Laboratory Director and Principal Investigator
Dr. Johanna Bick is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Houston. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware in 2011. She then completed research fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center and the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, prior to coming to UH in the fall of 2016.
Office: 482 Health 1, 4849 Calhoun Road
Rebecca Lipschutz, MA
Rebecca Lipschutz is a third-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston. She graduated from Tulane University with her B.S in Neuroscience in 2014 and obtained an M.S in Neuroscience from Tulane in 2015. After graduating, Rebecca worked as a research coordinator for two labs at Tulane in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, focusing on physiological stress reactivity and development of psychopathology in trauma-exposed young children. Her main research interests focus on how early adverse experiences impact children’s neural development and stress response systems and potential risk and protective factors for maladaptive outcomes.
Brian Biekman is a third-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program, specializing in clinical neuropsychology. Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rice University in 2014. After graduating, Brian worked for three years as a Research Coordinator in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in a lab that studies neuroimaging correlates of adverse outcomes following traumatic brain injury. His primary research interests are in neuroimaging and how it might help explain the relationship between early life experience and cognitive and psychosocial outcomes.
Xinge Li is a first-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston. Xinge graduated from Northeast Normal University with her B.S in Psychology in 2012 and obtained an M.S in Applied Psychology from South China Normal University in 2015. After graduating, Xinge worked as a research fellow for three years at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University in the department of Biomedical Engineering, focusing on studying various brain functions by using optical neuroimaging techniques. Her primary research interest is pediatric neuroimaging, including using multimodality neuroimaging methods (fNIRS, fMRI and EEG) to predict potential protective and risk factors regarding normal and aberrant early neurodevelopment.
Shutian is currently a first-year graduate student at the Developmental, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience program at the Department of Psychology of the University of Houston. She graduated from University of Pittsburgh in 2018 with B.S. in Psychology. Her main research interests focus on how early life adversity (poverty, low SES, stressful life events) interact with parenting to impact behavioral outcomes and structural/functional brain development. While attempting to answer these questions, she is interested in integrating various methods in data collection, statistical modelling, and brain imaging (MRI, EEG, fNIRS).
Livia Merrill is a first-year doctoral student in the Developmental, Cognitive, and Behavioral Neuroscience program at the University of Houston. She graduated from Tulane University in 2012 with B.S. in Neuroscience and in 2014 with M.S. in Neuroscience. After graduation, Livia examined the interaction of early experience with behavioral, neurodevelopmental, and cellular outcomes in children in New Orleans. She then lived several years in Austin administering pediatric neuropsychological assessments. Prior to program admission, Livia also investigated neuroimaging and neurocognitive outcomes of treatment for pediatric brain tumors. Her main research interests explore how adversity affects multiple levels of childhood development and the relationship of factors on resiliency. Livia is a certified yoga instructor and loves hiking!
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Ashley is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a double minor in Biology and Medicine & Society. She hopes to go to medical school after graduation and become a compassionate physician that can cater to the needs of a Latinx population. In respect to research, she is interested in how varying socioeconomic and demographic factors may influence brain physiology and behavioral control.
Laura Delgado is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Latin American Studies. Her primary interests are working with immigrant families and understanding the struggles and changes that come with the sudden transition. Another one of her interests is pursuing a career in grief therapy, to help people who have experienced a loss adapt to their new reality and be able to live a full life.
Miranda Dominguez is an undergraduate junior pursuing a B.S in Psychology with a biology minor. Her interests are in the cognitive and physiological aspects of the brain and how it develops over time. After graduating, she aims to go to medical school and study to become a neurologist.
Marie Douge is an undergraduate student in the lab pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a certification in Early Childhood through 6 Generalist. Her primary research interests are behavioral, social, and cognitive outcomes of children with developmental disabilities.
Natalie Hosseini is currently an undergraduate at the University of Houston, where she is pursuing a B.S in Psychology with a minor in Human Development. Her research interests include how early-life adversity impacts a child’s development, as well as neurological and developmental disorders. Upon graduating, Natalie plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and hopes to work as a child psychologist serving underrepresented communities.
Kate Koontz is a post-bacc in the lab with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston in 2019. Her primary interests involve how the brain repairs itself following traumatic brain injury, especially in children; as well as the effect of acute physical or emotional trauma on a child’s behavior.
Hana Mohamad is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with minors in Medicine and Society, and Biology. She has interests in serving the underrepresented and minority populations as well as learning about its effects on development. She is also interested in the interactions between healthcare providers and these populations, along with the attitudes that emerge towards healthcare as a result. After graduating, she plans to participate in research before attending PA school to become a Physician Assistant.
Ainash Montgomery is an undergraduate assistant who plans to major in psychology B.S. May 2020. After graduation, she plans to serve in the United States Army as an officer and continue her education in psychology. Her current interest is using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to understand the developing brain.
Emmanuel Oketunmbi is an undergraduate junior pursuing a dual degree in both Biology and Psychology. His interests are understanding how stress and nurturing influence brain activity and development in children during early stages of life. After graduating, he plans on going to medical school and using his experience from undergrad and research to practice medicine in areas underserved in the Houston community.
Catherine Ramos is a post-bacc in the lab with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Biology from the University of Houston in 2019. She joined the LEED Lab team in September 2017 as an undergraduate research assistant, with research interests towards attention-bias and behavioral epigenetics. She plans to pursue a career in research in cognitive neuroscience.
Camila earned a B.A in Psychology from University of Los Andes in 2017. She did a practicum in neuropsychology at Roosevelt Institute (Bogota, Colombia) where she mainly enjoyed working with children. Her primary research interests are how early traumatic experiences impact the social, cognitive and emotional development of children. Camila plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.