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Who We Are


  • Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Deputy Chair of Psychiatry for Psychology, Psychiatry; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry

    Rajita Sinha, Ph.D. is the Foundations Fund Endowed Professor in Psychiatry, and Professor in Neuroscience and in Child Study at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuroscientist, Deputy Chair of Psychiatry for Psychology and Chief of the Psychology Section in Psychiatry. She is the founding director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center that focuses on understanding the neurobiology and psychology of stress, trauma and resilient versus vulnerable biobehavioral coping mechanisms that promote neuropsychiatric diseases such as alcohol use disorders, substance use disorders, chronic pain, PTSD and other chronic diseases. She has developed novel stress, pain and craving provocation paradigms to understand mechanisms that drive these states and related pathologies and their impact on clinical addiction outcomes in alcohol use disorder, substance use disorders and related conditions. Her lab also develops and tests novel pharmacologic and integrative behavioral approaches to address chronic stress and addiction relapse risk to improve addiction treatment outcomes. These objectives are being accomplished through a series of NIH funded research projects and she has published widely on these topics. She is the 2020 recipient of the Research Society on Alcoholism's Distinguished Researcher Award, and the 2020 recipient of the James Tharpe Award for outstanding contributions to Addiction Research. She has served on many NIH special emphasis panels, review committees and workshops, presented at numerous national and international conferences, and her work is widely cited.
  • Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology); Director, Yale Obesity Research Center (Y-Weight); Co-Director, Yale Center for Weight Management

    Ania M. Jastreboff, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor in Medicine and Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. She serves as the director of the Yale Obesity Research Center (Y-Weight) and the co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management. She is trained in both adult endocrinology and pediatric endocrinology, is an obesity medicine physician-scientist, and an international leader in research and clinical application of anti-obesity pharmacotherapeutics. Her work has included working to develop Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines (AACE/ACE 2016), serving on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obesity Medicine, educating the next generation of Obesity Medicine physicians by teaching at national and international obesity treatment courses, and conducting cutting-edge clinical-translational obesity research. Her research includes large, multi-center clinical outcomes trials using novel anti-obesity pharmacotherapeutics and studies examining the neurobiology underlying obesity and mechanisms of anti-obesity medications (supported by the NIH/NIDDK). Recently, she has served as lead author for trials investigating potential novel nutrient-stimulated hormone-based therapies for obesity including dual hormone receptor agonist tirzepatide (NEJM) a novel GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist (Jastreboff, et al., NEJM, 2022) and triple hormone receptor agonist retatrutide (NEJM) a novel GIP/GLP-1/Glucagon receptor agonist (Jastreboff, et al., NEJM, 2023). Dr. Jastreboff thoughtfully advocates for compassionate care for patients with obesity and was recently interviewed Oprah. Videos of Dr. Jastreboff and colleagues from the NEJM about: - What causes obesity: - Supporting patients with obesity: - Medications and surgery for obesity treatment: video with Dr. Jastreboff about anti-obesity medications and the biology of obesity. Podcast (Yale Talk) with the president of Yale University, Dr. Peter Salovey, speaking with Dr. Jastreboff. Clinically, Dr. Jastreboff specializes in sophisticated use of anti-obesity medication combinations to help patients reach their weight and health goals.
  • Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry; Biostatistician & Director of Quantitative Analytic Core, Yale Stress Center

    Dr. Fogelman is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Stress Center where she completed her Post Doctoral training. She earned her PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University, SUNY with an advanced certificate in Quantitative Methods. Her research examines the relationships between stress, substance abuse, and clinically relevant health markers.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology; Director, Cognitive Neuroscience of Affect, Memories and Stress (CAMS) Lab, Psychiatry

    Dr. Goldfarb is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology and member of the Wu Tsai Institute. She completed her PhD in Psychology: Cognition & Perception with Dr. Elizabeth Phelps at New York University and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Psychiatry with Dr. Rajita Sinha at Yale. Her research investigates different forms of learning and memory, how stress changes which parts of our experiences we remember, and the impact of memory on later behavior.
  • Assistant Clinical Professor; Consulting Neurologist and Research Physician, Yale Stress Center

    Joseph Guarnaccia, MD, is a board-certified neurologist in practice for more than 30 years, having completed his residency at the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Neurology in 1993. He was Assistant Professor and Director of the Yale Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Program at Yale until 2000 when he left to establish two multiple sclerosis treatment centers in Derby, CT and Warwick, RI, which he continues to operate. Dr. Guarnaccia has collaborated with the Yale Stress Center on multiple projects including assessing the effects of mindfulness meditation to address insomnia in patients with multiple sclerosis, testing and development of cannabis compounds in the treatment of chronic pain in patients with and without multiple sclerosis, as well as those with opioid prescription use and misuse. He has also worked on Stress Center Studies involving several experimental and clinical outcomes such as stress biological effects on food reward, alcohol and drug craving, and in clinical trials of alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder treatments.
  • Instructor of Psychiatry

    I am from Boulder, Colorado and studied Biomedical Engineering & Biology during my undergraduate time at Duke University. I went on to complete an MD/PhD at the University of Michigan, studying how perception of the environment regulated neuropeptidergic signaling pathways, metabolism, and aging. I then came to Yale for my Psychiatry residency as part of the Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP). Here at Yale I have studied how stress and resilience influence obesity, metabolic disease, and aging with Drs. Rajita Sinha and Ke Xu. I further specialized with a clinical fellowship in the psychiatric care of the medically ill (Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, formerly Psychosomatic Medicine), and have now joined faculty, with plans to continue studying the complex interactions between physical and mental health.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Director of Medication Research Projects, Yale Stress Center; Director, Neuroactive Steroids, Addiction and Stress (NAS) Lab, Department of Psychiatry

    Dr. Milivojevic received her PhD training in Neuroscience at the Alcohol Research Center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Her research interests include sex-specific targets of the stress system and sex hormone-derived neuroactive steroids as novel treatments for substance use disorders.
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Laboratory for Healthy Minds; Director of Clinical Neuroimaging, Yale Stress Center

    Dr. Seo received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus in 2008. She is interested in conducting interdisciplinary research to understand the etiology of stress-related clinical disorders and facilitate the development of effective treatment strategies for stress-related diseases.
  • Associate Research Scientist, Psychiatry

    Dr. Wemm is a Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Stress Center. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY and her predoctoral internship at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her research investigates how stress impacts substance and behavioral addictions using both laboratory and naturalistic methods.
  • Professor of Psychiatry; Director of Stress Epigenetics, Yale Stress Center

    Dr. Xu is a Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and holds a position as Staff Psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Her research is dedicated to exploring the complex interactions between stress and the epigenome, aiming to uncover how these interactions contribute to the development of stress-related symptoms and disorders such as substance use. This important work has led Dr. Xu to investigate a broad spectrum of behavioral and medical conditions in diverse populations. Dr. Xu is engaged in the field of social epigenomics that helps us understanding the biological underpinnings of the effects of social environments on health.

Postdoctoral Associates

Clinical Research Nurses

  • Meet Rachel Irizarry, a dedicated Registered Nurse with over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Holding both a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and a Bachelor's in Psychology, Rachel brings a unique blend of medical expertise and understanding of human behavior to our stress center. Beyond the bedside, Rachel is passionate about driving positive change in healthcare through research, with a particular interest in enhancing quality of life for patients.
  • Ju Won is a current family nurse practitioner student at Yale School of Nursing. She graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University with a BSN degree. Ju Won has been a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing since 2018. She has nursing experience in the inpatient medical unit and emergency department and looks forward to gaining valuable experience at the Yale Stress Center.
  • Clinical Research Nurse 1

    Raised in Madison, CT. Alex has enjoyed her previous work experiences in the emergency department, child psychology, geriatrics, dementia, and home infusion therapy. She enjoys volunteering within her community. Although new to research, she is excited to be a part of the fantastic team at the Yale Stress Center!

Research Associates

  • Research Associate 1

    Shaina is originally from New Jersey and graduated from Boston College in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She served as an undergraduate research assistant for 2 years before completing a Seniors Honors Thesis looking at the interaction between music and emotional memory. Shaina eventually hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology and is specifically interested in health psychology.
  • Research Associate

    Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Emalee graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with a Master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Emalee’s research interests include studying the neural connections between emotion regulation, resilience, and maladaptive behavior. As a licensed professional counselor, Emalee hopes to promote wellness through research and clinical practice.
  • Manager 3, Clinical Practice; Counselor for Addiction (Substance Use Disorder)

    Ms Hart has been working in the substance abuse field for over 30 years and is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor with a Masters Degree in Counseling. For the past 26 years she has conducted clinical research in addiction at the School of Medicine with various principal investigators.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Emily is a post-graduate research associate with the Laboratory for Healthy Minds at the Yale Stress Center. She is interested in exploring the neural correlates of stress and anxiety, with a particular focus on the relationship between individual differences in brain structure and transdiagnostic traits associated with internalizing disorders.
  • Research Associate 1

    Celine graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA degree in Psychology and a minor in Early Development & Learning Science. She is particularly interested in studying stress-related disorders, focusing on the biomarkers of stress, the mechanisms of resilience, and emotional well-being. Since 2019, Celine has served as a research assistant and/or project manager in various multifaceted research projects. Additionally, she managed the NSF NRT program "TRANSCEND" at the University of Connecticut under the supervision of Dr. Fumiko Hoeft & Dr. Nicole Landi from 2022 to 2024.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Originally from Richmond Va, Jen graduated from Old Dominion University in 2021 earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Addiction Prevention and Treatment. She is currently a postgraduate research associate at the Yale Stress Center and plans to pursue a career as a licensed professional counselor, specializing in alcohol and drug counseling.
  • Research Associate 1

    Colleen is originally from Livonia MI, and graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2021 with a BA in Bio-Psychology, Cognition, Neuroscience. She is currently working as a post graduate research associate at the Yale Stress Center. Colleen hopes to eventually pursue a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience.
  • Research Associate 1

    Raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Marshall graduated from Wake Forest University in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Currently pursuing a career in clinical research, Marshall’s research interests include substance use disorders and suicide, particularly among adolescents. In his spare time Marshall moonlights as a volunteer research assistant for the Nock Lab at Harvard University. On the weekends he can be found reading, practicing jiu jitsu, or spending time with his fellow PGA’s.

Postgraduate Associates

  • Postgraduate Associate

    Born and raised in Connecticut, Ryan earned a B.S. in public health with minors in chemistry and biology, graduating Cum Laude from Southern Connecticut State University. As an aspiring physician, he is eager to use his research and public health experience to improve patient care. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, volunteering and exploring new restaurants.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Abhaya "Abby" Dilip is a current postgraduate research associate under the mentorship of Dr. Ania Jastreboff. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida in May 2021, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Abhaya is an aspiring physician-scientist and hopes to combine her interests in medicine, nutrition, and clinical research to help patients manage adipose-based chronic diseases.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Originally from Chicago IL, Morgan graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She is currently a postgraduate research associate at the Yale Stress Center and plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.