Research Staff

Research Staff

Gina Bednarek

Associate Research Specialist

gbednarek@wisc.edu

I am the study coordinator for the Adaptive Brains Learning about Emotions study (ABLE) supervised by Dr. Kalin and Dr. Williams. This is a multisite project involving UW, Vanderbilt (Dr. Jennifer Blackford), and NIMH (Dr. Daniel Pine) investigating the biology of childhood anxiety disorders. This study includes neuroimaging, psychophysiological, clinical, and self-report measures. My role includes running study visits, coordination with the study sites, supervising undergraduate assistants, and data management.

I graduated with a BS in Psychology from UW-Madison. I am interested in intervention studies aiming to protect women and their children from mood disorders like depression and anxiety. In the future, I would like to apply to clinical or counseling psychology doctoral programs. In my free time I enjoy playing with my corgi and attempting DIY projects.

Victoria Elam, CVT, VTS-LAM

Research Specialist, Research Anesthesia

velam@wisc.edu

Victoria is a Research Specialist in the Kalin laboratory and is involved in executing and coordinating the lab’s research studies using nonhuman primates.  She is responsible for performing anesthesia for surgical and brain imaging procedures, scoring behavior, collecting physiological samples, and supervising undergraduate assistants. Prior to joining the Kalin lab in 2016, she worked at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center for 13 years providing various degrees of primate anesthesia for many investigators on campus.  Her primary interests and teachings include providing safe and ethical anesthesia and pain management for primates.

Victoria graduated from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1978 as a Veterinary Animal Health Technician where, for several years, she was in charge of the Military Working Dog Programs at both base facilities along with Equine health for the U.S. Calvary Horse Unit and client animals.  Not only was her work recognized in a research setting with the Ft. Carson Wildlife Unit and Ft. Knox Ireland Army Hospital, but also in her technical expertise in a full-service veterinary hospital.  Since that time, she has worked in small animal private practice, academia in various teaching positions in the veterinary technical programs, at the UW Veterinary School as a large and small animal operating room technician. With 15 years of primate anesthesia experience, she has consulted for many other Universities and private institutions providing anesthesia training and techniques.

Victoria is credentialed in the State of Wisconsin as a Veterinary Technician. She received her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Research Anesthesia through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America in 2016 and is President of the Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses.

Dee French

Senior Research Specialist

french@wisc.edu

Dan McFarlin, PhD

Senior Information Processing Consultant

drmcfarl@wisc.edu

Improving the statistical quality, biological relevance, and convenience of analysis of high throughput data sets, and integrating different data sources into unified models, is most often the focus of Dan’s attention. He currently works with resting state and event related fMRI, structural MRI, ASL and physiology data, with interests that include developmental trajectories and how mental health issues, particularly anxiety, arise from a molecular to a structural and functional level. Dan began research in developmental neurobiology, mapping the source of the enteric nervous system [1], and cloning and sequencing vasoactive intestinal peptide [2] in the UW Anatomy dept. He received a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology (2002) investigating the signal transduction of Ras [3] and Raf [4], working in the UW Human Oncology and Oncology depts. As a post-doctoral fellow in the UW Biostatistics and Medical Informatics Department, Dan created software to model multi-region thermodynamic kinetics of signal transduction in development, cancer, and aging. Followed by modulating self-renewal and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells via engineered topographic cues, in the UW VetMed and Chemical & Biological Engineering depts. [56, 7]. Dan started as an information processing consultant in the UW Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior in 2007 and joined Ned’s lab in 2011 [8].

Jonathan Oler, PhD

Senior Scientist

oler@wisc.edu

As co-investigator on multiple Kalin lab projects, Jonathan’s research combines neuroimaging and molecular studies in pre-clinical models to identify the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Jonathan has been involved in studies using fMRI and µPET at the University of Wisconsin for over 15 years, first as a postdoc in the Training Program in Emotion Research (2004-2007), and subsequently as a member of the Kalin laboratory at the HealthEmotions Research Institute in the Department of Psychiatry, where he is studying Anxious Temperament, a nonhuman primate model of the childhood risk to develop anxiety and affective disorders. His translational research has focused on the role of the extended amygdala in emotion and anxiety in human and nonhuman primates. The research program employs intraoperative MRI gene delivery methods and chemogenetic technologies (e.g., DREADDs) to alter the neural circuitry underlying Anxious Temperament with the goal of developing novel treatment strategies for people suffering from severe anxiety and depression. You can follow Jonathan on twitter @jonoler

Marissa Riedel

Research Program Manager 1

riedel@wisc.edu

Patrick Roseboom, PhD

Senior Scientist

roseboom@wisc.edu

Patrick has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and he has been a member of the Kalin Lab for over 20 years.  His work is focused on identifying the molecular underpinnings that determine why some children have an increased risk to develop anxiety disorders and depression as they mature into adulthood.  Children that stably display extreme levels of behavioral inhibition (shyness) throughout early life are said to have an extremely anxious temperament (AT), and they have an elevated chance of subsequently developing psychiatric illnesses.  To discover the important molecular alterations in these at-risk individuals, his work is performed with non-human primate (rhesus monkey) and rodent (rat and mouse) models of extreme AT that have been developed over the last twenty-five years in the Kalin Laboratory. Currently, he and his colleagues are screening young animals to identify those that naturally have extreme AT.  These animals are then studied with a variety of behavioral assays, multimodal imaging methods including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and state-of-the-art molecular methods including RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) and RNA interference (RNAi).  As the lab identifies AT-related candidate genes, they can further implicate these genes by increasing or decreasing their expression in key brain regions like the amygdala through viral vectors strategies.  The impact of these manipulation can then be assessed on the expression of AT and on brain function and structure.  Ultimately, identifying the molecular processes that mediated the risk to develop psychiatric illnesses will facilitate the development of medications to prevent or treat these potentially devastating illnesses.

Do Tromp, PhD

Assistant Researcher

tromp@wisc.edu

Do’s research interest is focused on understanding the neural substrates that underlie normal and abnormal brain functioning. She uses state of the art imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to examine alterations in the white-matter structure in human and non-human primates. An important part of her work includes investigating optimal image processing methods and delineating white matter tracts in the brain.

Lisa E. Williams, PhD

Associate Scientist

lewilliams4@wisc.edu

I oversee the human neuroimaging studies in the lab, working with Dr. Kalin on studies of anxiety and anxiety risk in preadolescent children. I am broadly interested in understanding the brain basis of psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on the neural correlates of clinical symptoms and the translation of findings from the lab to the clinic. I received my PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of California-San Diego in 2009, where I studied sensory processing in patients with schizophrenia. As a post-doctoral fellow I worked with Dr. Stephan Heckers at Vanderbilt University (2009 – 2012) on behavioral and neuroimaging studies of memory ability and hippocampal integrity across the psychotic spectrum. My work in the Kalin lab aims to quantify the neural correlates of childhood anxiety disorders and the risk to develop anxiety disorders by utilizing in-depth clinical phenotyping in conjunction with multimodal neuroimaging, behavioral and physiological measures.