Ashkan Ahmadian | Awards

 Ashkan Ahmadian is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in psychology. With a passion for the health sciences, he aspires to pursue a career in the medical field. His particular research interest involves gaining a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that allow stress to have such wide-range effects on physiology and learning more about the intimate roles that psychological factors like hypervigilance play in this relationship. When he isn’t studying or working, Ashkan likes to de-stress by taking walks, watching comedy, and slacklining with his friends. 

Joy Lin | Awards

 Joy is a recent graduate of UCSD and is currently a student at the UCSF School of Medicine. In the THRIVE lab, she studies social isolation and inflammation in individuals with PTSD. Her hobbies include running, kickboxing, yoga, chamber music, and trying exotic foods.


Adam Luxenberg

 Adam is a medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. He has arrived at THRIVE Lab following a long-standing interest in the biology of aging and a more recent interest in stress. In THRIVE Lab, Adam studies the relationship between trauma exposure and threat sensitivity in individuals with and without post-traumatic disorder. When he isn’t working on school or research work you can find him listening to bluegrass music and hiking, biking, or backpacking.


Jennifer Paulson, M.S.

 Jennifer has her MS in Psychology and is currently working on obtaining her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.  Her interest in psychological research began as an undergraduate student with several research projects examining the role of stereotype threat in performance.  While her past research has focused on schizophrenia, looking at the roles of negative symptoms, neurocognition, social cognition, and social functioning, her true passion is researching trauma.  Currently Jennifer is interested in the role of anger and the immunity response in the context of trauma.  Additionally, Jennifer has a keen interest in statistics and she enjoys helping others cultivate their understanding of the subject.  While not engaged in research or school, Jennifer can often be found exploring the Sierra Nevadas with her husband.

Rebecca Rosser, M.A.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a Master’s degree from the Wright Institute, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include the effects of childhood trauma on adult psychosocial functioning. She has worked for several years as a study coordinator at UCSF’s Department of Psychiatry, examining the mechanisms underlying depression. She also works at the San Francisco VA PTSD program, providing individual and group psychotherapy to veterans coping with military and early life trauma. Originally from Massachusetts, Rebecca enjoys exploring the west coast with friends as a retreat from graduate school. 

Jennifer Zahm

 Jennifer graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s in Human Development and a minor in Psychology.  She went on to work as a case manager for a supported living services company and then conducted quality assurance work for a community mental health clinic.  These work experiences led her to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, which she is currently working on at Palo Alto University.  While Jennifer’s previous research endeavors included studying executive control and later, traumatic brain injury, her current interest lies in examining the interaction between psychological and biological processes, particularly within anxiety disorders.  Jennifer is also interested, from a clinical and research perspective, in women-specific issues, so gender differences within these interactions are especially intriguing.  When she is not engaging in clinical or research work, Jennifer enjoys snowboarding, hiking, water sports and spending time with friends and family.