Dr. Srijan Sen M.D., Ph.D. Principal Investigator
Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan
- Genomics; Human and Statistical Genetics
- Medical and Translational Research
- Neuroscience and Psychiatry
Dr. Constance Guille M.D. Co-Investigator
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina
- Women's health and mood disorders
- Mood disorders in pregnancy/ postpartum/ menopausal transition
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Joan Zhao M.A. M.S. Data Manager / Statistician Lead
Joan grew up in Beijing, China and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree there. She received her Master’s degrees in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She has worked at the University of Michigan Medical School/Health System in the areas of clinical research data management and data analysis for more than 15 years. She joined the Sen Lab in the spring of 2013 and enjoys contributing to the research with her computer and statistical skills. After work, Joan likes to spend time with her family and friends, enjoy traveling to National Parks for family vacations and cheering on her kids while they play sports.
Elena Frank Ph.D. Study Director
Elena joined the Sen Lab in fall 2014. Originally from eastern Massachusetts, she attended NYU and graduated with a BA in Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies and a minor in Russian and Slavic Studies in 2006. Elena worked in northern California for several years in the non-profit sector, and then went on to earn her MA and PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from Arizona State University, where she specialized in sexuality, health, and the body. In her spare time, Elena enjoys playing trivia, taking road trips, and being a “foodie.”
Yu Fang M.S. Research Area Specialist Lead
Yu is from Hefei, a ‘fat’ city in the far east. She received her BS in medical physics and ME in engineering physics from China. Then she got a MSE in biomedical engineering from University of Michigan. She has worked in UMHS as a research specialist since 2012 focusing on but not limited to medical image processing and genetic data analysis. She joined Sen Lab in November 2015. During leisure time, she likes to read, watch movie, play board game and travel.
Douglas A. Mata M.D., MPH. Resident Physician, Clinical Fellow
Douglas A. Mata, MD, MPH, is a resident physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Sen lab, for which he works remotely from Boston, in 2014. He attended the University of Cambridge and was a Fulbright Scholar at the European campus of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Madrid, Spain. His letters, editorials, and original research have appeared in NEJM, JAMA, Journal of Surgical Oncology, Lancet Psychiatry, and PNAS, and his work has been featured in Newsweek, New York Times, TIME Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and the Washington Post. He loves to travel and spends as much time as he can outside of the country each year. www.douglasmata.com
Karina Pereira-Lima Ph.D. Student
Karina is originally from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, where she earned both her professional degree in Psychology (2011) and her MSc. in Mental Health (2014). She is a PhD. Student in Mental Health at University of São Paulo - Brazil who joined the Sen Lab in fall 2016 due to her interest in the study of mental health and stress-related disorders among health professionals, especially during the residency period. In her spare time, Karina enjoys traveling, watching movies, and visiting her family and friends.
Jennifer Cleary Ph.D. Student
Jenny is a PhD student in the clinical psychology program at Michigan. She is interested in how people respond to stressful environments, and how this might relate to the development of psychopathology and/or physical health concerns. She is particularly interested in social relationships and resources among individuals experiencing stress. She did her undergrad in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and a postbaccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute), where she studied caregiver stress and social networks among families caring for individuals with dementia, sickle cell disease, and rare metabolic conditions. Outside school, she loves trivia, playing the oboe, and experimenting with cooking.
Sam Schotland M.D., Ph.D. Student
Sam Schotland is an MD-PhD student in history of medicine, pursuing his medical degree at the University of Michigan and his graduate studies at Yale. A Philadelphia native, Sam graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History in 2015, and his M.A. in History from Yale in 2018. He works at the intersection of the histories of emotions, capitalism, and medicine. His current project explores the history of physician burnout, 1950s-present. Longstanding interests also include the history of children’s health, surgery and therapeutics, and material and visual culture. His historical scholarship has been published in Pediatrics and Oxford Bibliographies. In his spare time, he enjoys trivia, theater-going, and used-bookstore-hunting.
Lavar Green-Jackson Research Coordinator
Lavar is a recent graduate from Grand Valley State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience with a Spanish minor. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan and has recently joined the Sen lab. His previous research focused on examining the CRF2 receptor in relation to depressive-like symptoms after long-term alcohol withdrawal. Now in his role as a Research Coordinator, he’s thrilled to learn more and help out with the Intern Health Study. In his spare time, Lavar enjoys exercising, cooking, playing sports, and traveling.
Previous Lab Members
David A Kalmbach Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Fellow
David earned his PhD in clinical psychology at Kent State University in 2014. He now works in the University of Michigan Medical School's department of psychiatry as a research fellow. David's research interests center on the etiology of sleep pathology and comorbid psychiatric illness. Specifically, his research focuses on endogenous vulnerabilities to insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. David joined the Sen Research Team in effort to explore the genetic basis of insomnia.
Jad Elharake B.S., Post-Graduate Researcher
Jad Elharake is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, earning his Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States at age seven where he grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and, in 2014, became a William Brehm Scholar and first in his family to attend college. Jad joined the Intern Health Study in 2014 and has been analyzing the relationship between race and depression among training physicians. He has given talks at various international and national conferences and presented a poster on his findings as well. In his spare time, Jad loves watching the Michigan Football team and playing soccer.
Stefanie Mayer Ph.D. Student
Stefanie Mayer is a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Michigan. She graduated from the University of Würzburg (Germany) in 2009. Stefanie`s research interests focus on the role of stress in the development of depression. For example, in collaboration with Srijan Sen, MD, PhD, and James L. Abelson, MD, PhD, she incorporated hair cortisol in a longitudinal study of a chronic stressor (medical internship) to examine the role of chronic cortisol secretion in the onset and course of depression. In this study, she is also interested in identifying psychological stress buffering factors (e.g., perceived control, altruistic goals, resilience, and social support) that may buffer cortisol responses to chronic stress and guide development of stress inoculation strategies. Ultimately, she hopes to bridge the gap between laboratory research and clinical practice in the prevention of and interventions for stress-related disorders.
Ritisha Ghosh Undergraduate Research Assistant
Ritisha joined the Sen Lab in the Summer of 2018. She is currently a junior persuing a major in Biology, Health and Society, with a minor in Sustainability. Her work in the lab revolves around how external factors, such as area deprivation / socioeconomic status, impact depression and mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, photography and DIYs.
Fatima Obeid Undergraduate Research Assistant
Fatima is a junior from Dearborn, Michigan pursing a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience as well as a minor in Medical Anthropology. She joined the Sen Lab in 2018 through the Michigan Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy; and has since been analyzing the relationship between occurrence of sexual harassment experience and depression among medical interns. She has spent several semesters as a research assistant in the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion, with particular interest in the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) population. During her free time, she enjoys using her foodie status to bake and try new things.
Cecelia Schmitt Undergraduate Research Assistant
Cecelia joined the Sen Lab team in the fall of 2017. She is a freshman in the School of Kinesiology and pursuing a major in Health and Fitness. She is very interested in the fields of public health, food science, and community wellness. She joined the lab because she hopes to develop a better understanding about how different states of stress, depression, and mental health affect the body. In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors, playing sports, watching movies, and cooking.
Anna Kaehr Undergraduate Research Assistant
Anna is an Ann Arbor native and a freshman in the School of Engineering. In fall 2017, she joined the Sen Lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Anna is interested in genetics and technology, especially understanding big data. She joined the Sen Lab because she hopes to learn more about depression and how stress affects people differently. Anna enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, playing tennis, and skiing.
Narmeen Rehman Undergraduate Research Assistant
Narmeen joined the Sen Lab in fall 2016. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan interested in studying global health disparities. She joined the lab because she is interested in mental health and how factors such as stress and sleep impact the human brain. Passionate about the intersection of medicine and policy, she aspires to utilize her multidisciplinary background to continue research and ultimately work in the medical field. In her free time, she enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Hannah Westra Undergraduate Research Assistant
Hannah is a sophomore from Appleton, Wisconsin who is majoring in computer science with a minor in biochemistry. She joined the Sen Lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program because of her interest in the intersection of technology and research. In the future, Hannah plans to continue her undergraduate education at the University of Michigan and research with the Sen Lab.
Morgan Kellis Undergraduate Research Assistant
Morgan is from Whitehall, Michigan, and joined the Sen Research team during her freshman year through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. With an interest in public health, she joined the team in order to learn how research is conducted, specifically research that is aimed at promoting public health. Moving forward, Morgan plans to complete her undergraduate schooling at the University of Michigan.
TingTing Lu Research Associate
TingTing received her Bachelor of Science degree form University of California Los Angeles with major in Chemistry and minor in Statistics. She finished her Masters in Biostatistics at University of Michigan with a focus in Public Health Genetics. During her graduated study, she also worked on Bayesian hierarchical modeling of hormonal time series. She enjoys swimming, knitting and coding.
Kallie England Research Coordinator
Kallie joined the Sen lab in 2012. She grew up in Owasso, OK, and came to the University of Michigan to study music performance. She took so many psychology classes “for fun” that she ended up adding another degree, graduating with an AB in Psychology and a BMA in Oboe Performance, summa cum laude, in 2004. Throughout her undergraduate years, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Parks Aging, Culture & Cognition Lab at ISR. Additional research experience includes serving as Lab Coordinator for the Department of Psychology at Kennesaw State University and as Research Coordinator in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Kallie is currently pursuing her MSW at U of M, focusing on Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health. In between work and school, she practices yoga, plays the oboe, and attempts to use her baking skills for good instead of evil by making her favorite traditional recipes more healthful.
Yindra Puentes Ph.D. Student
Yindra is Cuban born and has been raised in both her native country and in the island of Jamaica. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2010. After spending a year in the University of Michigan’s Post-baccalaureate Research Program, she became a PhD student in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Medicine. Yindra rotated in the Sen Lab in the summer of 2011 and later joined the group. Her interests are focused on genetic epidemiology and in applying computational tools to solve complex problems in genomic data. Her thesis work involves the analysis of genetic variants associated with the development of major depressive disorder under stress, utilizing the experience of medical internship as an environmental model of stress. When not in lab, Yindra likes to cook fusion dishes, watch foreign films and attend Zumba and bachata classes.
Faren Grant Ph.D. Research Coordinator
Faren Grant is an IRTA (Intramural) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She received a BA in Psychology from Emory University in 2009 and then spent two years as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Dr. Sen’s lab. She then earned a MA and PhD in Psychology with concentrations in Behavioral Medicine from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). Faren’s research focuses on the interrelations of stress, emotions, and inflammation in the pathophysiology of heart disease within ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations. She also conducts research in combining traditional epidemiological research methods with novel health information technology tools to better understand, track, and improve cardiovascular risk factors.