Graduate Students

Maya Bowen

Maya Bowen is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (ICD). She holds a B.A. in Psychology, B.S. in Human Development, and Education Minor from the University of California, Davis. She is interested in risk and resilience in early development with a focus on supporting intervention programs for at-risk children and families.

Clarissa Filetti

Clarissa Filetti is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (ICD). She is interested in identifying biological, psychological, and socio-environmental mechanisms of resilience and intends to translate her research to improve interventions, programs, and policy for children and families experiencing adversity. Currently, she is involved in the Gunnar Lab’s Social Buffering Project. Clarissa received her B.A. in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of St. Thomas in 2018 and worked as a Project Coordinator at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System with Drs. Melissa Polusny and Christopher Erbes before coming to ICD.

Bria Gresham

Bria Gresham is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology at the Institute of Child Development. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2019. She works with Drs. Canan Karatekin and Megan Gunnar in her home department, as well as with a network of researchers in the Minnesota Population Center as a Population Studies Predoctoral Trainee. Her research centers around childhood and adolescent adversity, particularly negative experiences in one’s community or neighborhood (e.g., violence exposure). In addition to examining the physiological and psychological effects of adversity, she also investigates broader contextual factors that lead to the disproportionate distribution of adverse experiences.

Mariann Howland

Mariann Howland is a Ph.D. student on the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track at the Institute of Child Development (ICD). She is interested in risk and resilience processes during sensitive windows of development, particularly the gestational period for fetus and mother. Currently, she is involved in the Women and Infants Study of Health, Emotions and Stress. She received her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton in 2013 and worked as a research coordinator on a study of pregnancy and infant development in the Conte Center at University of California, Irvine before coming to ICD.

Finola E. Kane-Grade

Finola Kane-Grade is a Ph.D. student on the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track at the Institute of Child Development (ICD). She is interested in neurobiological mechanisms linking early life stress and later psychopathology and health outcomes. Additionally, she hopes to identify protective mechanisms underlying resilience (such as social buffering) and translate this knowledge in ways that can be used to inform prevention efforts. Currently, she is involved in the Social Buffering Project. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 and completed an honors thesis on stress and learning with Dr. Seth Pollak. She then completed a postgraduate research fellowship at the Yale Child Study with Dr. Katarzyna Chawarska studying early markers of autism risk, and most recently worked as a research coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School with Drs. Charles Nelson and Michelle Bosquet Enlow studying emotional development and risk markers for childhood anxiety

Shreya Lakhan-Pal Headshot

Shreya Lakhan-Pal

Shreya Lakhan-Pal is interested in the development of emotion processing and regulation during childhood and adolescence, and how this development is instantiated in the brain. As a clinical track student, Shreya is also interested in the relationship between early adverse experiences and the development of psychopathology, and how to buffer risk for mood and anxiety disorders and behavioral problems by supporting emotional processes.

Keira Leneman

Keira is a Ph.D student in the Developmental Science track working with Dan Berry as well as Megan Gunnar. Her primary research interests surround stress and the psychophysiology of self-regulation, with a particular focus on the context of Whiteness and structural racism. She is interested in how stress (acute and chronic) shapes the autonomic nervous system, HPA axis, and brain and how these changes interact with emotional, behavioral, and physiological regulation.

Her dissertation work is focused on how physiological stress responses of Liberal, White emerging adults relate to emotion regulation and productive engagement in conversations about racism.

Keira is also co-founder of Growing Brains Outreach, a volunteer-led program dedicated to educating youth about the science of brain development.

Emily Reilly

Emily Reilly is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development (ICD). She is interested in secure attachment in the context of early adversity and financial stress, particularly in the first two years of life. Emmy hopes to conduct policy-oriented research that confronts inequality and promotes strength within low resource families. Currently, Emmy is involved in the Toddler Attention Study examining social cognition and joint attention skills in a community sample of infants. Emmy received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2016 and worked as a Research Coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital for two years before coming to ICD.

Danrou

Danruo Zhong

Danruo is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Science track at the Institute of Child Development (ICD). Her research interests lie in stress neurobiology through childhood and adolescence. She is particularly interested in how early life adversity shapes children and adolescents’ central stress response system (e.g. HPA Axis), and how they might affect children’s brain development, as well as their mental and physical health in the long run. Danruo received her B.A. in Psychology and Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2014, and she earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in 2017. Before joining the Gunnar Lab, Danruo worked as a research assistant at Dr. Nim Tottenham’s Developmental Affective Neuroscience Lab at Columbia University, where she assisted with projects on neurobehavioral development in children who have experienced adverse caregiving.