Hannah B., M.S.
Hannah is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers University under the mentorship of Dr. Teresa Leyro. Hannah's research interests involve identifying biological mechanisms that underlie substance use risk and contribute to anxiety and stress-related comorbidities. She is particularly interested in leveraging psychophysiological methods to study the acute and chronic effects of substance use on centeral and peripheral stress repsonse systems. Hannah was recently awared a two-year Ruth L. Kirschtein Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The project aims to characterize the effects of cigarette use on physiological processes that support body-brain communication and how smoking-related impairments in these processes increase anxiety risk. The project includes a mentoring team comprised of Drs. Teresa Leyro, Samantha Farris, Jennifer Buckman (SAS/CAS), and Anthony Pawlak (SAS/CAS) along with additional faculty from Boston University and the University of Vermont. With this all-star mentoring team, Hannah will receive training in mechanism-focused experimental design, translational models of addiction and anxiety, and psychophysiological data analysis.
Danielle H., M.A.
Danielle is a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers University under the mentorship of Dr. Teresa Leyro in the ABUSA lab. Prior to joining the lab, she received her B.A. in Applied Psychology from Bryant University and M.A. in Psychology from Boston University. Her research interests center on the etiology, prevention, and treatment of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders from a translational science perspective, with a specialized focus on their shared transdiagnostic cognitive-affective mechanisms (eg. anxiety sensitivity). She is additionally interested in advancing the dissemination and implementation of evidence based interventions for these disorders, with particular focus on addressing inequities in treatment access and use. In 2023, Danielle was awarded a two-year Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31-Diversity) from NIMH. One phase of her project investigates the relations among anxiety sensitivity, mental health, and the workplace functioning of direct-care nurses. The second phase gathers perspectives and feedback from nursing managers as well as direct-care nurses regarding factors that may affect the scaled dissemination of a brief health anxiety sensitivity reduction intervention (the CAST intervention) in direct-care nurses.
Kathleen K., B.A.
Kathleen is a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers University under the mentorship of Dr. Teresa Leyro. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University while working at the ABUSA lab. Kathleen is interested in understanding the etiology and treatment of addictive and anxiety disorders, particularly within the military/veteran population, inspired by her past service in the U.S. Army. Specifically, Kathleen hopes to further research nicotine and alcohol use and dependence in this population.
Mindy K., M.S.
Mindy is a fifth-year graduate student in the Rutgers University Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, under the mentorship of Dr. Farris. Mindy is interested in developing and testing interventions to support meaningful living and positive behavior change in people with chronic medical illness. She’s exploring acceptance-based approaches that harness people’s personal values to enhance willingness to engage in exposure interventions and the hard work of getting healthier. Mindy serves as a clinician in the Behavioral Exposure for Interoceptive Tolerance (BE-FIT) intervention study promoting physical activity in patients engaged in cardiac rehabilitation.
Jacqueline S., M.S.
Jacqueline is a fourth-year graduate student in the Rutgers University Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, under the mentorship of Dr. Farris. She earned her master's degree in behavioral and social health sciences from Brown University and her bachelor's degree in psychology with a clinical concentration from Boston College. Her work thus far has primarily focused on biopsychosocial predictors of chronic pain in young women with endometriosis as well as emotion dysregulation in cigarette smoking and marijuana vaping. Her primary interests are women's health, emotion regulation, and health behaviors. Jacqueline plans to continue to research emotion dysregulation and maladaptive health behaviors to better inform future intervention approaches.
Lilly D., M.S.
Lilly is a third-year graduate student in the Rutgers University Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, under the mentorship of Dr. Farris. Broadly, Lilly is actively involved in initiatives built upon rigorous and reproducible behavioral science that bring together disparate ideas, often from different disciplines and with key stakeholders, to answer important questions about behavioral and clinical science. Lilly is interested in novel approaches that enhance engagement in cognitive-behavioral interventions (eg., exposure and behavioral activation) by targeting transdiagnostic mechanisms of action (eg., anxiety sensitivity, distress tolerance) to help increase positive healh behaviors (eg., physical activity) and chronic disease management in support of healthy aging.
Melissa H., M.S.
Melissa Hatch is a third-year graduate student in the Rutgers University Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program, under the mentorship of Dr. Farris and Dr. DiBello. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico. Her work thus far has primarily focused on examining mechanisms of behavior change in high-risk individuals with alcohol or substance use disorder and working with community organizations to improve the uptake of evidence-based practices.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Brianna A., Ph.D.
Dr. Altman is a post-doctoral research associate in the REHAB/ABUSA labs working under the mentorship of Drs. Samantha Farris and Teresa Leyro. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) and completed her predoctoral internship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Altman’s research thus far has focused on co-occurring substance use and internalizing disorders, health behaviors, and related correlates, with a focus on examining underlying transdiagnostic mechanisms, including distress tolerance and emotion dysregulation. She is also interested in conducting psychometric evaluations of measures of substance use problems, as accurate assessment is key to better understanding and treating substance use disorders. In her role in the REHAB/ABUSA labs, Dr. Altman serves as a study clinician for several ongoing studies, helps to interpret data and prepare manuscripts, and provides supervision and mentorship to graduate students and research coordinators.