Lab Director

Robin Nusslock, Ph.D.

Robin Nusslock is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where he also holds appointments in Neurobiology, Psychiatry, and Medical Social Sciences. He completed his Ph.D  at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a postdoctoral fellowship in affective and clinical neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. His research examines the neural circuitry underlying both positive and negative emotional states, and how these neural circuits are disrupted in emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and mania.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Staff


Iris Chat

Iris is a research coordinator for the BrainMAPD research project. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at UCLA and her M.A. in Psychology at Boston University. Her research interests center on the mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of anxiety disorders. She is also interested in determining which components are effective in the treatments for anxiety disorders.

Sekine Ozturk

Sekine is an MRI research assistant working for BrainMAPD and MWMH projects. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. Her research interests include neuroimaging and neurobiological markers of psychopathology. She is hoping to attend graduate school in clinical psychology in the near future.

Post-Doctoral Researchers


Nick Kelley, Ph.D.

Nick is a post-doctoral researcher in the department of psychology at Northwestern University. He completed his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on the interplay between emotion, motivation, and self-control.

Graduate Students


Casey Armstrong

Casey is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She received a B.S. in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego and worked as a researcher at UC Los Angeles. She is interested in early identification and intervention in affective and psychotic disorders. She is particularly interested in using neuroimaging to identify people at risk for serious psychopathology.

Ann Carroll

Ann is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Harvard University, after which she spent three years as a research assistant in the Harvard Psychology Department. Her research goals are to better understand fundamental contributors to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction, in particular, using neuroimaging methods to explore aberrant impulsivity and compulsivity.

Katherine Damme

Katherine Damme is a Brain, Behavior, and Cognition Ph.D. student. Her research aim is to use integrative neuroimaging to understand risk taking, reward, and motivation. She is particularly interested in how functional and structural connectivity in the brain predict behavior and risk for psychopathology. She completed her B.A. at Vanderbilt University in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience and recently completed a research fellowship at the NIH's Section on Integrative Neuroscience.

James Glazer

James is a Clinical Psychology graduate student. He has a B.A. from Michigan State University and previously worked on Cultural Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. He is interested in using neurophysiological measures of threat/reward processing and action monitoring to study depression, anxiety, and bipolar spectrum disorders.

Christina Young

Christina Young is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She completed her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego and recently worked as a researcher at Stanford. She is interested in using neuroimaging methods to examine reward processing in depression and bipolar disorder.

Graduate Student Alumni

Xiaoqing Hu, Ph.D.

Xiaoqing received his Ph.D. from the Brain, Behavior and Cognition program. He is interested in understanding the relationship between one's reward processing and moral decision-making. He hopes his research can help design simple interventions to promote ethical behavior. His other research interests concern social cognition, neuroscience-based memory detection, etc.

Narun Pornpattananangkul, Ph.D.

Non received his Ph.D. from the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program. He is currently a research fellow at the National University of Singapore's psychology department and SINASE Institute. Under the supervision of Dr. Rongjun Yu, he will be employing hyperscanning and neuromodulation techniques to better understand decision-making.

Keegan Walden, Ph.D.

Keegan is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Insight Behavioral Centers, a major provider of mental health services at the residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care. He studies treatment outcomes and predictors of positive change in therapy. Keegan was a member of the lab from 2010-2015. His research focused on the neurophysiology of reward-relevant emotions. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Yale.

Undergraduate Students


Andrew Kittleson is a senior at Northwestern studying neuroscience and classical studies. He is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Andrew currently serves as Lab Manager and is completing an honors thesis uncovering a novel biomarker of generalized anxiety disorder using EEG. After graduation, he will spend two years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health before Ultimately, pursuing an M.D.-Ph.D. degree to work as a physician-scientist. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching soccer, reading historical nonfiction, and spending time with friends.

Hannah Knott 

Claudia Hentschel is from Rye, New York and will graduate in 2018 with a major in Neuroscience and minor in Global Health. After graduation, Claudia is planning a national parks road trip before beginning medical school in fall 2018. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, and reading historical nonfiction. 

Elayna Shanker a senior from Riverwoods, IL majoring in Human Development and Psychological Services and minoring in Chemistry! She loves learning more about neuroscience in the lab and--eventually--want to incorporate this knowledge into a career as a physician. Aside from research, she loves baking, running, and being outside. 

Sasha Becker is a senior from the Chicago suburbs studying Human Development in SESP and Spanish. She will graduate this spring and will be attending Feinberg School of Medicine after taking a gap year to teach abroad. She loves to read, run, and spend time with friends. 

Noah Lisser

Jeanette Akuamoah is from, what she believes, is the best city on earth (Chicago). She will be graduating in the Spring of 2020 as a Neuroscience major with a minor in Global Health. After graduation, she plans on applying to medical school. Her hobbies include dancing in the two hip-hop dance groups that she participates in on campus. 

Afsar Sandozi

Erica Fada is a Junior majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology, as well as pursuing a minor in Theater. She is from St. Louis, Missouri, where developed her love for Tae Kwon Do and fencing throughout middle and high school, and continues to practice when she's home. Erica plans to graduate next spring and attend a Masters in Social Work program in the Chicago area. 

Talia Meidan

Sophia Ruark

Zack Aslan

Gina Gabrielli

Danielle Wolk

Elaine Sobel



Michael Weston is a senior at NU studying neuroscience and economics. In the lab, he works under Kate Damme in the undergrad MRI team. His research focus is on structural disparities in the amygdalae of bipolar patients. Starting next summer, he will be working as an investment banking analyst at Houlihan Lokey in Minneapolis, where he will advise mergers, acquisitions, and capital markets deals. Michael grew up in Denver, CO, which is where he learned his love for hiking, fishing, skiing, and golf.

Emilie Touma

Emily Mirochnick



Nabeel Kassam is a senior at Northwestern graduating in Winter 2018. He is from Evergreen Park, IL, just outside the wonderful city of Chicago. Nabeel plans to attend medical school and specialize in psychiatry. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and cooking.

Mitchell Victor is a neuroscience major (WCAS '18) born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has a passion for learning and am curious about the physiological and molecular processes that underlie behavior, cognition, and disease states. After he graduates, he hopes to do research for a year at the NIH as part of the Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) program and beyond that, he plans on going to medical school to ultimately develop a career as both a physician and a scientist. His hobbies are hiking with his dogs, playing tennis, and reading!

Andrea Gouvea

Joanna Hong

Emily Smith

Lorna Sanchez a Junior studying Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology, and Global Health Studies. She was born and raised in Honduras, but moved to Chicago to start high school. After undergrad she hopes to attend medical school. Her dream is to move back to Honduras or Latin America to practice medicine there. 

James Walker is a neuroscience and econ double major from Hinsdale, IL. He is graduating in 2020 with the hopes of going into healthcare consulting and then eventually medical school 3-4 years post-graduation. His main hobbies are playing piano/singing, playing club soccer here at NU, and working one a cancer fundraiser he started recently.

Reyna Won is from Seoul, Korea & Michigan. She is majoring in psychology and statistics. Her graduation year is 2018. She is interested in clinical psychology and criminal psychology. To this end, she is planning to go to graduate school to study clinical psychology with a concentration in criminal psychology. Reyna loves traveling and DJing!

Undergraduate Student Alumni

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Baani Singh majored in Biological Sciences- with a concentration in Neurobiology- and Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern. Her research interests are studying reward processing and the biological origins of mood disorders. She matriculates to the University of Minnesota's School of Medicine upon graduation in 2017.



Katherine Ardeleanu graduated in 2016 with majors in psychology and theatre at Northwestern. She completed honors thesis in the lab. She is interested in studying the biological origins of mental disorders and possible treatments. She is interested in pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology.

Ajay Nadig graduated from Northwestern in 2017 with majors in neuroscience and philosophy. He is interested in research related to reward processing, individual differences in personality and emotion, and molecular psychiatry. He hopes to eventually pursue an M.D.-Ph.D. and become a physician-scientist.

Storm Heidinger graduated in 2015 with majors in psychology and economics, with a minor in English Creative Writing at Northwestern. He is interested in working on research that involves individual differences in personality and mood disorders. He hopes in the future to become involved with clinical work or conduct his own research as an undergraduate.


Jonathan graduated from Northwestern University after being enrolled in the five year dual degree program. He majored in psychology and violin performance. 

Katherine Seldin majored in Psychology and Theatre at Northwestern. She has special interest in studying Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, and would like to attend graduate school for clinical psychology.



Rita Taylor studied cognitive science and psychology at Northwestern.  She is interested in sexual dimorphism as it relates to bipolar disorder and depression.  She hopes to ultimately conduct research pertaining to this and other subjects. She is interested in pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology. 

Samantha Reznik is a graduate student in clinical psychology at University of Arizona, working with John Allen. She completed her honors thesis in the lab, which centered on neurophysiological response to learned helplessness. Samantha also served as the lab manager.

Michelle Thai is an undergraduate majoring in psychology and art theory and practice at Northwestern. She is currently a research assistant with Boston VA Medical Center.

Daniel O'Leary is a graduate student working at Stanford University with James Gross. He is studying emotional regulation. He was a Psychology and English double-major at Northwestern University. He is interested in studying Unipolar and Bipolar Depression, Anxiety, Creativity, and Meditative practices as well as the cultural, cognitive, and affective influences on these domains.

Rachel Bencic graduated from Northwestern with a degree in psychology in 2011. She worked with Professor Nusslock on her honors thesis, which focused on the neural underpinnings of Behavioral Approach System (BAS) hypersensitivity in individuals with bipolar disorder. Rachel is currently a graduate student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. 

Kristen Goulee graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. She is currently a medical student at Rosalind Franklin University.

Ellen Reynolds graduated from Northwestern with a degree in psychology. She did her senior thesis in the lab, focusing on reward-related brain function. Her other research interests include bipolar disorder and its comorbidity with other mood and anxiety disorders.

Laurie Russell conducted her senior thesis in the lab, which centered on reward-related brain function. Her other research interests include both unipolar and bipolar depression and their frequent comorbidity with additional anxiety and mood disorders. Laurie is currently working at the NIMH as a recipient of the post-baccalaureate intramural research training award.

Chrissy Lee is a current graduate student at the University of Kentucky studying peer problems in children with ADHD in relation to their academic difficulties. Her mentor is Dr. Rich Milich. Her career interests are in studying children with ADHD combined with Asian American mental health.

Collaborators & Friends

        Lyn Abramson – University of Wisconsin-Madison

        Lauren Alloy – Temple University

        Jorge Almeida – Brown University

        James Coan – University of Virginia

        Jason Chein – Temple University

        Michelle Craske - University of Califonia, Los Angeles

        Richard Davidson – University of Wisconsin-Madison

        Erika Forbes – University of Pittsburgh

        Ellen Frank – University of Pittsburgh

        June Gruber – University of Colorado

        Eddie Harmon-Jones – University of New South Wales

        Jutta Joormann – Yale University

        Gregory Miller – Northwestern University

        Vijay Mittal – Northwestern University

        Mary Phillips – University of Pittsburgh

        Alexander Shackman – University of Maryland

        Tim Salomons – Toronto Western Research Institute

        Richard Zinbarg – Northwestern University