SBSB trainees contribute to all aspects of our research. Our fellows, many of them Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) recipients, have experience and interests across a range of social and behavioral science areas, from health disparities to eating and diet-related outcomes to mental health and suicide.
Jenna R. Cummings, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working on the Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study. Her research focuses on identifying biopsychosocial causes and effects of unhealthy eating behavior, particularly early in the lifespan. She completed her doctoral degree in health psychology in 2018 at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also completed postdoctoral work in 2020 at the University of Michigan, where she conducted research on social-cognitive mechanisms underlying unhealthy eating behavior.
Theemeshni Govender is a postbaccalaureate IRTA fellow with research interests in adolescent psychosocial development and well-being, mental health disparities, and social determinants of mental health and how they are transmitted generationally. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology.
Evelyn Liu is a postbaccalaureate IRTA fellow working with Dr. Tonja Nansel on the Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study. She engages in research related to health disparities, social determinants of health, and maternal and child health. Her focus is the successful translation of scientific research into real-world, effective applications. She graduated from Cornell University in 2019 with a major in global and public health sciences and a minor in inequality studies.
Reeya Patel is a postbaccalaureate IRTA fellow working with Dr. Stephen Gilman to investigate the prenatal and early childhood origins of disparities in midlife premature mortality risk. Their work focuses on data from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. Her interests center on how, through a population-health perspective, social and socioeconomic disadvantages lead to health disparities across the lifespan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in applied statistics, and in 2019 with a master’s degree in psychology.
Carolina Schwedhelm, Dr.P.H., is a postdoctoral fellow working on the Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study and NEXT Generation Health Study. Her research focus is understanding how food consumed at meals affects health outcomes, and how healthy diets arise from food intake at meals. She completed her doctoral degree at the Technical University of Berlin. She also spent time at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, where she conducted nutritional epidemiology research on different daily meals (i.e., breakfast, lunch, dinner), meal patterns, and predictors of eating behaviors at the meal, daily, and individual levels.
Chelsie Temmen, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working on the Pregnancy Eating Attributes Study. Her research aims to expand understanding of how social and contextual factors influence child and adolescent well-being, and she uses her expertise in advanced statistical analyses to examine these relationships. Her work emphasizes the importance of parents, with special attention to father involvement, in the development of health behaviors throughout child development. She completed her doctoral degree in psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018.
Pablo Vidal-Ribas Belil, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral visiting fellow working with Dr. Stephen Gilman to identify developmental predictors of suicide mortality using data from the Collaborative Perinatal Project. His research focuses on using behavioral, epidemiological, and neuroimaging approaches to identify risk and protective factors of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, irritability, and suicidality, in young people. He earned master’s degrees in child and adolescent and in adult psychopathology while training as a clinical psychologist in Barcelona, Spain. He completed his Ph.D. in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London (KCL) in the United Kingdom. In 2012, he joined Dr. Argyris Stringaris’ research group at the Mood and Development Lab at KCL. In 2016, he came to the United States to continue his work with Dr. Stringaris at the National Institute of Mental Health’s Mood Brain and Development Unit.
Jing Yu, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and postdoctoral fellow studying how biological (e.g., temperament, inflammation biomarkers) and sociocultural (e.g., parenting, family socioeconomic status, acculturation) factors influence human development and health over the life course. She works with Dr. Stephen Gilman to examine socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in child development and long-term health (premature mortality risk). In addition, she focuses her work on resilience factors and positive well-being. Dr. Yu is also actively involved in launching the ENRICHED study on early life origins of health disparities. She earned her doctorate in applied developmental psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2016, and completed her first postdoctoral fellowship, with Dr. Marc Bornstein, in 2018.