Here is a list of THRIVE Lab alumni. Many of our alumni have moved on to careers in psychological research, medical school, and graduate school in various disciplines.

Former Staff (2017-present)

Zachary Matheson, Research Assistant (2016-2017)

Zach assisted the THRIVE Lab with studies for over a year. He transitioned to working at the BAND Lab in October 2017. 


PictureAndreas Kuffer, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar (2014-2017) 

Andreas will be returning to Switzerland to continue his work in clinical psychology. He worked in the lab as a postdoctoral scholar for three years. The following is his biography:


Andreas is a postdoctoral scholar who received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and an alumnus of the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE). Andreas is mainly interested in biological aspects of psychological trauma and severe stress, such as telomere length and inflammatory markers. Andreas's leisure time is dedicated to outdoor activities like running, paragliding, or snow sports. He also likes donuts.

Vivien Shifei Li, M.A., Research Assistant (2016-2017)


Viv left the lab in summer 2017 to pursue her studies. Viv grew up in the L.A. area and holds degrees from UCLA and Cornell University. Following grad school she came to San Francisco to be a bond analyst and specialized in public infrastructure projects like football stadiums and water enterprises. She is interested in resilience and grit and how growth mindsets influence medical outcomes in both psychiatric and family medicine settings. In her spare time, Viv is passionate about housing issues in San Francisco and textile printing. 


Yeelen Edwards, Research Assistant (2017)

Yeelen will be continuing her work in clinical psychology at a clinic in Marin County before applying to graduate school.

The following is Yeelen's biography: Hi! My name is Yeelen and I grew up in the Bay Area. I enjoy leisure biking, jogging in the hills of Marin County (my home), swimming and writing poetry. I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelors' degree in psychology. I am very passionate and interested in clinical psychology and clinical psychological research with an emphasis in anxiety, depressive and trauma disorders. I plan to apply for doctorate programs in clinical psychology, and I have hopes of pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist who innovates empirical, research-based treatment therapies to remedy severe anxiety and depressive disorders. I also hope to enter practice as a diagnosing psychologist in clinical psychology.

Kim Friedland, Study Coordinator (2017)

Kim worked in the lab during summer 2017 and coordinated the REPS 2.0 study. She left to pursue work at Airbnb.

Ana Pesquita, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow (2017)

Dr. Pesquita will still be collaborating remotely with the lab on the analysis of REPS 1.0 data.

Samantha McGirr, Lab Manager/Study Coordinator (2016-2017)

After two years at THRIVE, Sam left the lab in May 2017 to pursue her M.D. at the University of Nebraska. The following is her biography:

Samantha graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. After college, Samantha worked in publishing and biotech journalism. Writing about medicine helped her realize her desire to be a provider, and she recently completed the post-baccalaureate premedical program at Mills College. Samantha is excited to continue gaining research experience at THRIVE lab before applying to medical school. In her down time, she enjoys writing fiction and poetry, distance running, basketball and rock climbing.

Rachel Tenney, Lab Manager/Study Coordinator (2016-2017)

After one year as lab manager, Rachel left the lab in May 2017 to pursue her M.D. at UCSF. The following is her biography:

Rachel graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Integrative Biology, and a minor in Anthropology. After college, Rachel taught 7th and 8th grade science in San Jose. Seeing how her students' educational trajectories were affected by a lack of access to health care inspired Rachel to pursue a career in medicine. She will start medical school in the fall, where she hopes to continue working to expand access to quality healthcare to youth in underserved communities. In her down time, Rachel enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring the East Bay. 

Image result for gowri sundar thrive

Gowri Sundar, Research Assistant (2016-2017)

Gowri left the lab in 2017 to continue her studies on the East Coast.

Gowri is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Humanities and Art in Psychology and Art with a minor in neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, she has had the opportunity to be involved in research surrounding stress reduction, health, and mindfulness interventions. Gowri is specifically interested in clinical interventions and the cognitive mechanisms behind disorders, as learning more about the biological impact of trauma, mood, and eating disorders. She also works as an artist in her spare time, creating interdisciplinary pieces and performances that integrate her research into her art practice. 

Alumni List (to 2016)



Teena Ambrose

Research Assistant

Abigail Colyer

Lab Manager

Jersey Deng

Data Manager

Elena Gasparini

Research Assistant

Lindsay Hegg, M.A.

Clinical Interviewer





Geena Hoffman


Kevin Kim


Cindy May


Karen Nishimi


Mark Pacult





Lily Radanovich

 Research Assistant

Annika Rose


Lauren Ross

Lab Manager

Sarenna Shaw

Research Assistant

Sadie Shin






Troy Smith-Bova

Research Assistant

Natasha Sukerkar

Research Assistant

Jeff Taylor


Laura Fenton

Research Assistant