Current Members

Lab Director

Margaret Sheridan

Margaret Sheridan, Ph.D. received her degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. After completing her clinical internship at NYU Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital, she spent three years as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard School of Public Health and then as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. In 2015 she left HMS to become an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and serve as the director of the CIRCLE Lab (http://circlelab.unc.edu/). The goal of her research is to better understand the neural underpinnings of the development of cognitive control across childhood (from 5-18 years of age) and to understand how and why disruption in this process results in psychopathology. She approaches this problem in two ways.  First, by studying atypical development, in particular children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Second, by studying the effect of experience on brain development, specifically, the effect of adversity on prefrontal cortex function in childhood.  The CIRCLE Lab is focused on using rigorous and novel task design and cutting edge analytic approaches to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to solve real world problems such as better diagnosing ADHD or creating safer, healthier environments for children growing up in poverty.

Margaret Sheridan

Margaret Sheridan, Ph.D. received her degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. After completing her clinical internship at NYU Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital, she spent three years as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Harvard School of Public Health and then as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. In 2015 she left HMS to become an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and serve as the director of the CIRCLE Lab (http://circlelab.unc.edu/). The goal of her research is to better understand the neural underpinnings of the development of cognitive control across childhood (from 5-18 years of age) and to understand how and why disruption in this process results in psychopathology. She approaches this problem in two ways.  First, by studying atypical development, in particular children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Second, by studying the effect of experience on brain development, specifically, the effect of adversity on prefrontal cortex function in childhood.  The CIRCLE Lab is focused on using rigorous and novel task design and cutting edge analytic approaches to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to solve real world problems such as better diagnosing ADHD or creating safer, healthier environments for children growing up in poverty.

Post-Docs

Adam Bryant Miller

Adam Bryant Miller graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with his BA in Psychology and from George Mason University with his PhD in clinical psychology. Dr. Miller completed his predoctoral clinical internship at the University of Washington, School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Miller’s program of research focuses on the effects of early childhood adversity on adolescent development and behavior. Dr. Miller is particularly interested in the emergence of adolescent health risk behaviors, including substance use, risky sexual behavior, and suicide. To date, his work has investigated interpersonal risk factors, such as lack of social support, for adolescent suicidal behavior. He has also examined factors that help explain the robust relationship between child maltreatment and adolescent suicidal thoughts and behaviors. His research has been supported by grants from the Inova Kellar Center and the American Psychological Foundation. He received the APA Division 53 Student Achievement Award for his work during graduate school. Dr. Miller received a National Research Service Award (Individual F32) for his postdoctoral fellowship. During this fellowship, Dr. Miller will be examining potential brain circuits involved in adolescent suicidal behavior. You can find Dr. Miller’s work on Google Scholar and ResearchGate. Dr. Miller has participated in Safe Zone training. 

Adam Bryant Miller

Adam Bryant Miller graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with his BA in Psychology and from George Mason University with his PhD in clinical psychology. Dr. Miller completed his predoctoral clinical internship at the University of Washington, School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Miller’s program of research focuses on the effects of early childhood adversity on adolescent development and behavior. Dr. Miller is particularly interested in the emergence of adolescent health risk behaviors, including substance use, risky sexual behavior, and suicide. To date, his work has investigated interpersonal risk factors, such as lack of social support, for adolescent suicidal behavior. He has also examined factors that help explain the robust relationship between child maltreatment and adolescent suicidal thoughts and behaviors. His research has been supported by grants from the Inova Kellar Center and the American Psychological Foundation. He received the APA Division 53 Student Achievement Award for his work during graduate school. Dr. Miller received a National Research Service Award (Individual F32) for his postdoctoral fellowship. During this fellowship, Dr. Miller will be examining potential brain circuits involved in adolescent suicidal behavior. You can find Dr. Miller’s work on Google Scholar and ResearchGate. Dr. Miller has participated in Safe Zone training. 

Graduate Students

Anais Rodriquez-Thompson

Anais is a first-year graduate student in UNC's clinical psychology program working with mentor Dr. Margaret Sheridan. She received her B.A. in psychology from Columbia University in 2015. After graduating, she worked in Dr. Joshua Roffman's Brain Genomics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, linking folate-related genes and exposure to neural markers for schizophrenia risk. As a graduate student, she aims to study functional networks associated with emotional regulation and dysregulation in adolescents, with an eye towards how self-awareness may impact these networks. 

Anais Rodriquez-Thompson

Anais is a first-year graduate student in UNC's clinical psychology program working with mentor Dr. Margaret Sheridan. She received her B.A. in psychology from Columbia University in 2015. After graduating, she worked in Dr. Joshua Roffman's Brain Genomics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, linking folate-related genes and exposure to neural markers for schizophrenia risk. As a graduate student, she aims to study functional networks associated with emotional regulation and dysregulation in adolescents, with an eye towards how self-awareness may impact these networks. 

Kristin Meyer

Kristin is a third-year graduate student in UNC’s Clinical and Cognitive Psychology joint-doctoral program working with advisors Dr. Margaret Sheridan and Dr. Joe Hopfinger. She received a B.S. degree in psychology from Birmingham-Southern College in 2013. After graduating, Kristin became an AmeriCorps volunteer working with at-risk elementary school students and later worked as a research technician involved with behavioral health projects at UAB’s HIV Clinic. She is currently pursuing her interests regarding the cognitive and neural components underlying executive function development in typical and atypical populations. Kiki is a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipient! Kiki has participated in UNC Haven Training.

Kristin Meyer

Kristin is a third-year graduate student in UNC’s Clinical and Cognitive Psychology joint-doctoral program working with advisors Dr. Margaret Sheridan and Dr. Joe Hopfinger. She received a B.S. degree in psychology from Birmingham-Southern College in 2013. After graduating, Kristin became an AmeriCorps volunteer working with at-risk elementary school students and later worked as a research technician involved with behavioral health projects at UAB’s HIV Clinic. She is currently pursuing her interests regarding the cognitive and neural components underlying executive function development in typical and atypical populations. Kiki is a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipient! Kiki has participated in UNC Haven Training.

Laura Machlin

Laura is a third-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at UNC under the mentorship of Dr. Margaret Sheridan. She received her BA in Psychology and Science in Society from Wesleyan University in 2013. Following graduation, she was a post-bac IRTA at the NIH under the mentorship of Dr. Ellen Leibenluft investigating predictors of internalizing disorders in children and the neural correlates of irritability across diagnoses. Her research focuses on how deprivation and threatening experiences in early childhood differentially impact neural development. Laura is a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipient! Laura has participated in UNC Haven Training and Safe Zone training.

Laura Machlin

Laura is a third-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at UNC under the mentorship of Dr. Margaret Sheridan. She received her BA in Psychology and Science in Society from Wesleyan University in 2013. Following graduation, she was a post-bac IRTA at the NIH under the mentorship of Dr. Ellen Leibenluft investigating predictors of internalizing disorders in children and the neural correlates of irritability across diagnoses. Her research focuses on how deprivation and threatening experiences in early childhood differentially impact neural development. Laura is a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipient! Laura has participated in UNC Haven Training and Safe Zone training.

Sarah Furlong

Sarah Furlong is a second-year graduate student working with Dr. Margaret Sheridan and Dr. Jessica Cohen in the Clinical and Cognitive Psychology joint Ph.D. program in the UNC department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She earned her B.A. in Cognitive Science with a minor in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University in 2014. After graduation, Sarah worked as the lab manager for Dr. Elissa L. Newport at the Georgetown University Learning and Development Lab in the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery. Sarah studies the development and flexibility of functional brain networks and the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders, particularly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, in early childhood. To read more about Sarah's research, please visit sarahfurlong.wordpress.com.

Sarah Furlong

Sarah Furlong is a second-year graduate student working with Dr. Margaret Sheridan and Dr. Jessica Cohen in the Clinical and Cognitive Psychology joint Ph.D. program in the UNC department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She earned her B.A. in Cognitive Science with a minor in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University in 2014. After graduation, Sarah worked as the lab manager for Dr. Elissa L. Newport at the Georgetown University Learning and Development Lab in the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery. Sarah studies the development and flexibility of functional brain networks and the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders, particularly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, in early childhood. To read more about Sarah's research, please visit sarahfurlong.wordpress.com.

Research Assistants

Emily Munier

Emily is a first-year Master of Science candidate in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and then worked in the Psychiatry department as a Research Technician Associate. She coordinated multiple neuroimaging studies looking at neural predictors of substance abuse. In Margaret’s lab, she will be coordinating the neuroimaging study that hopes to find brain circuitry differences in children with adverse life experiences. She plans to obtain her Mental Health Counseling License upon graduating and may pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the future.  

Emily Munier

Emily is a first-year Master of Science candidate in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and then worked in the Psychiatry department as a Research Technician Associate. She coordinated multiple neuroimaging studies looking at neural predictors of substance abuse. In Margaret’s lab, she will be coordinating the neuroimaging study that hopes to find brain circuitry differences in children with adverse life experiences. She plans to obtain her Mental Health Counseling License upon graduating and may pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the future.  

Gary Wilkins

Gary Wilkins, a research analyst whose primary role is constructing and then managing a pipeline for human neuroimaging data, works in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Physics and a minor in German Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He then worked as a research technician for Dr. Eva Anton at the Neuroscience Center, UNC School of Medicine, on projects relating to ciliopathies and 3/4/5D visualizations of the embryonic mouse brain through several states of development. He has also been published in Developmental Cell and Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys kickball, hiking, and brewing beer.

Gary Wilkins

Gary Wilkins, a research analyst whose primary role is constructing and then managing a pipeline for human neuroimaging data, works in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Physics and a minor in German Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He then worked as a research technician for Dr. Eva Anton at the Neuroscience Center, UNC School of Medicine, on projects relating to ciliopathies and 3/4/5D visualizations of the embryonic mouse brain through several states of development. He has also been published in Developmental Cell and Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys kickball, hiking, and brewing beer.

Katie McKay

Katie recently graduated from UNC with a Bachelor's of Science Biology and Psychology, and Minors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. She has a diverse research background spanning from working on drug delivery in molecular pharmacology to studying emotions and relationships in a social psychology setting. Most recently, she worked in an addiction lab (the BRANE lab) that uses imaging to understand neural underpinnings relating to substance use. She completed an honors thesis in this lab looking at the neural indices of stress predicting future cocaine use. She will be a research assistant in both the CIRCLE and BRANE labs this year and is applying now to medical school with hopes of eventually being a pediatric surgeon.

Katie McKay

Katie recently graduated from UNC with a Bachelor's of Science Biology and Psychology, and Minors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. She has a diverse research background spanning from working on drug delivery in molecular pharmacology to studying emotions and relationships in a social psychology setting. Most recently, she worked in an addiction lab (the BRANE lab) that uses imaging to understand neural underpinnings relating to substance use. She completed an honors thesis in this lab looking at the neural indices of stress predicting future cocaine use. She will be a research assistant in both the CIRCLE and BRANE labs this year and is applying now to medical school with hopes of eventually being a pediatric surgeon.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Kinjal Patel

Kinjal Patel is a current sophomore at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Psychology and Exercise and Sports Science. As a member of CIRCLE Lab, she is excited to gain experience with psychological research methods and learn more about cognition and brain development in children. In the future, Kinjal hopes to continue doing research and eventually attend graduate school. 

Kinjal Patel

Kinjal Patel is a current sophomore at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Psychology and Exercise and Sports Science. As a member of CIRCLE Lab, she is excited to gain experience with psychological research methods and learn more about cognition and brain development in children. In the future, Kinjal hopes to continue doing research and eventually attend graduate school. 

Maureen Xu

Maureen Xu is a current junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Psychology. She is very interested in neuroscience and especially in how early life experiences can affect brain development in children. Maureen plans to attend graduate school after graduation, and is very excited to gain research experience and be a part of the CIRCLE lab.  

Maureen Xu

Maureen Xu is a current junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Psychology. She is very interested in neuroscience and especially in how early life experiences can affect brain development in children. Maureen plans to attend graduate school after graduation, and is very excited to gain research experience and be a part of the CIRCLE lab.