Lab Director: Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research integrates multiple methods, including psychophysiology, neuroimaging, and behavioral measures, to examine vulnerabilities for mood and anxiety disorders and develop more targeted interventions. Dr. Kujawa earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and completed a clinical internship and postdoctoral research fellowship in the neuroscience of mental health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Kujawa was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and has been awarded research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, American Psychological Foundation, and Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD). When not teaching or in the lab, she enjoys cooking, hiking, camping, and exploring Nashville with her family.
Kaylin Hill, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral scholar in the NIH T32: Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention Training Program, primarily working with Drs. Autumn Kujawa and Kathryn Humphreys at Vanderbilt University. Kaylin’s research utilizes multiple methods, including psychophysiology, behavioral measures, and self-report/structured interviews, to examine cognitive and affective processes. Kaylin is most interested in assessing intergenerational risk factors and the rigor of commonly used methods to support assessment and identification of vulnerability factors for mood disorders. Kaylin graduated summa cum laude from Butler University, earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University, and completed her clinical internship at the University of Notre Dame. Outside the lab, Kaylin enjoys adventuring and spending time with her family.
Graduate Students and Staff:
Sam Pegg, M.S. is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and works under Dr. Autumn Kujawa. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Biology. Following her time at UM, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital for two years. Samantha is broadly interested in studying the underlying mechanisms of mood and anxiety disorders. More specifically, she is interested in the cognitive and emotional processes involved in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Outside of the lab, Samantha enjoys hiking, watching movies, and spending time with her family, friends, and her dogs, Tater and Yuka.
Emilia “Emili” Cárdenas, M.S. is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and works under Dr. Autumn Kujawa. Emili graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a dual degree in Psychology and Art. Emili then worked as a research coordinator in the Lab for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital for two years. Emili is interested in advancing translational neuroscience to promote resilience in vulnerable children and families. Specifically, she is interested in using multimodal methods (e.g., ERPS, heart rate variability, behavior) to investigate predictors of caregiving behavior and postpartum health. When Emili is not in the lab, she enjoys hiking, climbing, taking wheel throwing classes, and watching live music.
Lindsay Dickey, M.Ed. is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area. Prior to starting the doctoral program, Lindsay completed the Vanderbilt Child Studies program, specializing in the Clinical & Developmental Research Track. She graduated with high distinction from Indiana University in 2014, receiving BA’s in both psychology and political science. She is broadly interested in studying the dynamic relationship between cognitive, affective, and physiological processes in the development and maintenance of depression and anxiety. Particularly, she is interested in understanding how individual differences in these processes contribute to heterogeneity within depression. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and running.
Lisa Venanzi, M.Ed. is a third-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the College of William and Mary and an M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt. Lisa is interested in neural markers of social reward and emotion regulation as predictors of adolescent suicidality, with a long-term goal of applying these findings to improve treatment response. Outside of the lab, she enjoys buying super cheap flight tickets to wherever and traveling, eating the best pizza in Nashville (Smith & Lentz), and napping in her hammock. She has two cats named Paul Hollywood and Teacup, and they coincidentally happen to be the best cats in the world.
Yinru Long, M.Ed. is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science program and works under Dr. Autumn Kujawa. She received a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Philosophy from Boston College and an M.Ed. in Prevention Science and Practice from Harvard. Yinru is interested in using multimodal approaches to advance personalized interventions for mood disorders in marginalized populations, specifically racial and sexual minority adolescents. She is particularly interested in identifying risk and resilience factors that are trans-diagnostic through understanding cognitive, emotional, and behavioral mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of depression and anxiety. In her free time, Yinru enjoys spending time with her cats, collecting vintage cassettes, and producing hip-hop music.
Maya Jackson is a third-year master’s student in the Human Development Counseling program on the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track and the Project Coordinator for the Pregnancy to Parenthood Study. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Psychology and a minor in Spanish, receiving the Peabody College Willis D. Hawley Award for her commitment of service to others. As an undergraduate student, Maya was a research assistant in the Mood, Emotion, and Development Lab from 2018 to 2020. She is interested in working in the Neurotherapy field after graduation. In her free time, Maya enjoys crocheting, watching anime, and trying out different food spots.
Alex Argiros is a second-year master’s student in the Child Studies program on the Clinical & Developmental Research track. She graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Weber Honors College. As an undergraduate, Alex volunteered in a research lab studying family-based preventative interventions for child and adolescent anxiety and depression. She is broadly interested in identifying risk factors and developing preventative interventions for internalizing disorders in children and adolescents. More specifically, she is interested in the roles of parenting and emotion regulation. In her free time, Alex enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and photography.
Elizabeth Sweeting is a first-year master’s student in the Quantitative Methods program. She graduated magna cum laude with honors in Psychology and Education from the University of the South in May of 2022. Working in various research settings since 2018, she has developed a broad interest in wellness. In Dr. Kujawa’s lab, she focuses on working with longitudinal data exploring predictors for peripartum depression. In her free time, she teaches pilates specializing in perinatal care and spinal pathologies.