Meet our Research Specialists and Associates 

MorganResearch Specialist

Morgan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with Honors in Psychology and a background in biology and neuroscience. She is currently a research specialist working on the Mood and Motivation Study, the LGB Youth Study, and the Theta Burst Stimulation Study. Previously, she worked on the Inflammation and Depression Study. During Morgan’s senior year at Pitt, she completed an Honors Thesis that investigated the roles of social and non-social stressors in the neural response to reward and prediction of future depression in adolescent girls. She was also involved in a lab that studied anxiety and physiological responses to stress in those who are susceptible to migraines. Morgan’s personal research interests include stress, brain development, socio-emotional processing, and risk for psychopathology during adolescence. She plans to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and going out to eat at new restaurants.

Morgan can be contacted at lindenmuthm@upmc.edu

Melissa: Research Specialist

Melissa graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Social and Economic Justice. Melissa’s research interests include emotional regulation (and dysregulation), adolescent development, mood disorders, anxiety, and substance abuse. She joined the ANDP lab in July of 2017 and currently holds a position as a research specialist working on the Mood and Motivation Study, the LGB Youth Study, and the Theta Burst Stimulation Study. Previously, she was also one of our staff working on the Inflammation and Depression Study. Melissa has a background in clinical research from her time at UNC, and has been a research assistant to multiple projects exploring phobias, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, and the association between recovery from substance abuse and binge eating patterns. Her undergraduate senior honors thesis investigated the relative contributions of cognitive and meta-cognitive beliefs for obsessive-compulsive symptoms.  She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and likes to spend her free time cooking, eating, traveling, and tries to get out in nature as often as possible.

 Melissa can be contacted at nancem@upmc.edu

Ekaterina: Research Associate

Ekaterina graduated from Chatham University in 2018 with a B.S. in Human Biology and a minor in Psychology. She was a member of the S-STEM Scholars Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, and graduated with highest honors. During her junior and senior years, Ekaterina was involved in two research studies: the first study examined the function of dopamine transporters under the influence of various pre-workout drugs, and the second study focused on the roles of gut microbiomes on anxiety and memory. She was also an intern at Magee-Womens Research Institute and the Garden of Zoological Research in Tel-Aviv University. Currently, she is a research associate working on the Cognitive Inflexibility and Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Eating Disorders Study. Her plan is to pursue a DPT/Ph.D. dual degree in the near future. Her primary research interest is to examine the relationship between physical exercise, nutrition, and psychopathology. Some of Ekaterina’s hobbies include traveling, exercising, and painting. 

Ekaterina can be contacted at sheftele@upmc.edu