Lab Director:

Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama

The DiSH Lab is run by Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor in the department of Psychology. Dr. T embodies the “research is me-search” cliché and is a huge foodie. It should come as no surprise, then, that a major theme in her research is understanding the potentially negative psychological and biological consequences of dieting.

Curriculum Vitae

Lab Manager:

Jolene Nguyen-Cuu

Jolene is a fourth-year undergraduate student earning her BS in Psychobiology from UCLA. Funny enough, she heard about the DiSH Lab through a friend's Facebook status and being a lover of food and psychology, she had to know more. She started as a DiSH Lab RA, and although she knows it will be a challenge to fill Angela's shoes, she is incredibly honored and excited to now manage the lab. Outside the lab, Jolene loves to catch up with friends and explore all the best restaurants that Yelp has to offer!


Angela C. Incollingo Rodriguez

After spending a year as a DiSH RA and two years as the DiSH Lab's manager, Angela is thrilled to finally say she is a first year graduate student in the UCLA Health Psychology program. Before moving to CA, Angela earned her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Rutgers University. Her program of research focuses on understanding how various psychological and biological stressors can influence our eating behaviors and weight, and how our eating behaviors and weight can, in turn, lead us to experience psychological and biological stress. Outside the lab, Angela is an avid explorer of food, a dedicated yogi, and a total travel bug. Click here to learn more about Angela.

Britt Ahlstrom

Britt is a second year student in UCLA’s Health Psychology program. Prior to entering the DiSH Lab, Britt worked for two years as the laboratory manager of the Health and Eating Laboratory, directed by Dr. Traci Mann. Currently, her research focuses on the impact of severe and long-duration stressors on eating behavior and the use of novel techniques to increase interest and ability in the sciences. Britt is particularly interested in integrating health psychology with other fields, such as aerospace medicine and education. When not in the lab, you’ll find Britt exploring the outdoors or honing her computer programming skills. Check out her website at!

Jenna Cummings

Jenna is a second year student in UCLA’s Health Psychology doctoral program. In her baccalaureate studies at University of South Florida she studied drinking alcohol and developed interests in studying eating too - after all, alcohol has calories! She is currently developing a program of research examining the overlap and divergence in alcohol and food consumption. Her broader aspirations include extending past the scientific community and improving health in the larger community at risk. Outside lab (or sometimes in) you'll catch her dancing, unconsciously singing, and tasting new dishes of course! You can learn more here.

Laura Finch

Laura is a third year graduate student in UCLA's Health Psychology program. She earned her B.S. in Human Development at Cornell University with concentrations in Social and Personality development and Nutrition and Health. Laura's research interests center on understanding the biopsychosocial causes and effects of eating behavior. Her most recent work focuses on comfort eating, including both the physiological underpinnings driving this behavior, and the psychological benefits it reaps via stress reduction. Outside the lab, Laura loves being outdoors, whether it's hiking, snowboarding or playing tennis.

Student Collaborators:

Jeffrey Hunger

Broadly speaking, Jeff's research examines how stigma and discrimination influence psychological and physical health. Although he is interested in stigma more broadly, much of his current work focuses on weight stigma. He is also interested in how obesity-related communications (e.g., news coverage of the "obesity epidemic") might influence weight bias. When not in the lab, Jeff is enjoying the great weather and produce that Santa Barbara has to offer. Learn more at

Mary Himmelstein

Mary is a doctoral student in social psychology and intradisciplinary health at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research concerns three areas as they relate to health, healthcare and stress outcomes: (1) stigma and prejudice, (2) chronic dieting and obesity, and (3) gender beliefs. Outside of the lab Mary enjoys kayaking, hiking and camping at the Delaware Water Gap. As in most of the DISHRAGS she always has room for the ultimate trifecta: good food, good friends and good wine! Learn more here!

Faculty Collaborators:

Elliot Berkman, University of Oregon

Gretchen Chapman, Rutgers

Elissa Epel, UCSF

Daniel Hoffman, Rutgers

Barbara Laraia, UCSF

Brenda Major, UCSB

Traci Mann, University of Minnesota

Peggy Policastro, Rutgers

Eli Puterman, UCSF

Andrew Ward, Swarthmore College

DiSH Lab Emeriti:

Kate E. Byrne Haltom

Becky Kim

David Lowry

Trissa McClatchey

Jacob Miller

Alex Russell

Lydia Russell-Roy

Wanda Truong

Danielle Vinas

Lab Dog:

Cashew Chicken Tomiyama

Cashew joined the DiSH Lab this past fall and has been loving all the attention and constant petting she gets around the lab! She is also the official greeter and loves to run around welcoming you into the lab.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Bernice Cheung

Alyssa Choi

Gloria Chong

Diana Gonzalez

Ilana Greenberg

Sarah Kasravi

Emilie Komnaes

Asra Lakhani

Aaron Lapidus

Marisa LoBuglio

Isaac Mirzadegan

Patricia Natalie

Peter Nooteboom

Natalie Okuhara

Marian Popescu

Erin Standen

Megan Tan

Aileen Tran

Megan White