Developmental Research Laboratory on Eating and Weight Behaviors


Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff working with studentsDr. Tanofsky-KraffDr. Tanofsky-Kraff

Graduate Students

Edny BryantEdny "Joey" Bryant is a fourth year graduate student working towards a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006. Prior to receiving her commission in 2010, Joey served as an enlisted Air Force Intelligence and Adversary Tactics Analyst from 1997-2010. She is interested in the effects of parental combat deployments on children and is currently working on a research project investigating the effects of parental combat deployments on the eating behaviors of military adolescent dependents.

Contact: edny.joseph@usuhs.edu


Omni Cassidy Omni Cassidy is a second year graduate student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology dual-track program. In 2010, she received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. As an undergraduate, Omni volunteered with the Weight Management and Eating Disorders Program. She also worked as an intern at the Jackson Heart Study in Jackson, MS, investigating African Americans with Type II diabetes. Before beginning her graduate studies, Omni worked as a research assistant at the NIH and USUHS on a study examining the effect of interpersonal psychotherapy on the prevention of excess weight gain in adolescent girls and also coordinated a pilot study to adapt interpersonal psychotherapy to be culturally appropriate in preventing excess weight gain in racial/ethnic minority groups. She is interested in factors that may promote disordered eating and excessive weight gain in African American youth and how such research may be used to inform policy.

Contact: omni.cassidy@nih.gov


Allison Conforte Allison Conforte is a second year Navy student working towards a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She earned her B.S. in elementary education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She also earned her M.Ed. and Ed.S. in School Psychology from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. As a School Psychologist Intern in Norfolk Public Schools, Allison gained experience in assessment, counseling groups, and child study. Working near one of the country's largest Navy bases, Allison had the opportunity to work with many military families. Allison is currently interested in examining the relationship of perceived military community support and psychosocial difficulties in military children

Contact: allison.conforte@usuhs.edu


Camden Elliott Camden Elliott graduated in 2006 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. major in psychology and minor in French. Camden worked as a research assistant at the Duke Center for Eating Disorders before beginning graduate school at USUHS. Camden's master's project was a preliminary investigation of the research criteria for Loss of Control Eating Disorder in middle childhood (Tanofsky-Kraff, Marcus, Yanovski, and Yanovski, 2008). She recently completed her dissertation project, which was a pilot examination of a parent-training intervention for the prevention of excess pediatric weight gain among African American preschoolers. Her primary research interest is in pediatric obesity and eating disorders treatment and prevention. Camden is currently completing the predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at Children's National Medical Center.

Contact: camden.elliott@usuhs.edu


Rachel Miller Rachel Miller is a fifth year student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology dual-track program. Rachel graduated in 2005 from the George Washington University with a B.A. major in psychology and minor in dance, and then received her Master's in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Rachel worked as a research assistant, first in a program evaluation for at-risk youth, then at the Obesity Research Center at Columbia University before beginning graduate school at USUHS. Rachel's research interests include prevention programs for youth at-risk for disordered eating, as well as physiological correlates of binge eating. Her masters thesis examined the relationship between binge eating, cortisol, and metabolic dysfunction in youth. Her dissertation, which is underway, examines stress reactivity and psychobiological correlates such as salivary cortisol, leptin, and heart rate variability, among overweight girls with and without loss of control eating.

Contact: rachel.miller@usuhs.edu


Camden and Lisa Lisa Ranzenhofer is a seventh year graduate student in the dual-track medical and clinical psychology program. She received her bachelor of science at Cornell University in 2005. She completed a 2-year post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health prior to entering graduate school at USUHS. Lisa's master's thesis examined the impact of binge eating on weight loss treatment outcome among overweight adolescents with medical comorbidities. She is currently conducting her dissertation research involving an examination of momentary interpersonal, affective, and physiologic precipitants of loss of control eating among at-risk for overweight adolescent girls. Lisa's research interests include child development and eating disorders. She is currently completing a clinical internship at Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Contact: Lisa.Ranzenhofer@usuhs.edu


Lisa Shank Lisa Shank is a first year graduate student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology dual-track program. In 2008, she received her B.S. in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After briefly working as a business analyst, Lisa decided to pursue a career in research, working as a clinical research coordinator and data manager at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2013, she completed her M.S. in Psychology at Drexel University. Her primary research interests are binge eating and obesity.

Contact: lisa.shank@usuhs.edu



Anna Vannucci Anna Vannucci, MS is a fourth year student in the Medical and Clinical Psychology dual-track program. Anna graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Women's and Gender Studies. Anna was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked as a research assistant at Washington University School of Medicine before beginning graduate school at USUHS. Anna's primary research interests include disinhibited eating behaviors in youth and early intervention programs to prevent eating and weight disorders. Anna’s masters thesis evaluated the typology of disinhibited eating behaviors in children and adolescents. Anna’s dissertation will investigate neurobiological perturbations that are associated with loss of control eating in the laboratory and in the natural environment.

Contact: anna.vannucci@usuhs.edu




Fellows

Sarah Shafer BergerDr. Sarah Shafer Berger is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology and works jointly in the Section on Growth and Obesity at the NIH. She earned her Ph.D. in Medical & Clinical Psychology in 2010 from USUHS and completed her clinical internship at Children's Hospital Boston/ Harvard Medical School. Her training has had a strong interdisciplinary emphasis that allows for interface between medicine and psychology. Dr. Berger's primary interests are in the area of stress during sensitive periods of development (e.g., prenatal, adolescence, emerging adulthood) and its impact on physical and mental health. She is also interested in psychosocial interventions to reduce stress and associated symptoms. Her current work with Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff focuses on how interpersonal stress affects eating behavior in adolescent girls and the neural correlates of stress and eating.

Contact: sarah.berger@nih.gov



Nichole KellyDr. Nichole Kelly is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Kelly works jointly at the Uniformed Services University with Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD, and in the Section on Growth and Obesity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD. She earned her B.S. in psychology from the University of Virginia in 2004, her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2013 from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed her clinical internship at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Kelly's research interests broadly include disordered eating and obesity. She has specific interests in clarifying the neuropsychological, behavioral, emotional and sociocultural processes that contribute to the onset and maintenance of loss of control eating.

Contact: nichole.kelly@nih.gov



Dr. Kelly Theim Dr. Kelly Theim is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Theim works jointly at the Uniformed Services University with Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD, and in the Section on Growth and Obesity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2012 from Washington University in St. Louis and completed her clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Theim's clinical training has been broad-based, with a focus on psychosocial correlates of negative health behaviors. Her primary research interests include the etiology and treatment of eating behaviors that pose risk for excessive weight gain among youth, including loss of control (LOC) eating.

Contact: kellytheim@gmail.com



Research Assistants

L. Adelyn Cohen L. Adelyn Cohen received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. As an undergraduate, she worked in neuroscience and psychology labs studying disordered eating, sleep and wake cycles, and cognitive bias. She also worked as an intern for the UVa Center for Addiction Research and Education and the National Institute of Mental Health, where she studied narcotic addiction and pediatric anxiety. Adelyn currently works as a research assistant at USUHS with Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff on a study for the prevention of obesity in children of military personnel.

Contact: lauren.cohen.ctr@usuhs.edu



Sara Field Sara Field received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from Colby College in 2011, and she is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at Catholic University of America with a clinical health concentration. Sara works at USUHS and at the Section on Growth and Obesity at the NIH working with Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff on an obesity prevention trial and on a study examining the connection between the brain and eating behaviors in adolescent girls.

Contact: sara.field@nih.gov



Louise Hannallah Louise Hannallah received her B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in research from Vanderbilt University in 2012. As an undergraduate, Louise worked in a health psychology laboratory where she examined health disparities associated with residents living in food desert areas in the state of Tennessee. Louise also researched the prevalence of eating disorders among female collegiate athletes and the role social media plays in female body image and eating behaviors. Louise currently works as a research assistant at the NIH working with Dr. Tanofsky-Kraff on a parent-child study for the prevention of excessive weight gain in middle childhood.

Contact: louise.hannallah@nih.gov