Meet our Team

Vijay A. Mittal, Ph.D.


Dr. Mittal is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University and holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry in Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.  He is on the faculty of the Northwestern Intradepartmental Neuroscience Initiative (NUIN) and the Institute for Policy Research (IPR).  He is also holds a faculty position in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and serves as the Co-Director of the Institute for Developmental Science training core.  He is also an Adjunct Assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU Boulder.   He conducted graduate training at Emory University, and completed a specialized adolescent serious mental illness internship and postdoctoral program at UCLA.  Over the past several years Dr. Mittal has published over 140 articles working to understand causes behind mental illness among adolescents and young adults, and he specializes in early identification, assessment and treatments for youth at high-risk for psychosis. He founded the ADAPT research lab to help these individuals and their families. This work has garnered large scale extramural funding from federal sources as well as a number of private foundations.  Mittal has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) BRAINS award, Society for Research in Psychopathology (SRP) Early Career Award, Federation for Brain and Behavioral Sciences (FABBS) Early Career Award, and Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Independent Investigator Award.

Matilda Azis, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow


Dr. Azis received her PhD from King’s College London where she specialized in the clinical presentation and neurobiology of patients at Ultra High Risk of Psychosis. She worked in the Psychosis Studies Department at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in both clinical and research settings, with adults and children experiencing psychotic symptoms examining the neurobiological, clinical and cognitive factors underlying the onset of psychosis. She joined the lab in fall 2017 to continue her research in to symptom dimensions and the relationship between clinical presentation and resting cerebral blood flow.

Ivanka Ristanovic, M.A., LPC

Research Coordinator

Ivanka graduated from Roosevelt University with an MA in Clinical Psychology. During her graduate training, she was a research assistant in a lab focusing on norming computer based category and digit span tests. Ivanka completed her clinical practicum at an inpatient unit of Hartgrove psychiatric hospital where she worked with at-risk populations experiencing highly acute symptomatology including but not limited to psychotic symptoms, suicide ideation, homicide ideation, and aggression. She is interested in working with adolescents and young adults, and her research interests include neurological and hormonal basis for severe psychopathology development and maintenance and their role in developing new treatment methods.

Tina Gupta, B.A.

Graduate Student/Assessment Specialist

Tina graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A in psychology and sociology.   During her time at CU, she worked on different research studies focusing on cognitive science as well as the treatment of postpartum depression in teen moms.  She served as the lab manager at ADAPT Colorado for two years and recently moved to Chicago to begin graduate training.   In the ADAPT lab she has focused on several topics of interest to the early psychosis including nicotine, cognition, perception, language and gesture.  She enjoys working with teens and young adults, and is currently in graduate training at Northwestern University in the Psychology Department.

Juston Osborne, M.A.

Graduate Student/Assessment Specialist

After graduating from Longwood University with a B.S. in Psychology, Juston worked in the Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab at Harvard University. During his time in the SNAP Lab, Juston was involved in several projects investigating neural and motor abnormalities in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. He continued and expanded his research on motor abnormalities in the Master's program in Experimental Psychology at the College of William & Mary. Juston is currently a graduate student in Dr. Vijay Mittal's ADAPT lab in Chicago. His research interests focus on the use of multimethod approaches (psychophysiology, neural/cognitive markers, etc.) to characterize the factors that best predict transition to formal psychosis in order to facilitate the development of interventions to mitigate the likelihood of conversion.

Teresa Vargas, B.S.

Graduate Student/Assessment Specialist

Teresa graduated from the University of Miami with a B.S in Psychology and English Literature. During her time at UMiami, she worked on research projects investigating executive control and cognitive bias in mood disorders, as well as researching the effect of educational and socioeconomic interventions in healthy preschoolers. After graduating, she worked at the NIMH Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Branch, in the genes, psychosis and cognition section. During her time there, she was involved in projects incorporating genetic and functional neuroimaging approaches to understanding psychosis. Teresa is currently a graduate student in Dr. Vijay Mittal’s ADAPT lab in Chicago. Her research interests include using multimodal approaches to understanding prodromal populations and target prevention and intervention efforts. 

Emily Cibelly, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow Affiliate


Dr. Cibelli is a postdoctoral researcher in Linguistics Department at Northwestern. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from UC Berkeley, where she worked on acoustic and motor variables influencing second language phoneme acquisition. Her research focuses on the interaction between language processing and cognition, and the neural representation of speech and language. She joined the ADAPT Lab in fall 2016 to collaborate on a project investigating variation in speech motor control as a predictor for psychosis risk. 

Molly Lubin, M.D.


Dr Lubin is a third-year resident in the Northwestern Feinberg University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.  She divides her time between Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Jesse Brown VA, rotating on the psychiatric inpatient unit, emergency room, psychosomatic consultation service, and outpatient psychiatric clinics.  Her work with ADAPT will involve research focusing on social and occupational functioning; in addition she will help the ADAPT team with clinical consultation and diagnosis.

Katherine Damme, M.S.

Graduate Student Affiliate (Primary Mentor: Nusslock)

Kate graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy. After which she completed neuroimaging research fellowships at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and later at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Prior to graduate school, she focused on reward processing in schizophrenia, integrating positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. At Northwestern University, she is interested in motivation, reward processing, mood, and brain connectivity - how regions physically connect and how regions functionally connect.

Raffles Cowan, B.A.

Graduate Student Affiliate (Primary Mentor: McAdams)

Raffles is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Northwestern University.  He received a bachelor's degree in psychology and criminology at the University of Toronto, and worked in addictions and geriatrics at Toronto's Centre for Addition and Mental Health before coming to Northwestern. He primarily works in the Foley Center for the Study of Lives at NU with his mentor, Dan McAdams. His research in the ADAPT lab focuses on self-referential processes (e.g. self-concept, narrative identity) in the development of psychosis and other mental illness. 

Sekine Ozturk, B.A.


Sekine graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. During her time at the UMN, she worked as a research assistant at the Research on Adolescent Depression (RAD) lab studying neurobiological and cognitive underpinnings of adolescent depression. She had experience with adolescents who had depression, bipolar disorder, and non-suicidal self-harm. She is interested in neuroimaging and neurobiological basis of psychopathology and hoping to attend graduate school in clinical psychology in the near future.

Jessie Smit, B.A.



Jessie graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in psychology. As an undergrad, she focused on social-behavioral psychological research, such as delayed gratification and altruism at the Gilbert Lab at Harvard, and the efficacy of a bystander intervention training programs to prevent sexualized violence on college campuses at the Morean Clinical Lab at Oberlin. She is very interested to further explore clinical research— particularly that which focuses on early intervention treatments-- and is excited to learn more about psychosis and prodromal populations while working at ADAPT. 

Jackie Maloney

Research Assistant

Jackie is an undergraduate at Northwestern University in her second year. She is a psych major and on the pre-med track. So far at Northwestern she has become involved in many mentoring and mental health clubs on campus and now is trying her hand in research. She is very interested in clinical psychology research and in pursuing this field in the future!


Grishma Reddy

Research Assistant

Grishma is a freshman majoring in neuroscience and anthropology at Northwestern University. She is very interested in learning about the brain and its disorders. Apart from undergraduate research, she loves photography, being a part of NU Red Cross, volunteering, and listening to Spanish music. After graduating, she plans to attend medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a neurologist.  


Amy Lieberman

Research Assistant

Amy is a third year undergraduate student at Northwestern University, majoring in Human Development and Psychological Services (HDPS) and Psychology. She is especially interested in abnormal psychology, while clinical psychology has always been a passion as well. Amy is eager to become a part of such in-depth and important research at ADAPT!

Emily Fraser

Research Assistant

Emily is a third year undergraduate student at Northwestern, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religious Studies. She intends to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology after she graduates. She is excited to get more hands on research experience with ADAPT, and narrow her focus within clinical psychology.



Ned Shashoua

Research Assistant


Ned is a third year undergraduate student at Northwestern University majoring in Neuroscience with a focus in neurobiology. He is especially interested in learning about neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Ned is also a Spanish minor and enjoys playing tennis and guitar. After graduation, he hopes to attend medical school and study orthopedics. Ned is looking forward to contributing to the ADAPT team this year!


Kimberly Rowghani

Research Assistant

Kimberly is an undergraduate majoring in Philosophy and Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health.  She is currently entertaining a career in medicine, research, or both.  She is excited to work at ADAPT, as the lab's interdisciplinary nature is well suited to her widespread interests.  With this experience, she hopes to gain insight into to which area of research she would like to pursue in the future.


Victoria Steigerwald

Research Assistant

Victoria is an undergraduate at Northwestern University in her third year and is pursuing a dual degree in psychology and music cognition.  After graduating, she hopes to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology and hopes to focus specifically on PTSD in combat veterans.  She is very eager to start gaining research experience in the ADAPT lab!


Alara Ozsan

Research Assistant

Alara is an undergraduate at Northwestern University in her second year, pursuing a major in Manufacturing and Design Engineering with a double major in Psychology. Alara is especially interested in sensory processing, as she plans on designing environments and systems for individuals who experience the sensory environment differently. She is hoping to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology after graduation. Alara is very excited to gain research experience with the ADAPT lab.

Rachel Conley

Research Assistant

Rachel is a Northwestern University junior majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. She is especially interested in learning differences and adolescent development. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and become a psychiatrist or surgeon. Rachel is excited to be part of the ADAPT team and gain experience in clinical psychology!

Katia Valdez

Research Assistant


Katia is a third year undergraduate student at Northwestern University studying Psychology and Global Health. She is especially interested in the intersection between global service and medicine, and is currently pursuing a career as a physician in the hopes of becoming a surgeon. Aside from her interest in science, she loves to run, sing, and volunteer with children of all ages. Katia is looking forward to contributing to the ADAPT team this year and gaining experience in the psychological research field!

Defne Cezayirli

Research Assistant


Defne is a junior at Northwestern University majoring in Neuroscience. She wants to work towards a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is specifically interested in working with early adolescents. Along with a career in academia and therapy, she hopes to translate English literature in psychology to Turkish because she likes to read and share knowledge. Defne is excited to join the ADAPT team and gain experience in clinical research.


Julia St. Jean, MA







Jessica Yang, BA