Past postdoctoral fellows, 1994 - 2022

This is an archive of our psychology postdoctoral fellowship graduates. From 1994 to 2011, the photographs were scanned from group photos taken at their graduation ceremony. Unfortunately, for some years, the graduation photos are unavailable (never taken, lost, or whatever). In those cases, just the graduates and their year of graduation are listed.


David B. Newman, PhDDavid B. Newman received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Southern California. As a social and personality psychologist, his research is focused on understanding the dynamic processes of well-being in daily life. To study these processes, he relies heavily on daily diary and Ecological Momentary Assessment methods. At UCSF, he is working primarily with Dr. Wendy Mendes to study biological responses to emotion and stress states to paint a more comprehensive portrait of well-being in daily life.


Kristen Berendzen, MD, PhDKristen Berendzen received her MD and PhD in Neurosciences through the Medical Scientist Training Program at UC San Diego and completed her 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 J. Hamlat, PhDElissa 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.

Michael 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. Dr. Trujillo is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.


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. Lauren was 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 extended her work to include the ways external stressors impact sleep and cognition, particularly in minority populations.

As of September 2020, Lauren is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky.


Laura Shields-Zeeman, PhD Commonwealth Fund Harness FellowLaura Shields-Zeeman is a 2018-2019 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. Her work is focused primarily on mental health services development and service delivery reforms in different health systems, including in Europe and South Asia. She has published on a range of public health topics including mental health and human rights, maternal health, and the development and implementation of community-based health interventions in low-resource settings. She holds a Masters and Ph.D in Public Health from the Netherlands, where her research focused on mental health systems strengthening in resource-constrained settings. At UCSF, she is working with Dr. Laura Gottlieb and the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) on social needs screening and implementation of interventions for addressing social needs.


Jennifer N. Felder completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests focus on improving depression care for perinatal women by targeting barriers to treatment, developing effective psychosocial interventions, and disseminating evidence based therapies in innovative ways. Her dissertation examined the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a web-based version of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (Mindful Mood Balance; developed by Dr. Zindel Segal and Dr. Sona Dimidjian) for perinatal women at risk for depressive relapse. As a post-doctoral fellow under the primary mentorship of Dr. Elissa Epel in the UCSF Pre-Term Birth Initiative, and as an affiliate of Health Psychology, she will be examining the relationships between stress, depression, maternal and offspring health outcomes, including preterm birth, with the ultimate goal of developing more targeted and parsimonious interventions for both maternal and offspring health.

Erika Siegel, PhD

Erika H. Siegel received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northeastern University where she worked with Drs. Lisa Feldman Barrett and Karen Quigley in the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab (IASL). Erika's work explores the role of affect in the construction of conscious experience with a particular focus on the way that individual differences in affective reactivity influence both the experience of emotion and autonomic physiology. Erika also uses research synthesis methodologies to explore the fundamental nature of autonomic reactivity during affect and emotion. At UCSF, Erika is working with Dr. Wendy Mendes in the Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab. In the EHPL, she is studying the interplay between affect and psychophysiology in social contexts with a particular focus on the relationship between autonomic co-regulation and affect contagion.


Christopher Crew received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University where he focused on the application of cognitive models of selective attention and cognitive neuroscience models of learning and memory to understand the effects of high rejection sensitivity (RS; Downey and Feldman 1996) on attention, learning and memory in performance-evaluative testing environments. As a member of the EHP lab, he focused on the integration of his research on RS with Dr. Mendes research on emotion and health to 1) understand how sensitivity to race-based rejection (Race-RS) moderates physiological responses (e.g., Cardiovascular Reactivity) to performance-evaluative feedback from outgroup members, 2) to understand how these physiological responses may mediate links between Race-RS and achievement, and 3) to develop an implicit measure of chronic stress that not only functions an assessment tool but identifies avenues for intervention for improving health outcomes and well being for high RS-Race individuals.

Dr. Crew is now a Research Scientist in the diversity office at Pomona College in Clairemont, California.


Tommy Cabeza de Baca

Tomás (Tommy) Cabeza de Baca received his MS/Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona. His work specifically investigates how trade-offs in reproductive effort (i.e., mating vs. parenting) affect allocation of time and energy toward somatic maintenance and growth, and how these allocations impact physical and mental health over time. He is attempting to integrate evolutionary models, and especially life history theory, with more traditional approaches to stress-health. His research also examines the impact of parental effort on child social, behavioral and behavioral outcomes from an evolutionary-developmental and cross-cultural perspective — focusing on Latin American countries (e.g., Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominica, and USA Latinos). Specifically, he is interested in exploring the consequences of parenting on children’s life history strategies and in examining how culture and local ecology could influence both.


Jiyoung Park

Jiyoung Park received her undergraduate and master’s education at Seoul National University, Korea, and completed her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan. Two overarching goals drive her research: (1) to shed light on the basic psychological and physiological processes that facilitate health, resilience, and well-being, and (2) to explore how socio-cultural environments shape psychological processes and what neural mechanisms underlie these effects. Jiyoung examines these issues using an integrative approach that spans multiple levels of analysis, including social-cognitive, behavioral, and neural.

Dr. Park is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Lahnna CatalinoLahnna Catalino received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In one line of research, she studies the role of positive emotions and emotion regulation in the promotion of well-being and physical health. In another line of research, she investigates how emotion regulation operates in contexts of chronic stress, and ultimately affects biological outcomes associated with disease.


Lauren HumanLauren Human received her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of British Columbia, where she examined how psychological and social functioning relate to perceptivity and expressivity in social interactions. Her current research is extending this line of work to examine how neurobiological processes both influence and become influenced by social interactions and perceptions.



Sara Waters

Sara Waters received her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of California, Davis where she studied the dyadic nature of emotion regulation socialization in mothers and young children as well as the influence of maternal socialization on children's emerging understanding of emotion regulation effectiveness. Her research during her time as postdoctoral fellow explored how physiological stress reactivity may be transmitted between mothers and their children, dyadic physiological linkage, and the individual characteristics that may affect these processes.

Dr. Waters is currently an Assistant Professor at Washington State University, Vancouver, Washington.


Melanie Thomas, MD; Michael Kraus, PhD (photos not available)


Past postdocs Kirstin Aschbacher, Yan Leykin
Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD (Director, Psychology & Medicine postdoctoral fellowship); Bulent Turan, PhD (not pictured)












Lisa Groesz, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Yan Leykin, PhD








Picture of Nicole Maninger, George Slavik
Nicole Maninger, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; George Slavik, PhD








Adam Carrico, PhD; Nancy Adler; Maria Bleil, PhD



Jana Haritatos, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Sonya Brady, PhD; Amy Kiefer, PhD; Carrie Langner, PhD (not pictured)









Julianna Deardorff, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Rajni Bantha, PhD





Shannon McCoy, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Heather Burke, PhD




Lauren Barton, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Wendy Mendes, PhD; Alana Snibbe, PhD (not pictured)









David Haley, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Keith Harris, PhD









Patricia Moran, PhD; Elissa Epel, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Emily Ozer, PhD









Christyn Dolbier, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Mimi Le, PhD





Margaret Bridges, PhD; Nancy Adler, PhD; Don Operario, PhD












BACK ROW: Douglas Billings, PhD; Carmen Radecki, PhD; Laura Smart, PhD; Joan Ostrove, PhD
FRONT ROW: Elise Murowchick, PhD, Nancy Adler, PhD




Nancy Adler, PhD; Elizabeth Bachen, PhD; Susan Morris, PhD (1987 cohort PhD program); Joan Ostrove, PhD





Nancy Adler, PhD; Anne Moyer, PhD; Halle Brown, PhD









Lauri Pasch, PhD; Cynthia Rosengard, PhD; Annjanetter Alejano, PhD (photo not available)


Phil Moore, PhD; Crystal Park, PhD (photo not available)


Carol Whitlatch, PhD; Elizabeth Ozer, PhD; Sally Adams, PhD (photo not available)