Graduate Students

Allison Borges

Allison BorgesI am a seventh-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Rutgers University working with Dr. Teresa Leyro and Dr. Edward Selby of the Emotion and Psychopathology Lab. Prior to graduate school, I received my B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Boston University. My research examines the role of transdiagnostic cognitive-affective vulnerabilities in the maintenance of substance use. I utilize a multi-method approach in my work to examine the reinforcing properties of cigarettes. I hope to inform treatment development and implementation through my research. I am currently completing my internship year in the Clinical Psychology Internship Training Program at Brown University.

Hannah Brinkman

Hannah BrinkmanI am 2nd year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers University under the mentorship of Dr. Teresa Leyro. I am interested in studying mechanisms related to the etiology and maintenance of comorbid substance use and psychiatric disorders with a primary focus on tobacco use and anxiety-pathology. My work seeks to explore how psychological and physiological stress processes interact and can increase one’s risk for engaging in maladaptive health behaviors. My passion for this area of study stems from an array of clinical and research opportunities she pursued throughout her undergraduate career at Umass Amherst and post-baccalaureate employment experiences at Fordham University and the Trauma and Resilience Program at Mount Sinai.

Danielle Hoyt

Danielle HoytI am a first-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, I was the research coordinator of the Translational Research Program at Boston University, and received my B.A. in Applied Psychology from Bryant University and M.A. in Psychology from Boston University. My research interests center around the etiology, prevention, and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, particularly where they intersect with substance use such as cigarette smoking. I am additionally interested in advancing the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions for these disorders, with particular focus on addressing racial and ethnic inequities.

Mark Versella

Mark VersellaI am a 6th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, studying under the direction of Dr. Teresa Leyro. Previously, I received my B.A.H and M.S at Villanova University. My research interests primarily are in examining the comparative effects of nicotine delivery systems (e.g., electronic cigarettes), specifically focused on factors that maintain addiction (e.g., withdrawal). In addition, I am interested in understanding factors that predict differential treatment response in nicotine use, the interaction between anxiety and anxiety relevant processes, substance use disorders, and evidence-based treatment for anxiety. In addition, I also have a strong clinical interest in behavioral medicine. I am currently on my pre-doctoral internship. 

Min-Jeong Yang

Min-Jeong YangI received my doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology in 2020 under Dr. Teresa Leyro and am currently completing my postdoctoral training at Moffitt Cancer Center. My main research interest lies in the biological, affective, and cognitive features of impulsivity in individuals with substance abuse and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Specifically, I have been working on multiple research projects on the affect regulation, executive function, implicit bias, and psychophysiology among cigarette smoking and alcohol using populations. My clinical training has focused on evidence-based treatments including CBT focusing on exposure therapy, motivational interviewing, and DBT skills in the integrated behavioral health in primary care and randomized clinical trials targeting alcohol and nicotine use.

Affective and Biological Underpinnings of Substance Use and Anxiety (ABUSA) Lab | Fax: 732-445-0036


Department of Psychology | Rutgers | The State University of New Jersey | Phone: 848-445-2272