NEWS

ABHC Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious National Institute of Drug Abuse Grant
ABHC graduate student Nicole Short received a prestigious National Institute of Drug Abuse National Research Service Award (F31) fellowship grant for her study entitled "Biobehavioral Mechanisms Underlying Improving Sleep to Reduce Substance Use Disorder Risk." Nicole was awarded $70,924 to work with Dr. Schmidt on examining the effectiveness of treating insomnia symptoms among those at risk for developing substance use disorders (SUD). Nicole and Dr. Schmidt also aim to test biobehavioral mechanisms underlying the relationship between insomnia and substance use disorder risk, such as stress and cravings, to expand our understanding of sleep disturbance as an etiological factor in SUD and to aid in the development of new preventative treatments for SUD.

ABHC Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious National Institute of Health Grant
ABHC graduate student Jay Boffa received the prestigious Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) from the National Institute of Health to further investigate biological mechanisms in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Jay's primary aim is to look at how our biological make up might predispose us to develop PTSD, and whether psychological interventions have an effect on our underlying biology. We know that certain experiences, like childhood abuse, change many things about our body- from the way we think, to our hormones, even down to our genes. These changes make us more vulnerable to stress, and more likely to develop disorders like PTSD. So far there isn't much research about whether we can reverse this process at a biological level, in order to help people be more resilient in the face of stress.
For several years now, our lab has been developing brief interventions that buffer against the effects of stress. We know that these interventions can change the way we think about stress and anxiety, and even reduce symptoms of anxiety and PTSD, but we have not yet tested whether these interventions produce positive changes in our underlying biological responses to stress. The hope is that by providing our cognitive anxiety sensitivity treatment (CAST) to individuals at risk for developing PTSD, we can improve their body's ability to respond in an adaptive way to new, stressful situations.

ABHC Welcomes a New Graduate Student for Fall 2017!
The ABHC is excited to announce the addition of Karl Wissemann as a new clinical psychology student to the Schmidt Lab and the Meyer Lab! Karl received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a dual major in Psychology and English from State University of New York—Geneseo. Upon graduation, Karl worked as a Study Coordinator at South Shore Neurologic Associates in New York. Karl's research interests include neuropsychological and neurobiological underpinnings of abnormal cognitive processes during adolescence, etiological predictors of the trajectory of anxiety- and depression-disordered thinking, and validating the relationship of anxiety biomarkers to traditional psychological paradigms.

ABHC Welcomes a New Research Assistant!
The ABHC is excited to announce the addition of a new full-time research assistant, Alexa Raudales! Alexa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Case Western University in May 2017. As an undergraduate research assistant, Alexa worked with Dr. Norah Feeny in the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. Her research interests include improving understanding and assessment of mood and anxiety symptoms, as well as investigating the role of emotion regulation in treatment. While at the ABHC, Alexa will be working on various aspects of our ongoing studies. In the future, she plans to pursue a doctoral program in clinical psychology.


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