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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Matthew Thompson, MPhil
Matthew is a Research Associate in the MEND2 lab where he is involved in running and managing data for multiple lab studies. He graduated from the University of Oslo with a MPhil in Cognitive Neuroscience. Matthew is interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of affect, especially in the context of mood disorders.
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