IVY F. TSO, Ph.D., L.P.
Dr. Tso is interested in understanding the psychological and neural basis of altered social and emotional processes in psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and related syndromes. She uses behavioral experiments, electrophysiology (EEG/ERP), neuroimaging (fMRI), eye tracking, and neuromodulation (TMS) methods to identify biobehavioral markers and to delineate dynamic brain network models underlying these disorders. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop effective and personalized treatments to help people with severe mental illnesses to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Dr. Tso is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the Training and Clinical Director of the Program for Risk Evaluation and Prevention (PREP), a clinical and research program for youth with early signs of psychosis and serious mental illnesses. She is actively involved in patient care, clinical training, and community educational outreach.
Dr. Tso is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Medical School, and Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychology, LSA, at the University of Michigan. She received her B.Soc.Sc. (Psychology) and M.Phil. (Psychiatry) from the University of Hong Kong. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Dr. Tso enjoys reading mystery novels, traveling, and binge-watching old TV shows on Netflix. [CV]
CHRISTINE RIBBENS GRIMM, B.A., B.S.N, R.N.
Christine holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals living with mental health disorders. As manager for the MiScan lab, she supports the high-quality execution of research projects for Dr. Tso and her team including: Disrupted eye gaze perception as a biobehavioral marker of social dysfunction: An RDoC investigation and a Psychophysiological Signature of Affective Response Inhibition and Stress in Bipolar Disorder. Christine also serves as the clinical care coordinator for the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in nursing from Eastern Michigan University.
SCOTT BLAIN, Ph.D.
Scott is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the lab in Fall of 2021. His research seeks to identify joint mechanisms of normal-range personality traits and related psychopathology dimensions, with a particular focus on psychosis, antagonism, and autism. His research approach combines fMRI, questionnaires, and behavioral tasks using a variety of latent variable modeling methods. Scott also enjoys teaching and incorporates evidence-based pedagogy, dimensional psychopathology research, and narrative analysis into his courses.
Scott completed his Ph.D. in Personality Psychology at University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a B.S. in Cognitive Studies at Vanderbilt. His former advisors and current collaborators include Colin DeYoung, Bob Krueger, Sohee Park, and Blythe Corbett. His work has been published in journals like Schizophrenia Bulletin, JPSP, and Journal of Abnormal Psych. When Scott’s not doing research or teaching, he likes to travel, play piano, binge watch TV, hang out with his cat “Cumin,” and eat tasty food.
HANJOO KIM, Ph.D.
Hanjoo is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine. He joined the lab in March of 2022. Before joining the lab, he completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Penn State University and APA accredited psychology internship at the New Mexico VA/Southwest Consortium. Hanjoo’s primary research interests lie in understanding the emotion dysregulation processes of internalizing disorders, such as repetitive negative thinking in particular. He is interested in utilizing biobehavioral markers (e.g., skin conductance, eye-gaze, emotional facial expressions, etc.) to better understand these processes. Outside of academics, Hanjoo enjoys playing basketball and drawing.
CARLY LASAGNA, B.A.
Carly Lasagna is a clinical science PhD student working with Dr. Ivy Tso. She is interested in the mechanisms of cognitive control and perceptual decision-making in psychosis and bipolar disorder. Her goal in research is to bring together computational modeling, neuroimaging, and neuromodulation methods in order to generate model-based neuroscience perspectives on complex psychiatric disorders that will facilitate more effective, individualized treatment. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drawing, and photography.
LAURA LOCARNO, B.S.
Laura recently completed her B.S. in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she conducted research involving human psychophysics underlying the neural basis of vision and visually guided behavior. She joined the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry as a study coordinator in October 2020. Broadly, she is interested in understanding the neurobiological basis of psychological disorders. Laura plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology. In her free time, Laura enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.
TESSA CHOLEWICKI, B.Sc.
Tessa Cholewicki joined the Michigan Department of Psychiatry as a study coordinator in July 2021. Tessa holds a B.Sc. from Michigan State University in Statistics. Prior to joining the team, Tessa worked in Healthcare IT as an analyst and web developer. Tessa’s future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. program in Psychology. In her free time, Tessa enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
JULIA SMITH, B.A.
Julia recently completed her BA in Psychology and BA in Sociology of Health and Medicine at the University of Michigan. She joined the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry as a study coordinator in May of 2022. In the future, Julia hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focusing on exploring disparities in mental health resources and support for those with serious mental illnesses. During her free time, Julia enjoys spending time with her friends, working out, and listening to music.
KELLY MATHIS, B.S.
Kelly completed her B.S. in Psychology at Purdue University in May of 2022. She joined the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry as a research study coordinator in June of 2022. She is interested in researching biological and behavioral markers of psychiatric disorders in order to increase the validity and reliability of assessment. Kelly plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
SAIGE RUTHERFORD, B.Sc.
Saige Rutherford is a Data Analyst of the MiSCAN Lab, helping with fMRI data preprocessing and analysis. She is also a member of the Methods Core group. Saige holds a B.Sc. from Wayne State University in Biomedical Physics. Prior to joining the Department of Psychiatry, she worked as a research assistant at the Perinatology Research Branch, National Institutes of Health in Detroit, MI. Saige is currently a PhD student at the Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands .
PETER WALCZYK, M.S.
Peter Walczyk is a Data Analyst in both the MiSCAN Lab and the Sripada Lab. He received his B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut and his M.S in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. In the future, Peter would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering to further develop understandings of the underlying mechanisms of consciousness and create models of consciousness. In his free time, he enjoys art, cooking, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Arjun Batra is a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, planning to major in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience or Public Health Sciences. His career goal is to become a physician focused on helping children and families navigate physical and mental development. Previously, Arjun has worked as a research assistant on projects focused on behavioral psychology and social interaction. Through his work with MiSCAN, Arjun hopes to help enrich the field of neuroscience with knowledge about how to treat mental ailments, and to gain an understanding of the economic and social disparities that arise when treating mental illnesses. In his free time, Arjun enjoys running along the beach in his hometown of Los Angeles. He also enjoys doing archery, listening to podcasts, and watching shows on Netflix.
Riya Gaitonde is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and minoring in Sociology of Health and Medicine. She plans to pursue a medical career as a Physician to help treat children with physical and/or neurological conditions. Riya’s past work as a research assistant consisted of projects focused on affective neuroscience and biopsychology. As a part of the MiSCAN lab, Riya aims to explore the contributing factors to serious mental disorders and apply novel solutions while addressing patients’ potential intersectional identities within society. In her free time, she enjoys singing, hiking, and watching Marvel movies.
Sydney is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity (EEB), and minoring in Asian Languages and Cultures and Women's and Gender Studies. After graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in medicine, with a focus on cardiovascular medicine or obstetrics and gynecology. Sydney first became interested in psychology through her introductory course at U of M, and she hopes to strengthen her knowledge through her work with the MiSCAN lab while positively contributing to the field of neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, watching shows on Netflix, and playing tennis.
Affiliated Graduate Students
BEIER (BELLE) YAO, M.A.
Beier Yao is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at the Michigan State University, working with Dr. Katy Thakkar. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Art History from the Mount Holyoke College in 2013. After graduation, she worked for three years as a Clinical Research Assistant in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan with Dr. Ivy Tso and Dr. Stephan Taylor on various neuroimaging studies and clinical trials. She is broadly interested in cognitive mechanisms of both affective and non-affective psychotic disorders. Currently, she is studying prediction errors in psychosis, and exploring how abnormalities translate into symptoms and functional outcomes. She returned to the University of Michigan in August 2019 as a clinical psychology practicum student, providing clinical services to patients of the PREP early psychosis clinic. In her free time, she enjoys reading fictions, watching movies, playing music, making videos, and cuddling with cats.
MARGO MENKES, B.A.
Margo is a PhD student in the Clinical Science area of the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Melvin McInnis and Dr. Patricia Deldin. After graduating with her B.A. from Emory University in 2017, she spent 2 years as a staff research assistant working with Dr. Stephan Heckers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry in the psychotic disorders program. Margo is broadly interested in neurocognition in mood disorders and psychotic disorders. She is collaborating with Dr. Tso’s lab to examine cognitive mechanisms of bipolar disorder and psychosis using electrophysiological methods, in addition to working with the Prechter Bipolar Research Program’s Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder. Outside of research, Margo likes making baked goods and sharing them with friends.
RUOFAN MA, M.A.
Ruofan is a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received a Bachelor of Mathematics in Combinatorics and Optimization from the University of Waterloo in 2016. She is interested in understanding psychopathology through the study of affective science. She hopes her research can help reduce mental health disparities in diverse populations in the future. In her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, watching movies, and making attempts to learn another language.