Meet the Team!
Dr. Jillian Lee Wiggins
Phone: (619) 594-2188
Research Interests: We study brain activation patterns involved in typical and impaired socio-emotional development (for example, social interaction with other people, reading people’s emotions, and reacting to people’s facial expressions). In particular, we are interested in understanding factors (e.g., genetics, social, family) that affect brain function in children and adolescents without disorders, in addition to youth with autism, depression, anxiety, and irritability symptoms. To accomplish this, we use functional MRI, functional connectivity, and genetic, behavioral, and neuropsychological tools. Dr. Wiggins is happy to talk with any interested students about these research topics.
Career Goals: I am working towards my Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the SDSU/UCSD joint doctoral program with a focus on neuropsychology. I am planning to pursue a career in independent research in academic settings in the future.
Research Interests: I am interested in studying the neural correlates of child psychopathology using a combination of neuroimaging, genetics, and behavioral approach. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the neural underpinning of anxiety and mood disorders comorbidity in children and incorporating the research findings to develop an effective and precise treatment for children with distinct symptom profiles.
Career Goals: I am working towards my Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the SDSU/UCSD joint doctoral program with a focus on experimental psychopathology. I am planning to pursue a career in independent research in a multidisciplinary academic setting in the future.
Research Interests: I am interested in the neural correlates of cognitive biases and emotion dysregulation that influence the development and maintenance of psychopathology in youth. Specifically, I am interested in using multimodal assessments (e.g., neural, physiological, cognitive, socio-emotional) to examine how these mechanisms explain the manifestations of issues, such as changes in attention, memory, and information processing, that contribute to the experience of internalizing disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Career Goals: I am currently a first-year doctoral student working toward my Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program with a focus on experimental psychopathology. My career goal is to conduct independent research in the field of translational and affective neuroscience.
Research Interests: I am interested in examining the underlying mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and affective disorders with a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging tools. In particular, I look into the dynamic interactions among neurobiological processes, social and cultural conditions, and environmental factors and how these interactions manifest along the developmental trajectories in children and adolescents.
Career Goals: I graduated with a B.A. in psychology from SDSU, and I am currently completing an M.A. in psychology with a developmental emphasis at SDSU. My goal is to get the necessary experience with data analytics and potentially continue with an industry job after completing the Master’s program.
Research Interests: I am deeply intrigued by the intersection of cognitive development and childhood trauma. Specifically, the focus is on understanding how trauma influences cognitive functions and behavioral outcomes in children and adolescents, with a particular emphasis on identifying distinct symptom profiles and their interplay with cognitive performance.
Career Goals: I am pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology at SDSU. After graduation, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a career as a clinical scientist with the long-term goal of enhancing young people’s mental health.
Research Interests: I am interested in understanding how impaired social-emotional functioning leads to psychopathology in children and adolescents. I am excited about using brain imaging methods to understand the early development of mental illness and to inform efficient treatment plans.
Project Coordinator/Lab Manager
Career Goals: After gaining post-baccalaureate research experience here at SDSU, I plan to pursue a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. My ultimate goal is to conduct cutting-edge research in developmental psychopathology in a clinical or academic setting.
Research Interests: I seek to understand how we can better identify, classify, and assess psychopathology in young people. More specifically, I’m interested in interpersonal dysfunction as a risk factor for mood and personality disorders. Additionally, I’d like to explore also how dimensional models of diagnosis can improve research and clinical practice.
Career Goals: Already having earned my B.S. in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I hope to one day pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and be a professor and researcher, and have my practice working with children with ASD and other developmental conditions.
Research Interests: I am interested in the socio-emotional development of children with neuro-developmental conditions and the neural underpinnings of how they process and express emotions and socialize with others. I hope to better understand these neural processes using fMRI to improve diagnosis and treatment for these individuals.
Career Goals: After receiving a B.A. in Psychobiology from the University of Virginia, I continued my interest in psychology research at Harvard University, doing MRI neuroimaging research. Long term, I hope to pursue either a Master’s in Clinical Counseling or a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology so that I can use my knowledge and interest in neuroscience to contribute to and improve the field of mental healthcare.
Research Interests: I am particularly interested in the biological mechanisms that are involved in the experience and regulation of emotion. I hope to learn more about connections between the brain and body in order to identify targets for treatments that improve behavioral outcomes. I am excited to join the TEND Lab to learn more about how affective and cognitive systems develop!
Computational Neuroscience Research Assistant
Career Goals: I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. Once I graduate, I plan to pursue my master’s and use my computational skills to pursue research in mental disorders.
Research Interests: I am interested in understanding the mental illnesses that affect developing minds. I would like to understand how they originate, persist, and potentially can be mitigated.
Career Goals: I am currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus on behavioral neuroscience. I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. As someone with ADHD, I would ultimately one day like to contribute to research as well as treatment for neurodivergent people and their families.
Research Interests: My interests mainly lie in ADHD and spectrum disorders. I believe that better treatment is in the future by developing a more thorough understanding of cognitive processes, neuroscience, and behaviors. In addition, I would like to have a better understanding of different therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and explore the relationship to neurologically driven behavioral deviance.
Career Goals: Having received a BA in Psychology, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Neuropsychology. I would like to open a private practice as a Clinical Neuropsychologist where I can provide individual and group therapeutic services and also conduct psychological and neuropsychological assessments. I am interested in continuing research related to Autism and Neuropsychology to see if there are ways to improve treatments specific to individuals and their diagnoses.
Research Interests: I am interested in researching the anatomical differences in functioning, social, and empathy influences in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Through the research I produce, I would like to be able to better develop or specify treatment options for neuroatypical and neurotypical individuals based on their brain functioning.
Computational Neuroscience Research Assistant
Career Goals: After earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology, I accepted a position working at the San Diego VA as a study coordinator for clinical research involving PTSD in veterans. I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology to combine evidence-based and experimental treatment for those experiencing early life trauma and brain injury.
Research Interests: My research interests focus on exploring the benefits of combining experimental treatments for trauma with existing evidence-based methods for children suffering from the effects of early life adversity, incorporating machine learning into diagnostic tools.
Career Goals: I am currently working on my B.A. in Psychology with an Emphasis on Neuroscience & a Minor in Counseling & Social Change. After graduating in May 2024, I look forward to pursuing an M.A. either in Clinical Psychology or Marriage & Family Therapy. Ultimately, I hope to open my own practice, specializing in Sex Therapy.
Research Interests: My research interests lie in Neuroscience & Social Psychology. Understanding how brain development & external social factors interact & contribute to our personal relationships is incredibly interesting to me. I’d like to learn more about Human Sexual Behaviors through research settings.
Career Goals: I am currently working towards obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an Emphasis in Neuroscience. Later, I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. My end goal is to work with children and families to help them break the cycle and heal from intergenerational trauma.
Research Interests: I’m currently interested in the connection between mental and physical health and how we can integrate existing treatments to be more effective in both disciplines.
Career Goals: I am currently working towards my BA in psychology and plan to gain my Ph.D. in Neuropsychology. With that degree, I aim to start research on Alzheimer’s and Dementia to hopefully make it easier for patients that are diagnosed and their loved ones left to take care of them.
Research Interests: I am drawn to the connection between neuroscience and psychology. I want to see how the brain physically works and how that’s linked to things such as behavior, personality, mental disorders, and TBIs. I am also interested in how illness changes the brain over time and the connection between mental illness and physical illness.
Career Goals: I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and double majoring in Business Management. After completing my undergraduate studies, I plan to pursue a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Neuropsychology. Ultimately, I hope to open my own practice and provide clinical care by conducting neuropsychological evaluations.
Research Interests: My research interests include understanding how differences in neurochemistry correlate with personality, behavior, and mental disorders. I’m also very interested in investigating the risk factors associated with addiction, as well as how substance abuse and misuse lead to neurobiological changes. I’d like to better understand how drug use affects brain chemistry and the potential implications for mental health in individuals with a history of addiction.
Career Goals: After graduating with a BA in Psychology from CSU, Chico, in 2022, I am eager to continue building the knowledge and skills required to begin a graduate program. My ultimate goal in the future is to earn a Ph.D., do research of my own, and help other students on their journey as a professor or mentor.
Research Interests: I am particularly interested in the treatment of depression and anxiety in people from young adolescence through early adulthood. I am also deeply fascinated by the underlying neural mechanisms of these disorders and the process of discovering new, less-invasive therapeutic targets.
Career Goals: I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in counseling and social change. After graduation, I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and look forward to continuing working alongside those who are passionate about helping improve the lives of others.
Research Interests: My research interests center around topics of mental health. I am interested in treatments of psychopathology, such as mood and personality disorders, and the role anxiety plays in said disorders. I seek to look at the biological and psychological treatments and would like to have a better understanding of both, as combined efforts are important in pinpointing more effective treatments for individuals’ specific needs.
Career Goals: I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in leadership. I hope to attend graduate school to attain a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I also hope to be a source of accessibility and a resource for the Deaf community concerning therapy and mental health, as I have two deaf parents and am fluent in ASL.
Research Interests: My research interests lie in mental health and neuroscience. I am fascinated with how the brain works and the ways in which that connects to mental health issues, and how treatments can be developed through this.
Career Goals: I am working towards my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduating, I hope to continue my education and gain a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology. Ultimately, I want to help better our understanding of brain injuries and disorders and how we can improve the lives of those with them.
Research Interests: I am interested in how the brain forms our existence and lives through personality, temperament, and experiences. I am especially interested in researching how different disorders or injuries can impact these qualities and the brain.
Career Goals: I am working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, with a minor in counseling and social change. After graduating, I plan to pursue a Master’s in school counseling or marriage and family therapy. I am passionate about promoting the importance of happiness and working towards true satisfaction in life, especially among youth.
Research Interests: I am interested in the brain and behavior connection, particularly in the way we interact with others. I hope to eventually research topics related to human development, sexuality, and how various disorders affect our physiology. A particular neurological condition I am passionate about is synesthesia, and I am hoping to one day promote further research into its severe cases.