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:

Angela Incollingo Belsky

Angela earned her BA in Psychology and Spanish from Rutgers University, where she was also a DiSH Lab RA. So she came willingly when Dr. T stole her away to the West Coast to manage the lab at UCLA! Angela's research investigates the biopsychosocial implications of eating- and weight-related stressors. Away from the lab, Angela is a total travel bug and avid "explorer of food," but she won't go anywhere when she starts grad school this Fall and is looking forward to five more years in the DiSH Lab! Learn more about Angela here!


Britt Ahlstrom

Britt received her BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and went on to work for two years as the lab manager of Traci Mann's Health and Eating Laboratory. She’s excited to begin in UCLA’s Health Psychology Program in fall 2013, where she will research the relationship between stress eating and evolutionary mechanisms. Britt is also glad to join the to DiSH lab as she hopes to pick up some cooking skills from this team of foodie exraordinaires. Learn more here!

Jenna Cummings

Jenna received her BA in Psychology, with a minor in Dance, from University of South Florida. There, she worked in an alcohol research lab and over time developed interests in studying food too - after all, alcohol has calories! She is beyond excited to study health behavior processes in UCLA’s Health Psychology doctoral program. Her aspirations include conducting quality research which will extend past the scientific community and benefit the larger community at risk for health issues. Outside lab (or sometimes in...) you'll catch her dancing around, unconsciously singing, and tasting new dishes of course!

Laura Finch

Laura is a second 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 at Rutgers University. A self-described saucy sassafras, she enjoys discussions, sometimes heated, with the ultimate trifecta: good food, good friends and good wine. She is broadly interested in research related to stress and health outcomes of stigma, prejudice, chronic dieting, obesity and interpersonal violence. She also enjoys studying influences on preventative healthcare and medical decision making. Never one to bite off more than she can chew, she also hopes to better understand the dandelion-orchid hypothesis of gene-environment interaction in future endeavors.

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:

Shana Bird

Lauren Callahan

Bernice Cheung

Gloria Chong

Ryan Hamilton

Hien Huynh

Isaac Mirzadegan

Lana Mousessian

Patricia Natalie

Allison Newell

Jolene Nguyen-Cuu

Natalie Okuhara

Sheila Rouzitalab

Artin Saeidi

Gurleen Sekhon

Victor Shiau

Erin Standen

Luisana Suchilt

Megan White

Elaine Yao