Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience: Meet the Team
Dr. Daniel Pine, MD (he/him/his)
Dr. Pine moved to the NIH in 2000, after 10 years of training, teaching, and research at Columbia University. Since graduating from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Pine has been engaged continuously in research on pediatric mental disorders, as reflected in more than 600 peer-reviewed papers. Currently, his group examines the degree to which pediatric mood and anxiety disorders are associated with perturbed neural circuitry function. This work is designed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Dr. Pine entered medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician, and he has been devoted to improving children’s lives through health-related research for most of his life. He particularly enjoys working in multi-disciplinary teams where many members work together with children and their families. He is the former President of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, Chair of the FDA Psychopharmacology Advisory Committee, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and an NIH Distinguished Investigator.
Current lab members
Read more about our current members below.
Lisa M. Cullins, MD (she/her/hers) Lisa M. Cullins is an Attending Physician in the Emotion and Development Branch of the NIMH. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. Dr. Cullins completed her Adult Psychiatry Residency at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and her Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Dr. Cullins has devoted most of her career to training and education, community psychiatry and systems of care, in particular, working with children and adolescents in the child welfare system and other underserved populations. Dr. Cullins has had the privilege to be a physician leader and clinician educator in multiple treatment settings ranging from research, academic, tertiary care hospital facilities to one of the largest child community mental health providers in the State of California (Corporate Medical Director, EMQ Families First Children & Family Services). Throughout her career, Dr. Cullins has been a staunch advocate for quality and access to care for children and families and has been an active participant in American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) as current Co-Chair of the Diversity and Culture Committee, past Councilor At Large, past Chair of Task Force on Crisis in Recruitment into Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, past Co-Chair of the Workforce Committee, past Adoption and Foster Care Committee Member, past Secretary of Regional Organization, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Society of Greater Washington (CAPSGW) and past Delegate of Regional Organization, CAPSGW to the AACAP Assembly. Most recently, prior to Dr. Cullins’ current position at the NIH, she was the Training Director for the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program and the Director of Outpatient Psychiatry at Children’s National Medical Center and served as the Chair of the Child Caucus of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training.
Erin D. Berman, PhD (she/her/hers) Dr. Erin D. Berman is a Clinical Psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She received her clinical psychology doctoral degree from Rosalind Franklin University / The Chicago Medical School. Her clinical training continued with attending the Boston Consortium of Clinical Psychology where she was a Harvard Medical School Fellowship recipient. She completed post-doctoral re-specialization in child and adolescent Anxiety Disorders at Temple University. Her main area of interest continues to be in cognitive behavioral interventions for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders.
Krystal M. Lewis, PhD (she/her/hers) Dr. Krystal Lewis is a licensed clinical psychologist within SDAN. She has extensive training and experience in pediatric anxiety. She provides evidence-based treatments and preventative interventions to youth and families and collaborates with schools to promote youth mental wellness. Her research interests include self-efficacy and identifying treatment mechanisms of cognitive behavioral therapy with youth. Dr. Lewis is an active member with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Chantal Gerrard, MS, RN (she/her/hers) Chantal is a Senior Clinical Research Nurse/Clinician working with SDAN at the NIH. She received her Masters of Science Degree from UMB and has expertise in clinical assessments of mood disorders and various research data measures for adult and pediatric populations. She has experience as a Case Manager, Utilization Reviewer and HIV Counselor. She is a member of the Nursing Informatics Committee and Global Health Interest Group. Chantal has worked for the NHS and managed community projects in the U.K. Belize and Zambia. She is interested in health care disparities and improving global health care through quality scientific research, education, improved informatics and vital communication and collaborations.
Lucy Justement, MA, RN, P (she/her/hers) Lucy Justement is the Clinical Manager of the NIH Clinical Center Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. She supervises the Clinical Research Nurses assigned to the clinic and works with the team to provide excellent care for the research participants. As a Clinical Research Nurse she supports patient care as a primary nurse, study coordinator, and screening and intake coordinator.
Brenda Benson, PhD
Rany Abend, PhD (he/him/his) Rany’s research draws from translational, cognitive, and clinical disciplines to specify the aberrant psychobiological mechanisms mediating excessive fear responses to potential threat in anxiety, and translate insight into theory and clinical utility. To this end, he uses a broad range of neuroscience tools, including neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and eye-tracking, in conjunction with modeling of behavioral and clinical data, and other novel analytical methods.
Elise Cardinale, PhD (she/her/hers) Dr. Elise Cardinale received her doctorate at Georgetown University in 2017. Her research investigates neural mechanisms of emotion processing and decision-making across pediatric psychopathology. Her current research leverages data driven approaches to disentangle effects of mood and anxiety symptoms across disorders, with the goal of providing a more complete understanding of how these highly overlapping symptoms relate to processes underlying the development of mood and anxiety disorders.
Matt Moradi, PhD (he/him/his) Matt is interested in computational modeling of psychiatric disorders. During his doctoral studies in computer science, he investigated the utility of resting-state fMRI in computational modeling of substance use disorder. Joining SDAN as a postdoctoral fellow, he is now focused on applying sophisticated neuroimaging modalities in the study of psychiatric disorders in adolescent and pediatric populations.
André Zugman, MD, PhD (he/him/his) André is a post-doc visiting fellow working at SDAN since December, 2019. He graduated in medicine and completed his psychiatry training in Brazil. His main research interest is in using neuroimaging measures to understand why some people develop a mental health problem whereas others do not.
Kyunghun Lee, PhD (he/him/his) Kyunghun Lee, PhD is a scientist in the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience (SDAN) at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Lee researched machine learning, software/hardware optimization, and automatic detection and classification system development while completing his PhD at the University of Maryland. Dr. Lee worked as a postdoctoral fellow (Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and focused on leveraging machine learning and computational modeling to understand the relationship between brain and behavior, leading to novel therapeutic concepts for brain disorders and brain-inspired A.I. Now, as part of the SDAN, Dr. Lee is working on computational analysis and software design in the lab and helping SDAN researchers in every phase of the automated software workflow to use neuroscience to identify treatment targets. Also, Dr. Lee is working on software/algorithm development based on real-time information from wearable devices.
Chase Antonacci, MPhil (he/him/his) Before joining the group, Chase completed his MPhil in Cognition and Brain Sciences at the University of Cambridge and his BA at Washington University in St. Louis. His prior research explored differences in memory encoding and adolescent neurobiology related to risk differentials for major depression. He is interested in the mechanisms by which social and environmental factors shape risk and resiliency for mental health, especially during early development.
Paia Amelio, BS (she/her/hers) Paia is a Northwestern University graduate who majored in Theatre and Neuroscience while studying on the pre-med track. Prior to SDAN, she worked in a psychiatry lab researching adolescent anxiety in mice and a Northwestern lab studying adolescent psychosis. She also produced theater in college, finding passion for creating theater for young audiences. She is excited to translate her prior research and theater experience to her work at SDAN!
Rachel Bernstein, BA (she/her/hers) Rachel is a graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience, and minors in creative writing and social work. After her IRTAship, she plans to attend a Clinical Psychology PhD program, and to eventually perform both clinical and research work that helps children and adolescents who struggle with anxiety disorders and other internalizing problems. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, spending time with her friends and dogs, and doing yoga.
Jordan Galbraith, BA (she/her/hers) Jordan studied neuroscience and computer science at Vanderbilt University, where she discovered her love for mental health research. Through this IRTAship, she is excited to increase her clinical experience and learn clinical methods. She is applying to MD/PhD programs next year and planning to continue studying neural mechanisms and treatments for different mental health disorders. Outside of lab, she enjoys boardgames, pretending she is learning to play the guitar, and watching British television.
Laura Jett, BS (she/her/hers) Laura, a UGSP Scholar, graduated in 2021 with a BS in Cognitive Science from UC Davis, where she did research under Dr. Tamara Swaab in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab. She is interested in studying the clinical applications of cognitive neuroscience, such as the effects of trauma on cognitive development and the efficacy of brain-based treatment on pediatric anxiety. She also loves reading good books and being out in nature!
Devi Lakhlani, BA (she/her/hers) Devi is a second-year postbaccalaureate research fellow in SDAN. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Neuroscience. At Duke, she completed an honors thesis on the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation and cross-hemispheric connectivity on cognition in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's Disease. In SDAN, she studies episodic memory, early-life risk factors, and neural correlates of anxiety. She plans to pursue a medical degree following her time in SDAN. In her free time, Devi enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and exploring the DC area.
Marisa Meyer, BA (she/her/hers) Marisa Meyer, B.A. is a postbaccalaureate research fellow. She studied psychology at the University of Michigan, graduating head of her class with Highest Distinction in May 2020. Marisa conceptualized and conducted an independent honors thesis. She received Highest Honors and was awarded the W.B. Pillsbury Prize for outstanding research in the field of psychology. With strong interests in child development and pediatric psychopathology, Marisa is currently refining her research and clinical skills through the National Institute of Mental Health’s Intramural Research Training Award. Next, she plans to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Isaac Morales, BA, BS (he/him/his) Isaac received a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a B.A. in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in 2019. He plans to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology and research better treatment delivery methods for underserved communities. In his free time, Isaac likes to read, spend time in his garden, and practice his cooking skills. Isaac is from Payson, Arizona and now proudly resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
Philip Newsome, BS (he/him/his) Phil is a master's student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying clinical psychological sciences. For his undergraduate degree, he attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he studied psychology and biology while also being a four-year varsity athlete (Men’s Basketball). In the future, Phil plans to pursue a PhD in either clinical psychology or neuroscience.
Grace Ringlein, MS (she/her/hers) Grace graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020 with MS and BA degrees in Physics and a minor in Fine Arts. At Penn, she conducted research in labs focusing on astronomy, climate modeling, and neuroscience, giving her a broad research background. She has always been passionate about understanding the development and treatment of mental illness, and so she joined SDAN to study pediatric anxiety. In her free time, she likes to make pottery, run, and do jigsaw puzzles.
Olivia Siegal, BA (she/her/hers) Olivia graduated from Wesleyan University in 2021 with a double major in Psychology and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. At Wesleyan, she conducted her senior thesis research on the impact of rumination and emotional context on memory. Her research also focused on the explanatory roles of anxiety, depression, and COVID-related posttraumatic stress on cognition. In the future, Olivia hopes to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology.
Isabella Spaulding, BS, BA (she/her/hers) Isabella graduated from Tufts University in 2020 with degrees in Clinical Psychology and American Studies. At Tufts, she researched and completed a thesis on the neural and behavioral mechanisms of emotional processing in posttraumatic stress disorder. Isabella joined SDAN as a Post-Baccalaureate IRTA fellow in July 2020. Following her time in SDAN, she hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.
Ssence J Peterson (she/her/hers) Ssence started with the Emotion and Development group in September 2009. She supports the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience group with onboarding and off-boarding for staffing, facilities management, purchasing, travel, etc.
Dianna Pico Dianna has worked at the NIH for the past 5 years and joined SDAN as a Clinical Operations Manager in 2020.