What is your role in the Michaelson Lab?

I am a study coordinator for SPARK – a nation-wide research study looking to better understand the genetics of autism. This role consists of many things, however my day-to-day usually consists of communicating and working with families to help their study process completion. This can vary from phone calls and emails to visiting the families’ homes to help with anything they may be struggling with. An unofficial role I hold in the lab is the “pep-supplier.”

Why did you want to join the Michaelson Lab?

There are many reasons I wanted to be a part of the Michaelson Lab. Before I had the honor of meeting the lab members, I wanted to join based off of the research itself. I have mentored children with neurodevelopmental conditions since I was 14 years old. I wanted to join the lab because it would give me the opportunity to dive deeper into understanding the biological aspects of these conditions, in which I could apply my knowledge to my practices when I continue to work with children. During my interview process, I had the pleasure of meeting the Michaelson Lab members – a group of extremely unique, talented, and intelligent individuals that won me over.

What has proven to be the biggest adjustment for you in joining a Computational Psychiatry lab? What have you enjoyed most?

First and foremost, the biggest adjustment I had to make was to understand what the computational psychiatry field exactly entails. During my undergraduate years I had not been exposed to computational psychiatry, so it was quite the learning curve when I joined the lab. The part I enjoy most almost goes hand-in-hand with my biggest adjustment. Every day I learn something new, and I appreciate that my knowledge is constantly expanding.

What would you sing at Karaoke night?

I frequent Karaoke on the weekends, and I vary from genre to genre. However, my go-to song would have to be Africa by ToTo. Ooo, or Faithfully by Journey. But also, Where is the Love by Black Eyed Peas . . . this is too hard, next question please.

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

100% soccer. I played in my first game when I was 4 years old. Since then I have tried kicking/juggling any somewhat spherical object in sight. I played soccer for my high school varsity team all four springs, and I played on my club team during all other times of the years. My career came to an end following my 18th birthday when I needed an invasive hip surgery due to an over-use injury. No cartilage in your hip socket = ouch. Soccer will always consume the majority of my heart.