Get to Know Us

Principal Investigator


Dr. Adam Grabell
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
135 Hicks Way, Tobin 123
Amherst, MA 01003-9271

Dr. Adam Grabell’s research focuses on emotion regulation and its relation to cross-diagnostic symptoms of psychopathology in early childhood. Dr. Grabell is particularly interested in the fine details of how the emerging emotion regulation system works and which parts of this system aren’t functioning well in young children on the cusp of persistent mood and behavior problems.

Graduate Students

Katie Gonzalez

Katie is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology, where she studied neuropsychology and patterns of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. She later worked at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she worked in the ADHD and Development Lab and studied executive functioning and risk-taking behaviors in individuals with ADHD. Her research interests lie in early childhood development and different underlying factors that effect mental and physical health outcomes across development. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching horror movies, reading books, and going on hikes.

Sarah McCormick

Sarah is a fourth-year graduate student in the Developmental Science PhD program at UMass Amherst. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience, and spent the following three years working on a project examining the neural bases of emotion processing in infancy and early childhood at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Sarah is interested in how family systems and context promote or inhibit early social-cognitive development. 
Her master’s thesis focused on how household chaos influences associations between neural physiology and internalizing symptoms in early childhood.

Lab Manager

Kari Thomsen


Kari graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology. She moved out East to be a part of the SEED Lab and expand her knowledge on transdiagnostic risk factors, symptoms, and behaviors of psychopathology across multiple units of analysis. She hopes to attend graduate school in a couple of years and work towards a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology. Outside of work, she enjoys watching movies and TV series, reading books, listening to music (especially The Beatles), and being around animals.

Research Assistants

Adrelys Santana

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Adrelys Mateo Santana is a third-year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, currently pursuing a bachelor of science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. She loves working with children and is interested in Developmental Psychology. She hopes to go to graduate school after graduation and obtain her Ph.D in Developmental Psychology. Outside of academics, she loves doing film photography and translating literary texts.

Angela Mirisola


Angela is a Junior majoring in Psychology within the Commonwealth Honors College. She plans to pursue a Ph. D in clinical Psychology so that she will be able to both become a licensed therapist and also conduct research of her own. Her research interests include a focus on expansion of diagnoses and treatment options for hormone related mood disorders in female and male adolescents and adults. In the meantime, she enjoys baking cakes and other sweets,  and being constantly invested in multiple Netflix series.

Kate Schacterle


Kate is a junior Psychology major in the Commonwealth Honors College. She plans to continue her education and become a clinical psychologist with the pursuit of treating families who have children that suffer from severe mental illness. She is interested in research involving the onset of behavioral disorders in children as well as the varying degrees of emotional regulation in patients with mood disorders. When she’s not studying psychology she enjoys attending concerts, baking her grandmother’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe, and playing with her two golden doodles.

Andrea Schlesinger 

Andrea Schlesinger is a senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst currently pursuing a B.A. in Psychology. She loves working with children and hopes to attend a Clinical Psychology PhD program in the future. Outside of her academics, she enjoys listening to music, eating good food, and spending time with her friends and family.

Katherine Edell

Katherine Edell is a second year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology with certificates in social work and international studies. She is very interested in clinical psychology and plans on pursuing graduate school after graduation where she will be able to obtain a Ph.D in clinical psychology. With that degree, she hopes to work in the field of therapy. Outside of the lab she enjoys writing, baking, and hiking.

Niveditha Gopalakrishnan

Niveditha is a sophomore, double major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Psychology major on the Neuroscience track, and part of the Commonwealth Honors College. She plans to pursue a PhD in drug design and development, looking at how to treat mental disorders within children so as to not hinder them in the future. In her free time, she loves to binge Netflix shows, and spend time with her friends.

Philip Dorfman

Philip is a second-year student in the Commonwealth Honors College, pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. He plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is particularly interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other therapeutic interventions for treating psychological disorders. His research interests include psychopathology in children and adults, as well as the effectiveness of various treatment interventions. Outside of the lab Philip plays for the Ultimate Frisbee team, makes wheel-thrown pottery, and plays the cello.

Cody Lenart

Cody is a Junior at The University of Massachusetts Amherst, currently pursuing a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology. He hopes to continue his education and go into medical school in order to become a physician. Cody is an active student on campus who is a resident assistant, peer advisor, cadet in ROTC, and a former varsity athlete at the university. Outside the university, Cody loves to snowboard, scuba dive and skydive along with hanging with friends and trying new restaurants.

Caitlyn Calicchia

Caitlyn is a second-year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College. She is currently majoring in psychology on the neuroscience track and minoring in biology. Caitlyn hopes to attend medical school and become a pediatric physician concentrating in the field of neuroscience. Outside of lab, Caitlyn loves to play piano, bake sweets with her mom, and play outside with her two dogs.

Shira Kahn-Samuelson

Shira is a Senior pursuing dual degrees in Psychology and Child Development.  Following graduation she hopes to work as a lab manager in a Developmental Psychology lab before obtaining her PhD in Developmental Psychology.  When not in lab, Shira enjoys spending time with her friends, hiking, and writing silly haiku.

Makayla Dones

Makayla is a third year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience Psychology within the Commonwealth Honors College. She is on the pre-med track and plans to go to medical school or a physician assistant program. She would like to work in pediatric neurology because she loves working with kids. In her free time, she volunteers at a homeless shelter for children and works at Baystate Medical Center. Her favorite things to do are paint and draw, listen to music, and go on adventures!

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