Postdoctoral Scholars/Investigators

Andrea Niles, Ph.D.Dr. Niles's Website | Email: [email protected] | Dr. Niles's Google Scholar profile | Awards

Dr. Niles received her graduate training at UCLA in Clinical Psychology under the mentorship of Drs. Michelle Craske and Annette Stanton. She also completed minor concentrations in health and quantitative psychology and, as a graduate student, worked as a statistical consultant with the Institute for Digital Research and Education at UCLA. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Washington and has expertise in administration of cognitive behavioral therapies for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. Her research interests fall into two broad categories. First, she aims to improve the effectiveness of anxiety- and trauma-related disorder treatment through identification and experimental manipulation of treatment mechanisms and personalized medicine. Second, she aims to better understand the overlap between psychological and medical illness with a focus on biological mechanisms of anxiety that increase risk for diseases of aging.

Michael Dolsen, Ph.D. | Email: [email protected] | Dr. Dolson's Google Scholar profile | Awards

Dr. Dolsen completed his graduate training at UC Berkeley in Clinical Science under the mentorship of Dr. Allison Harvey. He completed his predoctoral clinical internship at VA Northern California HCS. His research has focused on sleep disturbance as a transdiagnostic process related to the etiology and treatment of mental health disorders. Specifically, his research has investigated the interplay between psychological and biological processes in mental health disorders with the goal of leveraging these insights toward developing novel interventions.

Kristen Nishimi, Ph.D., MPH | Email: [email protected] | Dr. Nishimi's Google Scholar profile | Awards

Dr. Nishimi completed her MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2016 and PhD in Population Health Sciences in 2020 at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Her graduate training in social and psychiatric epidemiology focused on the social determinants of health, psychosocial stress and development, and quantitative research methods for causal inference. Her research examines the impact of trauma and adversity exposure on both mental and physical health outcomes across the life course. Specifically, she aims to use rigorous epidemiological and data science methods to uncover biological mechanisms linking trauma to chronic health outcomes and to understand multilevel processes of psychological resilience.

Amanda J. Khan, Ph.D. | Email: [email protected] | Dr. Khan's Google Scholar profile | Awards

Dr. Khan is a licensed clinical psychologist and PTSD researcher. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Khan completed her clinical internship and a MIRECC advanced postdoctoral research fellowship in PTSD at the San Francisco VA under the mentorship of Drs. Shira Maguen and Aoife O'Donovan. She is currently completing an additional PTSD research fellowship at UCSD with Dr. Murray Stein. Her program of research investigates trauma typology and emotion regulation processes involved in the etiology and treatment of trauma sequelae, namely PTSD, moral injury, and depression/suicidality. Dr. Khan's research aims to better elucidate how specific traumatic experiences impact biopsychosocial-spiritual suffering and develop novel and non-traditional approaches (e.g., psilocybin) to healing treatment-resistant trauma sequelae.

Yvette Szabo, Ph.D. | Email: [email protected] | Dr. Szabo's Google Scholar profile | Awards

Dr. Yvette Szabo is a licensed clinical psychologist and investigator at the VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. Dr. Szabo completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Louisville, where she received an honor for excellence in graduate studies. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center and a MIRECC advanced postdoctoral research fellowship at the VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. Her research investigates the physiological mechanisms through which the environment influences behavior and health. The main focus of her research aims to understand the psychological (e.g., emotional, cognitive) and biological pathways (e.g., inflammation, genetics) through which stress or trauma leads to posttraumatic stress disorder and other negative trauma-related outcomes. Specifically, her lab focuses on examining bidirectional associations between the brain and immune system, as well as understanding how stress and trauma influence these relationships. Her research incorporates a combination of psychological and interdisciplinary methods, including laboratory-based tasks, analysis of blood and saliva samples, and clinical interviews. Through this work, she intends to identify potentially malleable factors and opportunities for novel or personalized interventions to improve health and quality of life in those exposed to stress and trauma.