Meet the Flux Trainee Representatives! This committee includes research assistants, graduate students, and postdocs who serve as liasons to the trainees of the society.
Divyangana Rakesh - 2023 Co-Chair
Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Harvard University
Divyangana Rakesh is a postdoctoral research scholar at Harvard University working with Prof. Katie McLaughlin. Divyangana is interested in how different aspects of the environment, particularly socioeconomic disadvantage, influence youth brain and behavioral development. Her ultimate goal is to try and use this knowledge to inform interventions targeted at promoting positive mental health and cognitive function in children/adolescents from low SES backgrounds. Fun Facts: Divyangana loves animals and making animal sounds at animals, and speaks English, Hindi, (some) French, and a little bit of a few other languages (Urdu, Bengali). She loves to read (while holding elitist views on literature) and do portrait photography in her free time.
Andrew Lynn - 2023 Co-Chair
Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Vanderbilt University
Andrew Lynn (he/they) is a postdoctoral research scholar working with Drs. Laurie Cutting and Gavin Price at Vanderbilt University. His research examines the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive and academic development in childhood. Fun fact: He grew up in a military household and moved quite a lot until elementary school.
PhD Student, University of Texas at Austin
Eliya Ben-Asher is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin working at the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab directed by Dr. Jessica Church-Lang. Eliya studies the neural underpinnings that shape the interplay between executive function and social ability across adolescents. Fun fact: she attended a total of 9 schools across two countries before starting college
Postdoctoral researcher, Dunn Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital
Theresa Cheng, EdM, PhD (she/her/hers) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Dunn Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. Theresa studies developmental timing, neuroplasticity, and adversity to understand when and how experiences become neurobiologically embedded in childhood. She earned her PhD at the University of Oregon, where her research focused on puberty and socio-affective neurodevelopment in adolescence. Fun fact: She regularly takes modern dance classes and is curious about all forms of dance!
PhD student, University of Michigan
Felicia Hardi (she/her) is a PhD student at the University of Michigan working primarily with Drs. Christopher Monk and Luke Hyde. Felicia studies how early environment and brain function/structural network interact to confer risk and resilience for mental health. Fun fact: When she lived in NYC, she used to do her 11-mile commute on the bike. One of her bucket list items is to do a coast-to-coast bike tour.
PhD student, University of Edinburgh
Niamh MacSweeney (she/her) is a final year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Group led by Dr Heather Whalley. Niamh studies how structural and functional brain development relate to depression risk during adolescence with a particular focus on puberty and co-produced research methods. Fun fact: Niamh loves cold water swimming and swims all year round in the sea!
PhD student, Temple University
Matt Mattoni (He/Him) is a PhD student at Temple University’s Clinical Psychology program working under Tom Olino. Matt studies individual heterogeneity in the neurobiology of dimensional structures of psychopathology, with a focus on reward processing in adolescent internalizing disorders. Fun Fact: As a child, I set the kitchen on fire trying to make Bagel Bites when no one was watching.
Graduate student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nicolas Murgueitio is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here, he studies the individual and joint impact that psychosocial adversity and nutrition have on infants’ and children’s development. Fun fact: He wanted to be a priest or join the army growing up.
Postdoctoral fellow, UNC Chapel Hill
Tehila Nugiel is a postdoctoral fellow at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities working with Dr. Jessica Cohen. Tehila studies brain function related to developmental disorders, with a focus on attention and learning difficulties. She is particularly interested in answering questions about why some youth respond to treatments and interventions while others do not. Fun fact: When not doing science, Tehila moonlights as a pub trivia host and enjoys writing custom trivia for her friends and lab.
PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michelle Shipkova is a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working with Drs. Kristen Lindquist, Margaret Sheridan, and Eva Telzer. She is interested in using neurobiological methods to study how emotion concept knowledge, early adverse life experiences, and social factors (peers, caregivers) contribute to the development of emotion in childhood and adolescence. Fun fact: Michelle trained as an actor from childhood through college!
Postdoctoral Fellow, Child Mind Institute
Phoebe Thomson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute, New York, USA. She works under Adriana Di Martino, MD, and studies brain development in toddlers, children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Fun fact: She has a niche obsession with highland cows.
Lu (Lucy) Zhang
PhD Student, University of Melbourne
Lucy Zhang is a PhD student at the University Melbourne at the Social and Affective Neurodevelopment Lab, working under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Whittle. Lucy research focuses on studying the concept of resilience, as defined as the ability to ‘bounce’ back from adversity, in adolescents and young adults with experiences of childhood adversity. Specifically. she hopes to look at how environmental, temperamental, and neurobiological factors foster resilience during adolescence, as well as how it relates to mental health and psychosocial outcomes in young adulthood. Fun fact: Lucy is a dog and a cat person! She owns two cats and a dog.