Current Health Psychology fellows, 2019-2020

"Psychology and Medicine:Translational Research on Stress, Behavior and Disease"

First year

Pic of Kristen Berendzen, MD, PhDKristen Berendzen received her MD and PhD in Neurosciences through the Medical Scientist Training Program at UC San Diego and recently completed Psychiatry Residency training at UCSF. In graduate school, she studied the genetic and metabolic pathways that respond to neuronal stress and confer resilience in aging and disease models. Kristen is currently a Psychology and Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow working with Drs. Devanand Manoli and Andrew Krystal, as well as collaborators at the Memory and Aging Center, to better understand the deficits in social cognition that manifest with aging and neurodegenerative disease.

Elissa Hamlat, PhD T32 postdoctoral fellowElissa June Hamlat received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Temple University in 2017. Her research focuses on the pubertal transition as a developmental period of risk for physical and mental health problems, particularly those associated with depression. At UCSF, she works primarily with Dr. Elissa Epel to better understand the biological processes underlying the relationships between puberty and health outcomes throughout the lifespan. She is interested in racial and ethnic differences in these relationships and how they may contribute to health disparities.
 

Second year

Picture of Michael Trujillo, PhDMichael A. Trujillo received his PhD in Health Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University where he explored the impact of stigma-related stressors on mental and physical health and how adaptive and maladaptive strategies influenced these relationships, particularly among marginalized populations (racial/ethnic, sexual and gender minorities). Broadly, Michael is guided by ecological models that view stigma as a fundamental cause of health outcomes and examines how interpersonal, intrapersonal, and structural forms of stigma impact health disparities. At UCSF, he is working with Dr. Wendy Mendes in the Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab where he is extending how stigma “gets under the skin” to impact health outcomes by examining decision-making and the role of affectivity.

Picture of Lauren Whitehurst, PhDLauren Whitehurst received her PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 2018 where her research explored the processes during sleep that are important for cognitive function. Her work using experimental methodologies (e.g. electroencephalography, pharmacology) investigated how autonomic and central nervous system factors interact to produce regulatory effects on cognition. Currently, Lauren is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow and a Psychology and Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco working with Drs. Aric Prather and Wendy Mendes in the Department of Psychiatry. At UCSF, Lauren is extending her work to include the ways external stressors impact sleep and cognition, particularly in minority populations.