am excited to be a part of the volunteer team at Wayne State!

 


Limi Sharif, ReBUILD Detroit Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a current undergraduate student at Wayne State University with a biology major and psychology minor. I am also a part of the ReBUILD Detroit program which focuses on increasing diversity in biomedical research. Additionally, I have a large interest in neuroscience with future aspirations of pursuing my own research in this field. I enjoy doing puzzles and brain teasers, working on DIY projects, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited to embark on this research experience and look forward to what it will bring!


Aneesh Hehr, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate biology major at Wayne State University. In the TNP2 lab, I am currently analyzing data for our novel fear conditioning paradigm which uses virtual reality to measure behavior in response to aversive events. I can’t wait to present some of these results at upcoming conferences! In my free time, I like to explain why Canadians are better than Americans, play guitar and listen to music.


Kelsey Sala-Hamrick M.A., TLLP, THINK Research Assistant

I am currently a doctoral student Clinical Psychology with a focus in developmental psychopathology and statistics. My research focuses broadly on the resilient and multidimensional (neurological, biological, psychosocial, etc.) development of children and young people who have experienced trauma, community stressors, and demographic and associated risks (e.g. racism, poverty, medical conditions).  I am delighted to be a part of the TNP2 lab! As part of this lab, I am involved in several projects in which I primarily conduct clinical interviews with children and families with adverse experiences in order to understand how these experiences effect functional and structural changes in the emotional centers of the brain.  In addition to my research pursuits, I work clinically with children, adolescents and families in outpatient, community, integrative health settings.


Laura Crespo, M.A., TLLP, THINK Research Assistant

I am a Clinical Psychology doctoral student, also earning a Dual-Title in Infant Mental Health. My research interests involve understanding how parenting practices can promote emotion competence and positive psychosocial outcomes in children from at-risk environments. As part of the TNP2 lab, I have primarily been involved in conducting clinical interviews with children and parents about their stressful life experiences (such as victimization and medical trauma). Data gathered from these interviews are used to understand the neurological correlates of trauma and psychopathology development. In addition to research, I conduct therapy and assessments with children and families at a community health center in Detroit.


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Mike Angstadt, Research Computer Specialist

I received Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. In 2004 I began working in neuroimaging at the Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology Research Unit at the University of Chicago.  In 2007, my position relocated to the University of Michigan. My work has focused primarily on fMRI data processing and analysis with a side of server administration. I am continually interested in advancing the techniques that our lab uses to analyze neuroimaging data to allow more informed and detailed analysis, as well as streamlining data processing to get to the results more quickly.  I recently completed a Master's degree in Statistics.


THINK Volunteers

Josh Hatfield

Farah Sheikh

Suzanne Brown

Sajah Fakhoury

Klara Gellci

Xhenis Bahrami

Autumn Heeter


Alumni

Kassem Soufan, Biology Honors Undergraduate Student, WSU

Juan Reyes, P2 Student, Directed-Study, WSU

Derek Montgomery, P3 Student, Directed-Study, WSU

Clara Zundel, Research Assistant; Currently a neuroscience doctoral student at Boston University

Shomita Rode, Undergraduate Research Assistant, WSU

Sameen Jaffry, Undergraduate Honors Psychology Research Assistant, WSU

Jen Mahn, MPA, Clinical Study Coordinator; Currently Clinic Operations Manager, City of Detroit Public Health STD & TB Clinics

Pranay Ravipati, Pharmaceutical Sciences MS Graduate Student, Rotation, WSU

Miranda Bauer, P2 Student, Directed-Study, WSU

Jeremy DeLor, P2 Student, Directed-Study, WSU

Nicholas Meshkin, Neuroscience Predoctoral Graduate Student, Rotation, WSU

Shoko Mori, BS, Senior Honors Student, University of Michigan; Currently a Medical Student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

Angie Miller, Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Michigan 

RJ Walls, Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Michigan

Maryssa Lyons, BS, Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Michigan