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Laramie Duncan, PhD

Dr. Duncan is the PI of the Integrative Mental Health Laboratory (Duncan Lab) and is an Assistant Professor at Stanford in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  With a joint PhD in neuroscience and clinical psychology, Dr. Duncan's long term goal is to discover mechanisms underlying mental health problems, especially schizophrenia and PTSD. Dr. Duncan undertook extensive postdoctoral training in statistical genetics and she leads genomic analyses for international consortia.  Projects include both primary discovery efforts and translational analyses to yield mechanistic targets for novel therapeutics.  

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Rebecca Lawn, PhD

Dr. Lawn is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (part time IMHL). She gained a first-class BSc (hons) in Psychology from Newcastle University and received her PhD from the University of Bristol, where she worked between the School of Psychological Science and the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Lawn’s  applied Mendelian randomization to investigate causal relationships in evolutionary theories of development and behavior with a focus on life history theory (concentrating on age at menarche and age at first sexual intercourse) and schizophrenia.  Her current research interests include the relation of trauma exposure, trauma types and PTSD with health over the life course.

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Hanyang Shen, MPH

Hanyang Shen received her MPH degree in Epidemiology from Drexel University. Her research interests are identifying risk factors and effective treatments for mental diseases using data from various sources, including longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, clinical trials, national cohorts, and genetic databases. Hanyang’s current focus in Dr. Duncan’s group is to understand genetic components of psychiatric diseases by using methods such as genome-wide association study (GWAS), pathway analysis, and polygenic risk scores (PRS).  

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Shannon Cusack, PhD Candidate

Shannon soon-to-be-Dr. Cusack will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Data Science track of the MIRECC Fellowship at the Palo Alto VA working with Dr. Duncan in the IMHL lab. She is soon to complete her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Shannon’s research interests include understanding factors that impact post-trauma trajectories among individuals exposed to potentially traumatic events. Clinically, she has a passion for working with individuals with PTSD and co-occurring disorders. When not working on the latest manuscript or working with clients, Shannon loves spending time with her two pups, being in the weight room, and baking any and all chocolate dessert recipes. 

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Ciera Stafford

Ciera Stafford is a Research Assistant with the Integrative Mental Health Lab. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology (hons) with minors in International Studies and Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma, where she worked on analyzing Fragile X syndrome data in the Brain and Biomarker Lab. She is passionate about mental health research and advocacy. She also works for the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI Program. In her free time, she enjoys talking to people, reading political fiction, and, true to her Alaskan roots, doing anything outdoors. 

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Katy Werwath

Katy is a sophomore at Stanford studying CS on the biocomputation track. She is passionate about mental health and is fascinated by how genes can translate into abstract emotions and behaviors. She’s also a peer counselor at The Bridge, an outreach intern for Stanford’s Society of Women Engineers, and a tutor-mentor for East Palo Alto middle schoolers. When not up late coding, you can find her walking her poodle, paddle boarding in the Bay, and watching way too much of The Great British Baking Show!

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Tayden Li

Tayden is a junior at Stanford majoring in math and computational science (MCS). He is passionate about medicine and mental health and is especially interested in applying computational tools to discover how genes impact our behavior and mental wellbeing. He also serves as a preclinical volunteer chair and a Mandarin interpreter chair at Stanford’s Pacific Free Clinic as well as a social chair at Taiwanese Cultural Society. In his free time, he loves to watch shows like Bojack Horseman that have interesting perspectives on well-being and psychiatric disorders.

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Madeleine Salem

Madeleine Salem is a freshman at Stanford studying Symbolic Systems with a neuroscience concentration. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and innovating clinical psychiatry. She is also a peer counselor and coordinator at The Bridge, a Bridge to Care counselor at Stanford's Arbor Free Clinic, and Executive Director of the mental health nonprofit The Purple Hydrangea Project. In her free time, you'll find her playing instruments,  going on hikes with her dog, and binge-watching yet another anime. 

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Will Li

William Li is an undergraduate at Stanford University studying computer science and symbolic systems. Working with Ohio State University, he has published research on various areas of math and computer science, from autonomous driving to differential equations to combinatorial game theory. His research with MIT PRIMES invented new algebraic objects with applications in dynamical systems. At Stanford, Will's research interests are in AI and computational cognitive science with a focus on mental health. Outside of science, Will enjoys promoting mental health awareness, writing satire for the newspaper, and “Zip-Carring” to the bay!

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Raina Bhatia

Raina is a freshman at Stanford majoring in bioengineering and potentially international relations. She is passionate about studying correlations between genetics and psychiatric disorders and is really excited to learn more about and apply statistical genetics to identify mechanisms that contribute to mental health disorders. She is also a Board Intern for the Model UN team for the Society for International Affairs at Stanford, a member of Stanford Students in Biodesign’s Probe team, and enjoys playing the drums when she can. In her free time, Raina is either gushing about/playing with her dogs, binge-watching TV, and analyzing every cricket match ever played.   

Alumni

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Bryna Cooper, PsyD


Postdoc, Harvard Medical School
Bryna completed her clinical psychology PsyD in our lab through the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Congrats Bryna!  Bryna is passionate about working with PTSD and complex trauma through both translational research and direct clinical work. Her research interests are primarily centered on understanding the risk and resiliency factors involved in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Bryna has completed numerous clinical placements in the San Francisco-Bay Area focused on the mental health treatment of trauma survivors. 

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Maurice Chiang

CEO, Prairie Health
Maurice Chiang received his bachelors in bioengineering at Stanford in 2019, and is currently in a computer science graduate program. He is fascinated with data-driven approaches to mental health problems. In his free time, Maurice can be found in the ceramics studio working on sculptures and installations.
 

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Joeri Meijsen, PhD

Postdoc, Institute for Biological Psychiatry, Denmark
Joeri Meijsen, PhD holds a Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and a PhD in statistical genetics and machine learning from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). During his PhD he focused on developing new statistical and bioinformatics tools for the detection of genetic contributions to psychiatric disorders. Research interests include population genetics, examining the contribution of genetic interaction with environmental risk factors, developing novel statistical methodologies, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Congrats Joeri on the new postdoc in Denmark!

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Jacob Reiter

Jacob Reiter is a graduate researcher at IMHL and current Stanford grad student in computer science (biocomputation track). His undergrad at Stanford was in Symbolic Systems. He is passionate about applying novel computational techniques towards mental illness. His previous work included developing an interpretable schizophrenia classifier on brain imaging data. He also serves as the Stanford MSCS mental health information network representative. For fun, Jacob reads literature on botany and watches inordinate amounts of "Survivor." 

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Benson Kung

Benson Kung is a senior at Stanford studying math and computer science. Like others in the IMHL, he is passionate about solving mental health problems. When not working, Benson likes to make short films and cook. 

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Alex Bhatt

Undergrad
Alexander “Alex” Bhatt is a junior at Stanford University double majoring in Human Biology and History. His research interests include epidemiology, congenital and developmental disorders, and emerging technologies as they relate to the evolving field of medicine. Some activities he does that give him life are being a counselor and Outdoor Leadership Coordinator at Camp Kesem Stanford, volunteering through organizations such as Kids with Dreams and Servant Breakfast, and spending time with his first-year residents as a resident advisor. For fun, Alex enjoys competing as part of Stanford’s club rugby team, going to concerts, and playing pick-up basketball.