Research Staff

Lab Manager:

Amy Carolus

Amy is a full-time lab manager at the CIRCLE Lab. Originally from Upstate New York, she graduated from Harvard College in May 2021 with an A.B. in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked on multiple projects in Harvard’s Stress and Development Lab studying the impact of early life adversity on social, emotional, and neural development and risk for psychopathology. She wrote her honors thesis on how early life exposure to emotional support relates to the development of emotion differentiation. In the future, Amy hopes to pursue a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. Outside of research, she enjoys baking, getting lost in a good book, and drinking coffee. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Scientific Programmer:

Will Asciutto

Will is a full-time Scientific Programmer and member of the Human Neuroimaging Group. He develops image processing software and assists with its training and adoption in the lab, in addition to serving as a general programming resource. Will graduated from Appalachian State University in 2016 with a BS in Computer Science. He started his career in industry, where he developed Python and R-based big data pipelines in both Azure and AWS for the enablement of advanced commercial analytics. He also developed Java-based RESTful APIs and both managed and taught a data engineering course for clients. Outside of programming, Will enjoys getting outdoors for hiking, camping, kayaking, and biking.

Research Assistants:

Carlton Johnson 

Carlton Johnson is a 2020 Duke Graduate with a BA in Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. While attending Duke, he operated as a research assistant in the Motor, Cognition, Aging Brain (MCAB) Lab under Dr. Gregory Samanez Larkin, studying the effects of dopamine availability and delayed discounting on subjective response. He also worked at the Lenox Baker Pediatric Hospital as a research assistant under Dr. Joan Jasien, studying the progression of neurodevelopmental diseases with age. Carlton plans to attend medical school in the future and has special fascination with addiction and neurological disorders. In his free time, he enjoys musicals, writing and cooking. (Pronouns: he/him/his)

Celina Meyer 

Celina is a full-time Research Assistant on the WHALE Study. She graduated from Florida State University with one B.S. in Psychology and another B.S. in Statistics. As an undergraduate, Celina researched how the early childhood environment influenced executive functioning and emotion regulation strategies across the adult lifespan. More specifically, Celina was interested in the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences and she attempted to identify early resilience factors that might buffer against these effects. Celina enjoys painting, skiing and hiking with her dog. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Daniel Stickel 

Daniel graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Biology and minors in Neuroscience and Spanish. He previously did work in the Shih lab at UNC-Chapel Hill, assisting in studies on the effect of alcohol on the developing adolescent brain. Daniel is most interested in brain damage/malfunction and subsequent behavioral changes that occur as a result and understanding the underlying mechanisms involved so that individuals with these issues can receive the best treatment possible. (Pronouns: he/him/his)

Dominique Martinez 

Dominique is a full-time Research Assistant on the WHALE Study. They graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in the Biological Basis of Behavior, and a minor in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Dominique researched how features of a child’s early life environment, such as parenting behaviors and socioeconomic status, influence persistence and motivation, and child brain development. Dominique is interested in exploring the ways that research can support resilience in the face of adversity and is passionate about utilizing neuroscience to improve early childhood education. Outside of research, Dominique enjoys skateboarding, cooking and baking, and listening to music. (Pronouns: they/them)

Gina Cusing

Gina is a full-time Research Assistant on the STTAR study. She graduated from Harvard University in 2020 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. Prior to working at the CIRCLE Lab, she was a Project Associate at the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab. In this role, she supported non-profit partner organizations throughout Chicago by evaluating the effectiveness of multiple interventions targeted at improving housing stability and academic outcomes for children and families. Additionally, she was an undergraduate RA in Dr. Katie McLaughlin’s Stress and Development Lab, where she wrote her honors thesis on the associations of interpersonal discrimination with biological aging in adolescence. In the future, Gina hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Katie Garrisi 

Katie is a full-time data analyst on the WHALE Study. Katie graduated from Cornell University in 2019 with a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Creative Writing. As an undergraduate, Katie was a Research Assistant in the Eleanor J. Gibson Laboratory of Developmental Psychology studying the development of communication and social learning under Dr. Michael Goldstein. For her undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, Katie investigated whether infants could learn from a robotic interaction partner. Prior to joining the CIRCLE Lab, Katie worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Gaab Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. At the Gaab Lab, Katie primarily studied the neural pre-markers of developmental dyslexia, and worked on analyses involving children who had faced early life adversity in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Katie is interested in learning how adverse early life experiences affect neural development and the development of various psychopathologies, and how these findings could inform future interventions. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Maresa Taté

Maresa is a full-time research assistant on the WHALE study who graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience in May of 2021. As an undergraduate, Maresa was selected as a CDC Undergraduate Public Health scholar where she worked as a clinical research intern at Johns Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Medical Institutes’ Sickle Cell Neurodevelopmental Clinic. Maresa completed their undergraduate thesis investigating the role of anti-Blackness in the processing of hair during facial identification between Black and non-Black individuals. Their study analyzed hair alterations’ effects on facial recognition accuracy between own-race and other-race faces, with the use of eye-tracking technology. Maresa has always had an interest in working with foster care youth and child victims of human trafficking and plans on pursuing a career as a pediatrician-scientist specializing in Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Maresa is interested in studying the impacts of adverse childhood experiences on cognitive development. Outside of research, Maresa enjoys napping, singing, cooking, Sudoku, and writing poetry. (Pronouns: she/her/hers & they/them/theirs)

Margaret Redic

Margaret is a full-time Research Assistant on the STTAR study. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Child Development, a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Cognitive Studies. As an undergraduate, she worked for three years in the Stress and Coping Lab under Dr. Bruce Compas, studying the relationship between coping styles and psychological outcomes in those with adverse childhood experiences as well as investigating the effectiveness of a depression prevention program for adolescents. More specifically, Margaret wrote her Honors Thesis on the impact of parent expressed emotions on changes in child expressed emotions during parent-child interactions and how these changes may affect one’s risk of developing depression. Margaret is interested in studying the impact of early life experiences on later psychological and neurological outcomes, particularly in adolescent populations. In the future, Margaret plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Sophia Martin

Sophia is a full-time Research Assistant on the Youth Emotion Study. She graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Health and Medical Sciences. During her time as an undergraduate, Sophia’s was a research assistant in the Memory and Aging Lab, studying how resilience and emotion regulation during times of financial hardship changes throughout the lifespan. Sophia is interested in how abnormal stress or maltreatment during childhood effects resilience and risk for psychopathology. In her free time, Sophia enjoys baking, painting, going on nature walks, and playing beach volleyball with friends. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Summer Motton

Summer is a full-time research assistant on the WHALE study. She graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Psychology. She previously worked as an undergraduate research assistant at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she studied the influence of socioeconomic disparities on children’s brain and cognitive development. Summer is interested in understanding how childhood adversity impacts emotional development and confers risk for psychopathology, as well as how psych research can inform interventions which improve outcomes for children and adolescents. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)