Dr. Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn
PhD, ABPP, Principal Investigator
Dr. Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Clinical Psychology area. She completed her PhD at the University of Minnesota, followed by postdoctoral training at Northwestern University. Her work probes pathways from life stress to depression, using the lenses of stress interviews, stress measure development, molecular genetics, cortisol diurnal rhythm and reactivity, trait vulnerabilities, and discrimination as a stressor. She is also interested in the impact of stress on first-generation student mental health and college persistence. She has held funding from NSF, NIMH, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD), and she was named the 2019 Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and is nationally Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
Graduate Assistant, MA, LPA
Ally (she/hers) is a fourth-year doctoral student in the SCENE lab. Her research interests involve examining how biological risk factors moderate the stress-depression link. Specifically, she examines additive genetic scores and HPA axis reactivity, respectively, as moderators. She also has interests in how early life stress shapes stress responses and influences depression risk, and other forms of internalizing psychopathology such as posttraumatic stress disorder. She has additional interests in using biomarkers to index stress reactivity and allostatic load, and using mixed-method approaches to examining internalizing disorders.
Graduate Assistant, MSSW
Rachel completed her B.A. in psychology at the University of Rochester (2015) and her M.S. in social work at Columbia University (2017). Rachel’s research interests lie in exploring the
complex relationship between stress and its impact on both mental and physical health. In
particular, she is focused on investigating the relationship between stress-induced emotional and physiological responses to lab-based stress paradigms, as measured through subjective measures of stress and various biomarker outcomes. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of these mechanisms to help pave the way for new interventions and treatments that could help individuals better manage and cope with the effects of stress.
Darha's research interests include assessing the etiology of internalizing disorders— specifically, depressive and anxiety disorders; diathesis-stress and gene-environment interactions on depression and related outcomes; early adversity as a risk factor for poorer mental health outcomes
Graduate Assistant, MS
Elli's research interests lie in investigating the relationship between early adversity, chronic stress, and the development of internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression. She is interested in exploring the potential biological, psychological, and environmental factors that contribute to the etiology of these disorders. Through her research, she hopes to identify effective prevention and intervention strategies that can help individuals who have experienced early adversity and chronic stress to reduce their risk of developing internalizing disorders.