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Lab Director

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Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D.

agearhar@umich.edu

Ashley Gearhardt, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. She also earned her B.A. in psychology from The University of Michigan as an undergraduate. While working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University, Dr. Gearhardt became interested in the possibility that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. To explore this further, she developed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to operationalize addictive eating behaviors, which has recently been linked with more frequent binge eating episodes in clinical populations, increased prevalence of obesity and patterns of neural activation implicated in other addictive behaviors. She has published over 30 academic articles and her research has been featured on media outlets, such as ABC News, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR.


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Graduate Students

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Erica Schulte, M.S.

eorenste@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Erica earned her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas. She is currently a third-year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Erica is interested in identifying which foods or food attributes may be implicated in addictive-like eating. Additionally, she hopes to explore whether individuals may experience symptoms of dependence, such as withdrawal and tolerance, in response to these foods.


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Michelle Joyner, M.S.

majoyn@umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Michelle earned a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University. She is currently a third year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Her current research focuses on cue-induced food cravings. She is interested in the how the brain responds to food rewards, and how these responses contribute to addictive-like eating behaviors.


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Emma Schiestl

emmaschi@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Emma Schiestl earned B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy from Colorado College in the Spring of 2015. She is currently a first year student in the department of Clinical Psychology. Her current research interests include evaluating the impact of negative emotion on subsequent eating behaviors and understanding the influence of impulsivity on food-addiction status. She is especially interested in using real-time assessment technology to better understand proximal and antecedent variables that influence the decision to eat and what types of foods to consume.

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Blaire Crockett

bcrocks@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Blaire graduated spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is pursuing a M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan. She is interested in the intersectionality of diet, sleep hygiene, physical fitness and overall health, particularly with adolescents. In the future she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Health Psychology.

Lab Manager & Project Coordinator

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Celina Furman, M.A.

furmancr@umich.edu

Summer 2015 – Present

Celina earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She is interested in how environmental cues influence our perceptions, judgments, and behavior through social cognitive processes. In the future, Celina hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.

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Jessi Lewis, B.S.

jessilew@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Jessi earned her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. She is interested in investigating the similarities between addictive and eating behaviors, specifically through neuroimaging. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychological assessments.

Research Assistants

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Piper Friend

pfriend@umich.edu                                                                                                                                                                                                Winter 2017 – Present

Piper is a junior majoring in Psychology.  She is interested in exploring how advertising and societal cues affect food addictions and disordered eating, as well as the etiology that contributes to the susceptibility in developing eating disorders.  She hopes to either earn her Masters in Occupational Therapy or a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, specializing in the field of disordered eating. 

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Hursh Desai

hurshd@umich.edu                                                                                                                                                                                                Winter 2017 – Present

Hursh is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Biochemistry. He is interested in researching the neurological pathways and behavioral factors that contribute to food addiction patterns in adolescents. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Hursh hopes to attend medical school and specialize in neurosurgery.

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Hannah Ellis

hcellis@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Hannah is a junior in the LSA Honors Program majoring in Psychology and English and minoring in Spanish. She is interested in knowing the societal and biological factors that contribute to food addiction. She hopes to write an honors thesis. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.

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Jocelyn Schwartz

jocelbai@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Josie is a junior majoring in Psychology with minors in Gender & Health and Food Systems. She is interested in the underlying mechanisms of eating disorders and the correlation between the environment and one’s behavior. She hopes to complete an Honors Thesis and following graduation, she plans to pursue graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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Ruby Siada

rubsiada@umich.edu

Spring 2016 – Present

Ruby is a junior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a minor in Drama: Text-to-Performance. She is interested in exploring the neuroanatomical and psychological influences that lead to the development of food addiction and food related disorders. In the future, she hopes to complete an Honors Thesis and go on to attend medical school.

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Elanor Gross

eagross@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Elanor is a sophomore majoring in Business with a minor in Gender and Health. She is interested in studying how marketing and advertising in the food industry contributes to food addiction and food related disorders. She is especially involved in the gender disparities between men and women concerning these issues.

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Neel Swamy

nswamy@umich.edu

Fall 2016 – Present

Neel is a junior majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Health. He is interested in understanding the societal and biological factors that contribute to eating disorders and food addiction, particularly among children and young adults. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Neel hopes to attend pharmacy school, and strives to one day become a clinical pharmacist in psychiatry.

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Alexandra Draybuck

draybuck@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Present

Alex is a junior in the FAST lab majoring in Neuroscience.  She is interested in studying how societal cues and views on food contribute to food related disorders.  Upon completion of her undergraduate studies she hopes to attend medical school, striving to be a practicing physician.

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Rachel Korn

kornrach@umich.edu

Fall 2015 – Present

Rachel is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Applied Statistics. She is interested in the decision making process in choosing food to eat among individuals who have eating disorders. She is currently writing an Honors Thesis on the impulsivity and food consumption. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

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Caroline Bartholomew

cbarthol@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Present

Caroline is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Community Action and Social Change. She is interested in the effects of stress, social expectations, and restrictive environments on food addiction. In the future, she hopes to complete an Honors Thesis and pursue either Clinical Psychology or Social Work in graduate school.

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Alyssa Marquette

marqalys@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Present

Alyssa is a senior double majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. She is interested in studying the neural basis of preference for different ethnic foods throughout varying cultures. She hopes to one day get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and work as a clinical health psychologist.

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Alison Grenon

aegre@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Present

Alison is a senior majoring in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Writing. She is interested in the possible relationship between food addiction and eating disorders, as well as researching effective methods of prevention and treatment for eating disorders. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Julia Smeal

Julia Smeal, B.S.

jsmeal@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Present

Julia graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in statistics and actuarial mathematics. She is interested in the self-perceptions of addictive eating, especially pertaining to age and gender. She plans to attend medical school and become a primary care physician so that she can identify and work with patients facing issues such as disordered eating.

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Emma Sutherland

emmasuth@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Present

Emma is a senior who is majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and Spanish. She is currently completing a Honors thesis on the interaction of screen time and BMI in adolescents. After graduation, Emma plans on continuing to do research and then get her masters in public health. 

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Priya Sorab

psorab@umich.edu

Winter 2014 – Present

Priya is a senior in the FAST Lab, majoring in Neuroscience. She is interested in studying the interplay between multiple facets of eating behavior, such as biological causes and social influences. She is writing her Honors Thesis, examining the role of the stress hormone cortisol in the relationship between BMI and depressive risk.

Alumni

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Jillian Bean, M.S.

jilbean@umich.edu

Winter 2015 – Winter 2016

Jillian graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and was previously a research assistant in the Michigan Psychoneuroendocrinology Affective Laboratory from May 2012 until May 2015. She wrote her Honors Senior Thesis with MPal, which investigated freshmen women and specific self-esteem traits that may place a person at high risk for disordered eating. Starting in Fall 2015, Jillian will be beginning her studies for an M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Professor Ashley Gearhardt. Jillian is interested in food policy aimed at creating a healthier food environment for children and adults.

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Isabella Yzerman, B.A.

iyzer@umich.edu

Spring 2015 – Winter 2016

Isabella is a senior double majoring in Psychology and English. She is interested in the etiology and treatment of eating disorders and how eating disorders lead to disordered and addictive eating behaviors. Following graduation, she is planning on pursuing graduate school to either earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology or an MS in Nutrition.

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Zoë Hawks, B.S.

hawksz@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Summer 2015

Zoë graduated from University of Michigan in 2014 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. She completed her Honors Thesis in Dr. Weissman’s Attention and Cognitive Control Lab, where she investigated cognitive processes enabling selective attention. As Project Coordinator in the FAST Lab, she contributes to studies that explore biological, psychological, and environmental factors underlying addictive eating behaviors. This fall, she will attend Washington University in St. Louis to pursue her PhD in clinical psychology. She is interested in studying executive functioning in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

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Alexandra Wilt, B.A.

alexruth@umich.edu

Spring 2014 – Summer 2016

Alex graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. She wrote her Senior Honors Thesis with the FAST lab, which explored how food addiction mediates the association between certain motivations to eat and elevated body mass index (BMI). She is particularly interested in the underlying motivations behind excessive food consumption, as well as the process of identity formation in eating disorder recovery. Alex will be pursuing a Masters of Social Work with clinical emphasis in the fall of 2016.

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Jacob Rainey, B.S.

jacobrai@umich.edu

Spring 2014 – Fall 2016 

Jake graduated summer of 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and is interested in studying possible effects of sexuality on eating behaviors and perceptions. He completed on an honors thesis with the FAST Lab, looking at the relationship between sexuality and food addiction. After graduation, Jake plans to attend medical school, currently with particular interests in pediatric oncology and emergency medicine.

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Sally Kim, M.S.

sallyck@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Summer 2016 

Sally graduated spring of 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and was previously the Lab Manager for FAST Lab from May 2014 until June 2015. She wrote her Senior thesis with the FAST Lab, which investigated the relationship between athlete endorsed food product commercials and their influence on our implicit attitudes. Starting in Fall 2015, Sally will be completing her M.S. in Psychology with a special focus in Clinical Science at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Professor Ashley Gearhardt. Sally is interested in food commercials and their impact on adults and children as well as food policy initiatives and community involvement.

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Rebekah Richmond, B.A.

richbec@med.umich.edu

Spring 2013 – Present

Rebekah graduated spring of 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is continuing her work with the lab while also working at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorder Program. Her research interests include the role of families in eating disorder treatment and learning how food addiction fits into our current understanding and diagnosis of eating disorders. Rebekah also wrote her Senior Honors Thesis through FAST Lab. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and specialize in the field of disordered eating.

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Hannah Tuttle, B.A.

htuttle@email.unc.edu.

Fall 2012 – Winter 2014

Hannah graduated spring of 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology. She wrote her Senior Honors Thesis through the FAST lab. She is working as a Research Assistant at the University of North Carolina in the Developmental Sciences Department. Her research interests include food policy, food addiction and attempting to discover effective interventions to curb the obesity epidemic. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Health or Clinical Psychology.

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Rachel Terry, B.S.

rater@umich.edu

Winter 2014

Rachel graduated in May, 2014 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. During her time at Michigan, she completed an Honors Thesis in Dr. Berridge’s lab. Her research focused on exploring what mediates pleasure throughout the brain, especially as relates to motivated and addictive behavior. Rachel is particularly interested in bringing together this scientific background with social policy and intervention, focusing on addiction and its intersection with food consumption and behavior. She will be working as a FoodCorps service member this following year at a K-8 charter school in Newark, New Jersey. Her work will involve teaching how to tend a rooftop garden, leading classes focused on integrating nutrition and cooking into the daily curriculum, and weekly tastings, where she hopes to make kids fall in love with kale and quinoa salads!

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Adam Kern, B.A.

adamkern@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Winter 2014

Adam was a member of the lab for two years, who recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Environment. He conducted an Honors Thesis in Dr. Gearhardt’s FAST Lab enabling him to grasp the requirements of the research process and graduate with Honors. His thesis pertained to food-related television and its effect on people’s eating behaviors and cravings. Adam plans on taking a gap year to take advantage of other research opportunities before heading into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program. He is enthralled by the various topics psychology has to offer, but is particularly fascinated with psychotherapy and hopes to expand his curiosities through research and clinical work.

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Kayla Vaughan, B.S.

vakayla@umich.edu

Fall 2014 – Winter 2015

Kayla graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Medical Anthropology. Beginning in August, Kayla will join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working in a clinic in Cleveland as a Patients Benefit Specialist. During her time at FAST Lab, Kayla collaborated with New Castle University in Australia on a study that focused on children’s eating behaviors. She is interested in attending physician assistant school and wants to work with infants and toddlers. Kayla also has a strong interest in public health and interned with the Society for Public Health Education in Washington DC in Summer 2014 and hopes to use her experience to educate patients about ways they can live healthy and active lives!

 

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Sarah Polk, B.A.

sarpolk@umich.edu

Winter 2014 – Summer 2015

Sarah graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. She wrote her Honors Thesis on the impact of individual differences, like gender and restraint, on the consumption of nutritionally diverse foods, and is currently continuing research on this topic. She is planning on either taking a few years to explore options outside of academia (maybe professional ballet!) before returning to graduate school, or attending a Master’s program in Berlin. Eventually, she would like to go on to complete a Ph.D. in the field of Psychology, with a concentration in food psychology.

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Jessica Robinson, B.A.

jchrissy@umich.edu

Fall 2012 – Winter 2015

Jessica graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in self-esteem and how that is related to eating disorders and eating behavior in general. Recently, she has decided that she wants to get her Masters in Counseling Psychology. She hopes to be a therapist someday working at a private practice or clinic.

Past Group Lab Photos

Fall 2016

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Spring 2016

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Winter 2016

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Fall 2015

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Spring 2015

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Winter 2015

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Fall 2014

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Summer 2014

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2013-2014

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