Welcome to the
MEND2 Lab!

Multifaceted Explorations of the Neurobiology of Depressive Disorders (MEND2)

PARTICIPATE

Click here to learn more about our current studies and how you can volunteer to participate

ABOUT US

Learn more about the MEND2 Lab

CONTACT US

Have questions?  Want to talk to our lab?  Call us at 385-313-0039 or click for more info.

PARTICIPATE

Current Studies

Want to help make a difference? Check out the listing below to read about our ongoing studies and see if you may be eligible to participate!

Alcohol Use and Sleep (Adults)

INSOMNIA & ALCOHOL USE DISORDER

More than a third of American adults do not get enough sleep. In this study, we are designing a smartphone app to help people who have recently stopped drinking address their sleep problems.

Click here to see if you may be eligible

Rumination Mechanisms of Change (Teens, Treatment, Depression)

TEEN DEPRESSION STUDY (RuMeChange)

We are conducting a research study examining how mindfulness can help teenagers stay healthy and prevent depression relapse.

WHAT DOES THE STUDY INVOLVE?

  • Brain scans using fMRI technology
  • Questions about mood and behavior
  • Cognitive and computer testing
  • Meeting with a clinician over Zoom
  • 10-14 weekly treatment sessions using relaxation or RF-CBT strategies
  • On-going assessment of depression throughout the next 2 years
  • $15/hour compensated for your time.

Click here to see if you may be eligible

Reducing Self-Injury and Suicidal Thinking (Teens, Treatment, Self-Harm)

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ReSIST: Reducing Self-Injury and Suicidal Thinking

We are conducting a research study at the University of Utah examining how mindfulness can help teenagers recover from self-injury or suicidal thoughts.

Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 who have been discharged from an inpatient psychiatry unit in the past 2 weeks due to self-injury or suicidal thoughts and behavior may be eligible.

What will the study involve?

  • Questions about thoughts, feelings, and behavior
  • Meeting with a clinician
  • Access to an app-based mobile intervention
  • Possibility of 10 weekly treatment sessions using mindfulness
  • Possibility of a brain scan using MRI
  • Ongoing assessment at 3 and 6 months after treatment

What are the benefits?

  • Access to an app-based mobile intervention
  • Possibility for weekly meetings with an experienced clinician
  • Possibility of seeing a full image of your brain
  • Help advance an important scientific field
  • Eligible participants will be compensated for their time

Click here to see if you may be eligible

About Us

The MEND2 laboratory uses biopsychosocial tools, including neuroimaging, performance, self-report and other-report, and blood and saliva assays in mood disorders. We use these tools to identify biomarkers to inform precision medicine, including diagnosis, risk, prevention/treatment selection, treatment effectiveness, and course modification.

MOOD DISORDERS

Mood disorders include depressive disorders and bipolar disorders. Much of our work focuses on understanding how mood disorders look in the brain and how to help.

SELF-INJURIOUS THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors include thoughts of suicide and self-harm as well as suicidal and non-suicidal behavior.

TREATMENT/INTERVENTIONS

Some of our studies look at how specific treatments, like rumination-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (RF-CBT) helps people with mood disorders and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors. We are also interested in how these treatments change the brain.

NEURODEVELOPMENT

The MEND2 Lab has conducted research across the lifespan. Currently, many of our studies focus on teens because mood disorders and self-injury often begin around this time. By understanding and treating these challenges earlier, we might be more successful in reducing suffering. This is because the brain is more flexible in childhood and adolescence.

Faculty

Scott Langenecker, PhD

Professor

Dr. Langenecker is a Professor and Neuropsychologist within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Marquette University and has spent decades investigating neurobiological mechanisms of mood disorders in adolescents and adults.

Dr. Langenecker’s CV

Mindy Westlund Schreiner, PhD

Instructor

Dr. Westlund Schreiner is an Instructor and Psychologist within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Her work focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors and interventions in adolescents.

Dr. Westlund Schreiner’s CV

Erin Kaufman, PhD

Instructor

Dr. Kaufman is an Instructor and Psychologist within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Utah. Dr. Kaufman’s program of research focuses on interrupting pathogenic factors that contribute to self-inflicted injury (SII), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and suicide.

Students and Staff

Maci Jacobson, BS

Graduate Student

Maci Jacobson graduated with a BS in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University. Her interests in reward and motivation pathways has driven her to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Utah and to join the MEND2 Lab. Her motto is “I study how we work in order to maximize that work!” When she is not studying or in the lab, Maci loves watching and playing sports, reading Harry Potter with her husband, and spending time in the mountains.

Rebecca Easter, MA

Graduate Student

Rebecca Easter is a clinical psychology graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently completing her doctoral internship in New Mexico and is collecting data for her dissertation. Becca is interested in mental health culture and diversity. 

Brian Farstead, BS

Research Associate

Brian is a Research Associate in the MEND2 Lab, who graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. He is involved in running and maintaining multiple lab studies. He is primarily interested in suicide prevention, symptomology of mood disorders, and executive function. Brian plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with the long-term goal of working with the Latinx community.

Myah Pazdera, MS

Research Associate

Myah is a Research Associate in the MEND2 Lab where she is involved in running and maintaining all lab studies. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a M.S. in Cognitive and Developmental Science. Myah is interested in prevention science, especially as it relates to development, trauma, and cognitive neuroscience among at-risk youth. In her free time, she enjoys being outside with her dogs.

Daniel Feldman, BA

Research Associate

Daniel is a Research Associate in the MEND2 Lab where he is involved in running and maintaining all lab studies. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology. Daniel is interested in understanding the neurological basis of mood disorders and improving methods in the study of non-invasive mental health treatments. He hopes this research can help mental health treatments become more specific, effective, and accessible. Daniel plans on pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience after gaining more experience at MEND2.

Sarah Cote, MS

Independent Evaluator

Sarah is currently a clinical psychology doctoral student at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She completes diagnostic evaluations with MEND2 research participants.

Caitlyn Stringham, MA

Research Associate

Caitlyn is a research study coordinator and has extensive experience working with patient populations. Prior to joining MEND2, Caitlyn completed neuropsychological assessments at the University of Utah Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI). In addition to her role in the MEND2 lab, she is also a clinical psychology doctoral student.

The information posted on this site is consistent with the research reviewed and approved by the University of Utah Institutional Review Board (IRB). However, the IRB has not reviewed all material posted on this site. Contact the IRB if you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant. Also contact the IRB if you have questions, complaint, or concerns which you do not feel you can discuss with the investigator. The University of Utah IRB may be reached by phone at (801) 581‐3655 or by e-mail at irb@hsc.utah.edu.