Dr. Heidemarie Laurent is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and the Director of the PRISM Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Through her research and clinical work, she aims to understand the roots of stress dysregulation within families and to support growth in intra- and interpersonal regulation to reduce intergenerational suffering.
Cori Braun completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois with an interest in clinical psychology and psychopathology. She is currently the Research Coordinator at the PRISM lab but has also worked in other research labs at University of Illinois, which furthered her passion and interest in research.
She interned at a Children's Home for a year working with youth who experience serious emotional and behavioural challenges that have resulted from abuse, neglect, mental illness, etc. Working with this population deepened her interest in early childhood trauma and how those experiences impact development, later life outcomes, and possible therapeutic interventions for this population. In addition to these interests, she loves pursuing her other passion of painting and spending time with her younger brother when she is at home.
Rachel Leipow has spent her graduate career focusing on translating Buddhist concepts into testable psychological hypotheses, and studying healing processes. For her masters she conducted a qualitative study of Western Buddhism to better understand mindfulness outside mindfulness-based interventions and explored the complexity of participants’ original motivations for engaging in Western Buddhism, the range of reported outcomes of Western Buddhist practice, and how Western Buddhist practices compare to psychotherapy outcomes. Her dissertation studies test whether insight/wisdom (Skrt: prajñā) mediates the relationship between mindfulness (Skrt: smṛti) and wellbeing among trauma survivors.
Danyelle Dawson is a second year graduate student in the Clinical-Community Division. Originally from Fayetteville, NC, she received her undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and master’s degree from North Carolina Central University before coming to UIUC. Danyelle is interested in examining biopsychosocial pathways between race-related stressors and mental and physical health outcomes in minorities; with a specific interest in the impact that race related stressors have on stress regulation and the maintenance and development of mood and anxiety disorders across the lifespan. She also is interested in understanding the psychosocial and sociocultural risk and protective factors that impact psychopathology for African Americans, and creating cultural adaptations of evidence-based intervention and prevention programs. In her downtime, she moonlights as a self-proclaimed foodie, techie, and book lover.
Paty Cintora completed her B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University in 2015. She is currently a third year graduate student in Neuroscience with an emphasis in clinical and translational research. She is interested in understanding how nutritional status and supplementation, particularly for Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, impact brain health across the lifespan. Above all, she loves being a mom and spending time with her daughter and son.
Megan Finnegan received her B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Merced where she worked on creating artificial neural networks to model language acquisition under Dr. Anne Warlaumont. She is a dual PhD student in neuroscience and clinical psychology and specializes in neuroimaging, machine learning, and computational neuroscience. Megan works both in methodological development and on understanding the neural mechanisms of cognitive and emotional control, particularly how mindfulness may exert its clinical benefits. She loves to write code and has taught MATLAB for beginning programmers. She created this lab's website and has worked as a programmer developing neuroimaging experiments. For more information, visit her website or her code on GitHub.
Chris Perriello was born and raised in Boston, MA, completing a BS in Clinical Psychology at Tufts University before becoming involved in research studies at MGH and McLean Hospital. Currently, Chris is a second year in the clinical psychology program and is primarily interested in studying the neural mechanisms of transdiagnostic repetitive negative thinking in anxious/depressed populations, and its effects on executive functioning. When not working in the lab, Chris often escapes to fantasy worlds through books, video games, and D&D.
Before joining the PRISM lab, Marissa Sbrilli earned her undergraduate degree from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Following, she worked as a clinical research assistant at Rutgers University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia coordinating research examining adolescent depression prevention. Marissa is interested in perinatal depression prevention through mindfulness and acceptance based interventions with the ultimate goal of interrupting intergenerational cycles of mood disorders. Marissa is interested in elucidating routes for personalized interventions. She is specifically interested in women with comorbid anxiety and how the transdiagnostic factors that maintain these disorders can be best targeted in intervention. In her downtime, Marissa practices yoga and mindfulness, eats as much Mexican food as possible, and listens to Bruce Springsteen.
Hi! I am Wing Sze, a second-year master student in psychology at the U of I. My primary areas of interest are developmental psychopathology and advanced quantitative methods in psychology. In my current research project at the PRISM lab, I use latent growth curve models to investigate how state and over-time change of mothers’ mindfulness and internalizing symptoms affect infant’s early socio-emotional adjustments. My three favorite items are babies, black coffee and Malamutes! Outside of work, singing and crafting are my major pastime!
We also wouldn't be able to do everything we do without all of our amazing undergraduate research assistants. Below are the current research specialists conducting studies in the lab.
Back row (left to right)
Front row (left to right)
Our success is not just due to our current members but all those who have contributed their energy and talent to our work. We are grateful to have been the beneficiary of their skills, their passion, and their curiosity.