Postdoctoral Fellows

Nakul Aggarwal PhD

Position title: Honorary fellow

Email: naggarwal5@wisc.edu

Nakul is a graduate student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD-PhD). He recently completed the PhD portion of his training, and remains an honorary fellow in the Kalin lab as he returns to clinical training. His primary research interests involve the use of advanced imaging techniques to delineate neural alternations underlying the development of early childhood anxiety. More specifically, his thesis work focuses on cross-species longitudinal analyses of diffusion tensor and functional magnetic resonance imaging data from non-human primate and preadolescent human samples, with the end goal of identifying evolutionarily conserved neural patterns in the prefrontal-limbic circuit that may be predispose one to developing clinical anxiety. He ultimately hopes to combine his clinical and translational research training to pursue an academic career as a child psychiatrist and mental health researcher.

Josh Cruz PhD

Position title: Postdoctoral Fellow

Email: jrcruz@wisc.edu

Josh recently completed his PhD in the Neuroscience & Public Policy Program (N&PP) at UW-Madison, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Kalin Lab. His research interests are focused on studying the underlying neural mechanisms of affect, emotion regulation, and executive function in childhood and adolescence and how the development of impairments in these domains may contribute to psychopathology in adulthood. He uses a combination of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and psychophysiology measures to better characterize neural correlates and individual differences in pediatric anxiety and depression. In addition to his research, Josh is also a graduate of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs as part of the N&PP and has broad interests in examining how advances in neuropsychiatric research shapes social and mental healthcare policy development.

Rachel Puralewski PhD

Position title: Postdoctoral Fellow

Email: puralewski@wisc.edu

Rachel is a postdoctoral fellow with the Kalin Lab who completed her PhD with the lab in November 2023. She is interested in the neural circuitry and molecular mechanisms that are relevant to the development of anxious temperament. She is currently investigating how differences in anxiety-related behaviors during the early-life of non-human primates relate to changes in the functional connectivity of the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. She is also studing how differing behavioral and connectivity growth trajectories may be reflected in the molecular signatures of anxiety-related brain regions.