Lab Director

Eva Telzer, Ph.D.

Email: ehtelzer [at] unc [dot] edu | CV | Publications

Eva TelzerEva Telzer is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from UCLA. Her research centers around adolescent development and the role the brain plays during this important transitional period. Her research takes a multimethod approach including the use of fMRI, daily diaries, and diurnal cortisol. She has authored over 70 publications, and has received numerous awards for her work, including a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, a Jacobs Young Scholars Grant, an SRCD and SRA dissertation award, and was named a 2015 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.


Post-doctoral Fellows

Christy Rogers, Ph.D.

Email: crrogers [at] email [dot] unc [dot] edu | CV

Christy Rogers HollifieldChristy is a postdoctoral fellow who graduated with her PhD in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. She is interested in the influence of sibling relationships on risk-taking behavior and emotional well-being across adolescence, and how the brain plays a role in these associations. Christy investigates multiple levels of sibling influence using various methods: video-taped interaction observations, questionnaires, and brain activation via fMRI. Christy enjoys exploring Carolina, running, cheering for the San Jose Sharks, and having solo dance parties.


Graduate Students

Ethan McCormick, M.A.

Email: emccormick [at] unc [dot] edu

Ethan McCormick received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Arkansas and MA in Psychology from the University of Illinois. He is a fourth-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program. He is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. His primary research interest involves exploring how the brain adapts to its environment in an experience-dependent manner. He is interested in examining this question on two different levels: over the course of learning and skill acquisition, and across development. This line of research contributes to our understanding of how changes in the environment drive mechanisms of neural flexibility and plasticity.

Paul Sharp, M.A.

Email: psharp89 [at] live [dot] unc [dot] edu | Personal website

Paul SharpPaul Sharp is a fifth year doctoral student in developmental psychology. He graduated with a BA in political science and psychology from Temple University’s honors college in 2013. For his first three years, he pursued a clinical psychology doctorate, studying the development of depression and anxiety. Having resolved that developmental neuroscience was his passion, he transferred into the developmental psychology track. The main focus of his research is to explicate the mechanisms that give rise to normative and pathological anxiety. To pursue this aim, he investigates how forms of anxiety can be explained algorithmically and how they are implemented in the brain.

Kathy Do, B.A.

Email: kathydo [at] unc [dot] edu

Kathy DoKathy received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from UCLA in 2013. Following graduation, she worked as a lab manager for Adriana Galvan at UCLA. She is currently a third-year graduate student in Developmental Psychology. Her research examines how social influence and brain development affect adolescent behavior and decision making, specifically within prosocial and risky contexts. This work seeks to leverage our understanding of the developing brain to better inform public policy. Fun fact: One of Kathy’s bucket list goals is to hike all 59 U.S. National Parks (8/59 done!).

Research Staff


Karee Jones, B.A.

Email: kjones92 [at] email [dot] unc [dot] edu

Karee is the Lab Manager for the DSNLab. He is from Philadelphia, PA, and completed his undergraduate studies at Penn State University Park in 2017 with a BA in Psychology. He is primarily (and particularly) fascinated with the mirror neuron system and its role during empathetic and sentence processing. Specifically, he is interested in the neuroscience of social media, the influence social media has on the cognitive and socio-emotional development across the lifespan, and how that influence affects real-world social contexts. Ultimately, he wants to pursue a PhD in developmental social neuroscience (if that’s even a thing), and become a professor, educating students from all walks of life, and adding to the knowledge base with his research.


Virnaliz Jimenez, B.A.

Email: jimenezv [at] live [dot] unc [dot] edu

ViviJimenezVirnaliz Jimenez is a Project Coordinator for Project NeuroTeen. She is a recent UNC graduate with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Virnaliz plans on pursuing a PhD. in Psychology and is broadly interested in prevention programs and applied developmental psychology. In her free time she enjoys reading a good book, salsa dancing in the Triangle area, and trying out different restaurants.


Amanda Benjamin, B.A.

Email: acbenj [at] email [dot] unc [dot] edu

Amanda is a Project Coordinator for Project NeuroTeen. She is originally from Northern Virginia, but stayed in North Carolina after graduating from Elon University in 2017 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. Amanda is broadly interested in the psychological, social, and genetic factors linked with health and risk behavior. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, exercising, and trying new foods and exploring new places.


Undergraduate Research Assistants

Christina Bogdani
Melissa Burroughs
Gaby Clossick
Ally Shaw
Kelsey Smith
Julia Sorensen
Kiki Paré


Lynda Lin

Lynda was a graduate student from 2015-2017. Her research in the lab focused on cultural neuroscience and affective processes. Lynda is currently a student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Yang Qu

Yang was a graduate student from 2010-2016. His research in the lab focused on culture, motivation, parenting, and cognitive/emotional regulation. He is currently a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University working with Jeannie Tsai.

Michelle Miernicki

Michelle was a graduate student from 2012-2016. She was interested in emotional and cognitive responses to social stress (e.g., peer victimization) in adolescence and how emotional, cognitive, and biological risk factors contribute to the development of psychopathology. She is currently a masters student in human resources and industrial relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Heather Ross

Heather was the project coordinator for the Children Social Development Project (CSDP), where she examined parent-child dynamics using neuroimaging tools as part of a 10-year longitudinal study. She is currently a masters student in human resources and industrial relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Xin Yuen

Xin was a graduate student from 2013-2016. Her work investigated how families negotiate children’s transitions into and through adolescence, with a particular focus on culture and immigration. She currently works as a Research Manager at the Physician Assistant Education Association.

Elizabeth Barlow Lozano

Liz was the project coordinator for Project Social Contexts & Adolescent Neural Development (SCAND), where she investigated the role of social contexts on the developing brain. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign working with Sean Laurent.

Joao Guassi Moreira

Joao graduated from the University of Illinois in 2016 with a BS in Psychology. He worked primarily on projects related to risk taking and adjustment in adolescents and young adults. He is currently a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles working with Jennifer Silvers.

Eva Telzer