Originally from Massachusetts, I completed an undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 2003, after which I worked as a research assistant with Dr. Martha Shenton at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, conducting studies of structural neuroimaging in schizophrenia. I went on to complete an MD and PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. In my graduate work with Dr. Deanna Barch, I used functional neuroimaging techniques to examine reward processing and reinforcement learning in schizophrenia, and their relationships to clinical symptoms of anhedonia and amotivation. I also developed an interest in the schizophrenia prodrome, and participated in clinical evaluations of adolescents at risk for psychosis as part of the First Contact Assessment Service.
During residency, my clinical experiences have deepened my curiosity about the role of reward processing abnormalities in the development of psychopathology, particularly in mood and psychotic disorders. During my intern year, I used my research time to meet with prospective mentors and discuss potential projects. During my second and third years, I spent time in the lab of Dr. Daphne Holt, exploring questions about the similarities and differences between fear and reward conditioning in schizophrenia. During my fourth year, I served as chief resident in the schizophrenia and bipolar disorders program at McLean. As my clinical and research interests evolved and became more integrated, I pursued collaborations between the labs of Dr. Dost Ongur and Dr. Diego Pizzagalli to ask cross-diagnostic questions about anhedonia and amotivation in affective and psychotic disorders. After graduation, I started a position as an inpatient psychiatrist on the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders unit at McLean. I also received a research fellowship from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to study the effect of Open Dialogue technique on clinical outcomes after hospitalization in patients with psychotic disorders.