Lab Alumni

Dr. Nicolle Angeli is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her M.A. and PhD. degrees from the APA-accredited clinical psychology program at Georgia State University while minoring in developmental psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral generalist internship at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont, and post-doctoral training in geriatrics and primary care at the Western New York Healthcare System in Buffalo, New York. Following her training, Dr. Angeli worked as the outpatient pain psychologist at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indiana and transferred to the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in 2013, where she currently serves as the Clinical Director of the CARF-accredited inpatient chronic pain rehabilitation program. In addition to engaging in direct patient care, Dr. Angeli is active in program development activities, supervising psychology trainees, administrative domains, and she serves as a regional trainer and consultant for the national VA training roll-out on cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain. Her hope is to share her passion and approach with others, growing from those interactions herself, and aiding to improve comprehensive chronic pain management throughout the VHA.

Dr. Negar Fani is a clinical neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University. Her research centers around: 1) characterizing the various cognitive and affective manifestations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 2) prospectively understanding risk for PTSD and other trauma-related problems, including anhedonia and substance use, 3) developing novel interventions to treat these problems. Dr. Fani completed her PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology at Georgia State University in 2011. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Emory University Department of Psychiatry in 2013 and subsequently joined the department as a faculty member. 

Dr. Fani uses clinical assessments, cognitive paradigms, neuropsychological testing, psychophysiology, functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study diverse trauma-related problems. Investigating the precise nature of attentional disruptions in the context of emotional information has been at the heart of her research. Dr. Fani also explores how trauma, particularly childhood maltreatment, interacts with genetics, brain function and structure to increase vulnerability for the development of posttraumatic phenomena. As a clinician, she has worked with veteran and civilian populations, and is currently a licensed psychologist at the Emory Clinic. She has received continuous federal and foundational support for her research, and currently has three active research projects, one of which is a mindfulness-based clinical trial for traumatized people. She is passionate about helping the most difficult-to-treat traumatized people using interventions that are designed to help them overcome treatment barriers.

Dr. Sara Francis is originally from Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Cognitive Science. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University in 2017 and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Florida State University’s Multidisciplinary Evaluation & Consulting Center. She completed her clinical post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) in 2019. Since July 2019, Sara has served as an assistant professor and licensed psychologist with joint appointments at Vanderbilt’s Kennedy Center and University Medical Center. Her clinical interests include assessment of suspected autism spectrum disorder, social skills interventions, and treatment of emotional, behavioral, and developmental concerns in integrated behavioral health settings. 

Dr. Cheryl L. Garn is a Clinical Psychologist working in private practice at Cheryl Garn Psychology and Counseling, PLLC in Reno, Nevada.  She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University in 2016 and completed her internship at Brigham Young University (BYU) Counseling and Psychological Services.  Dr. Garn then worked for a year as Assistant Clinical Professor at BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services and as a Psychologist at the University of Nevada, Reno Counseling Services from 2017-2019.  Dr. Garn started her private practice in 2019. Dr. Garn’s research has focused on attention and mindfulness, and she continued to work with colleagues at BYU to explore the components and efficacy of mindfulness.  Currently, Dr. Garn focuses on clinical work with adolescents and adults and she generally uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  She has strengths working with individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, perfectionism, religious concerns, relationship concerns, and personality disorders. website:

Dr. Nikki Hegberg earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University in 2017. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at VA Boston Healthcare System and her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at VA Boston Healthcare System. Since October 2019, she has worked at the Richmond VA Hospital, where she serves as a psychologist in the Bariatrics Clinic and as the Neuropsychologist for the Health Psychology Clinic. Nikki is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her clinical interests include understanding cognitive strengths and limitations, patient-centered care, and lifestyle medicine. Research interests broadly focus on the impact of physical activity and exercise on stress-related mental health problems and cognition. She also enjoys incorporating lifestyle interventions into neuropsychological feedback sessions and leading lifestyle-based educational and intervention groups.

Dr. Reema Jayakar was trained at Georgia State University, where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology, and at Vancouver Coastal Health, where she completed a one-year residency. She has worked as a behavior management consultant at St. Vincent’s: Langara with Providence Health Care in Vancouver. Dr. Jayakar completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and currently works in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about assessing mood and cognition in the elderly and providing psychotherapy services to ethnic minority women. Her research has involved using structural neuroimaging techniques to develop a better understanding of brain-behavior relationships. In her spare time, Dr. Jayakar enjoys making ideas and tools from psychology and neuroscience accessible to the public. 
Invited podcast episode:

Dr. Susanna McQuarrie  completed her doctoral training in the clinical psychology PhD program at GSU and her pre-doctoral internship at the University of California at Davis Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation Center. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change in Rockville, Maryland in 2020, worked there as a staff psychologist until 2021, and then started her own practice. Susanna is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Studies.  After graduation, she worked for two years as a research assistant in a Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Harvard University. Her research interests focus on adaptive caregiver-child interactions that are associated with lower rates of anxiety and PTSD.

Dr. Emily Ronkin is completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in 2021-2022.  She also completed her internship at Nationwide and is delighted to continue her training there. Emily is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Emory University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  After graduation, she worked for two years as a predoctoral intramural research training award fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience. Her research interests focus on early childhood mental health, specifically the assessment and treatment of disorders common in this population, including anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorder.

Dr. Rachel Weinstock is a post-doctoral fellow at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D. C.. She spent the 2020-2021 year on internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.  Rachel is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  After graduation, she worked for two years as a research assistant in the Implementation Science Department at 3C Institute in Cary, North Carolina. Her research interests include parenting factors associated with the development of childhood anxiety, as well as stigma related to children’s mental health.

Elizabeth Schroth (Liz) is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), a Nationally Board Certified Coach (BCC) and a trained Neurotherapy practitioner.  Liz earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Georgia State University, where she also completed advanced coursework in clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology. In her private practice in Maryland, Transitional Insights, LLC, Liz works with children, young adults, and their families to treat attention difficulties, mood and anxiety disorders, social skills issues, and sleep concerns using a combination of neurofeedback and/or traditional therapy. Most recently, Liz is using her integrated approach to therapy – combining tradition therapy, educational coaching, and neurofeedback – to help children overcome the secondary side effects of concussions (i.e., anxiety, depression, attention issues and executive functioning problems).

Koral Wheeler graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology & Pre-medicine. Following graduation, she worked at Emory University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, studying animal models of depression, cognition, and hippocampal neurogenesis. Koral attended GSU’s Clinical Psychology program until 2013 before transferring to Tulane University’s Neuroscience Graduate program and earning a Master of Science in 2014. Until summer 2019, she worked as a research coordinator on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Neuromuscular Disorders research team in Los Angeles, California. She managed a multitude of clinical trials investigating novel molecular, gene and stem cell therapies for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Koral has been enrolled in the University of Southern California’s Neuroscience PhD program since fall 2019. Her research interests include investigating cardiometabolic, cerebrovascular, neuropsychiatric, and genetic etiologies that pose an increased risk of dementia onset in women and ethnic minorities. She hopes to examine structural and functional neuroimaging biomarkers that may have utility for early intervention and diagnosis.