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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT)

Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit: Meet the Team

The Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT) is a group of dedicated, compassionate, and talented scientists, clinicians, trainees, and volunteers. Our expert, interdisciplinary team works together to study and develop new treatments for children with psychiatric illnesses through innovative research, clinical care, and community outreach.

Staff Spotlight

Shannon Shaughnessy, B.A.

Shannon Shaughnessy received the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award to develop a novel paradigm for inducing frustration on an established cognitive control task.

Reut Naim, Ph.D.

Reut Naim, PhD has received a tenure-track position at Tel Aviv University where she will be developing novel mechanism based treatments for youth with irritability. She will be joining in Summer 2023.


Reut Naim, PhD received the Alies Muskin Career Development Award from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. She will be presenting her research “Real-time assessment of daily affective fluctuations in a transdiagnostic sample of youth” in Denver in April 2022.

Dr. Melissa Brotman

Melissa A. Brotman, PhD was awarded the Earl Stadtman Investigator Award for her work leveraging neuroscience and therapeutics to develop and test novel interventions for serious psychiatric disorders.


Melissa A. Brotman, PhD was awarded a second NIH Bench to Bedside Award for her proposal, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin's Dr. Ned Kalin, entitled “Cross-Species Circuit-Based Treatment: White Matter Microstructure in Anxiety.” In 2017, a study by Drs. Brotman and Kalin entitled “Irritability and Aggression in Clinically Impaired Youth and Rhesus Monkeys” also received an NIH Bench to Bedside Award.

Simone Haller, Ph.D.

Simone Haller, PhD has received a two-year NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for her project “Predicting longitudinal psychiatric effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in a transdiagnostic sample of youth using rest and task-based fMRI.”

Lana Ruvolo Grasser, PhD

Lana Grasser, Phd has received the ACNP-AMP BRAD fellowship. The fellowship is a partnership between the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the health research advocacy group Americans for Medical Progress (AMP). It was created to help raise public awareness about the essential role of animals in health research, specifically for the study of brain-behavior-drug interactions and advancements in psychopharmacology.

Lauren Henry, PhD

Lauren Henry, PhD has received a Travel Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). At the 2022 ACNP Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Henry will present NNT’s work examining the reliability and validity of CALM-IT, a gamified and disseminatable mobile application-based inhibitory control task.

An image from the CALM-IT app with four brightly colored squares that depict motor inhibition.

CALM-IT, a mobile app game designed by Melissa A. Brotman, PhD has won a 2020 Federal Health Innovation & Technology (FedHealthIT) Innovation Award.

Current lab members

NNT’s team comes from diverse academic and personal backgrounds, who all share a keen interest in studying mental illnesses.

Read more about our current members below.