Meet the Lab

JApic  Julia Ammer: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julia is an undergraduate student at Northwestern University studying social policy. She joined the lab in March 2020. Previously, she worked with Dr. Katie Basham in the Hammer Lab at U of M studying adrenal cancer. She is interested in social determinants of health—specifically those relating to education and food access—and developing policies and interventions to combat inequities faced by children and youth.  

 Kiren Chaudhry: Interventionist Kiren

Kiren graduated from Wayne State University in 2015 with dual degrees in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Prior to graduation she worked at the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute and the Family Emotion Lab, jobs which both inspired a passionate interest in developmental psychology. She joined the Child Health and Development Lab in 2017 as an Interventionist for ABC Brain Games. In the future she hopes to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology with a research focus that would allow her to incorporate her background in Gender Studies.

Katy Clark, MA: Lab CoordinatorKaty-headshot
Katy joined the lab in January 2017 after 15 years of managing a research lab on the long-term effects of iron deficiency in infancy. Katy received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of British Columbia where she studied as a J. William Fulbright Scholar. Katy is a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) through the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

sharonloSharon Lo, Ph.D.: Postdoctoral Fellow
Sharon Lo completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University. Through a clinical residency at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, she developed expertise working with children, teens, and families, particularly those struggling with anxiety and self-regulation challenges. Dr. Lo has extensive training in cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and mindfulness-based interventions with children and adolescents. Her research focuses on the basic maturational processes of self-regulation skills in young children and how early variation in these skills contribute to different developmental trajectories.

liz (2)Liz Ludwig-Borycz, MPH: Graduate Student Research Assistant

Liz is a current Ph.D. student at University of Michigan studying Nutritional Epidemiology. She joined the lab in August 2019. Liz earned her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan in Global Health Epidemiology in May 2019. Prior to attending graduate school, Liz worked as a Global Health Practitioner for four years after completing her B.A. in Political Science at the University of Michigan in 2013

IMG_0347Erin McKenna: Research Assistant

Erin joined the lab in April 2019 as a research assistant for the UH3 AIMS Type 1 Diabetes study. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. and from Portland State University with an M.S.W. Prior to joining the lab she worked as an early childhood educator and as a clinician. Erin is interested in children’s social development, parenting and the impacts of violence on children and families.

CallieCallie Ogland-Hand: Research Assistant

Callie graduated from the College of Wooster in May 2019 with dual degrees in mathematics and sociology, and she joined the lab in June 2019. Callie is interested in the social determinants of diet, and hopes to pursue graduate work in public health and nutritional sciences.


Hurley Riley III: Data Manager
Hurley received his MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in 2019. He also has a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from U-M. Prior to rejoining the lab in February 2017, Hurley contributed to various projects at the Center for Human Growth and Development involving child media use. He is interested in health behaviors that may reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. 

Martha Siegmund, MPH: Recruitment Research Assistant

Martha received her MPH in Nutrition from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2017. She is also a Registered Dietitian. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, Psychology, and French from the University of Mary Washington in 2011. Her interests are in nutrition policy and global health.

Rebeccah Sokol, PhD: Postdoctoral Fellow

RebeccahRebeccah Sokol completed her doctorate in Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Through her graduate studies and predoctoral fellowship with the Carolina Consortium on Human Development, Dr. Sokol developed expertise in longitudinal and latent variable data analysis. She applies these techniques to her research focus area—identifying changeable factors that can improve the health and well-being of children who have faced early adversity.

Phoebe Trout: Research Assistant

Phoebe graduated from the University of California at Davis in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health and Master of Public Policy dual-degree at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Child Health and Development Lab in September 2019, Phoebe worked in clinical programming at the Center for Youth Wellness, and in non-profit microfinance at, both in San Francisco, CA. Her interests center around social determinants of health, public education access and quality, and social mobility.

Lydia Thornburg: Research Assistant


Lydia graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2019 with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience, and she joined the lab in July 2019. Lydia is interested in child and maternal health and hopes to pursue graduate study in public health.

Rachel Varisco: Intern

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Rachel graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish. Prior to starting her Master of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan, she was the Program Manager at a group home for adults living with developmental disabilities. Rachel joined the lab in May 2019 as a summer intern and has been collaborating with Motherly Intercession and Healthy Homes. Her interests focus on how the social determinants of health affect child behavioral development.


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