Lab Director:

Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama

A. Janet Tomiyama, Ph.D., (you can call her Dr. T) is a professor of Psychology at UCLA, where she also heads up the DIeting, Stress, and Health (DiSH) lab. She went to Cornell for undergrad, graduating in 2001, and got her doctorate in Psychology from UCLA, graduating in 2009. Her work has been recognized by early career awards from national organizations like the Association for Psychological Science, and has received wide media coverage from outlets like USA Today, LA Times, BBC News, NPR, and even The Onion. Her research focuses on the harmful health consequences of stress, dieting, and fat shaming.

Curriculum Vitae

Lab Manager:

Alejandra Lopez

Alejandra graduated from UCLA in June 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to her role as lab manager, she worked on several studies with Dr. T for the Psychology Research Opportunity Programs (PROPS) and as a study coordinator. She plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Health Psychology and pursue a career in academia. Outside of research, Alejandra enjoys exercising, walking her dog, and spending time with friends and family.

Graduate Students:

Jordan Parker

Jordan is a second-year graduate student in UCLA's Health Psychology program. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Psychology and minors in African American Studies and Spanish. Jordan's research focuses on the intersections between race and health. She has a specific interest in health trajectories and health behaviors within the African-American community and how colorism affects experiences of discrimination and health outcomes. Outside of the lab, Jordan loves to experiment with new vegetarian recipes, take Penny on long walks, and re-watch Grey's Anatomy for the millionth time.

Jordan Levinson

Jordan is a third-year graduate student in UCLA's Developmental Psychology program. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Monmouth University in 2015. Jordan's research focuses on the effects of weight stigma on development. More specifically, she is interested in the connection between weight stigma and disordered eating behaviors and body dissatisfaction. Further, she plans to explore how weight stigma is perpetuated within families and in the media, and how viewing and experiecing this stigma affects adolescents. Outside of the lab, Jordan loves to curl up with her cat Millie and read a good book, or spend the day at the beach.

Kristen Lee

Kristen is a third-year graduate student in UCLA's Health Psychology program. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 with her B.A. in Psychology. Broadly, Kristen is interested in understanding the relationships between social connection and eating behavior and their shared biological pathways that ultimately influence health outcomes. She is also interested in weight stigma and health behavior change related to eating and weight issues. When she's not in the lab, Kristen loves working in the community garden, growing her own plant babies, hiking/backpacking, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Daniel Rosenfeld

Daniel is a fourth-year graduate student in UCLA’s Social Psychology and Health Psychology programs. He earned his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. Daniel’s research centers on morality, social identity, gender, and eating behavior, with a particular focus on the psychology of vegetarianism. Outside of academia, Daniel enjoys playing table tennis and hiking. Check out his Google Scholar page here.

Lauren Hofschneider

Lauren Hofschneider is a fifth-year graduate student in UCLA’s Health Psychology program. A former native from Saipan, CNMI, Lauren received her undergraduate degree from UC Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior. Currently, she is interested in exploring racial disparities in health and how certain health behaviors may buffer or exacerbate these differences. Apart from research, Lauren occupies time by improving her mind by extensive reading, perfecting her holiday savory tart, and subtly dropping pop culture references.

Benjamin Seitz

Ben is a fifth-year graduate student in the learning and behavior area. He was initially interested in studying basic laws of learning and memory but soon discovered whacky things kept happening when food was involved in his experiments. He has since joined Dr. Tomiyama’s lab and is now primarily interested in how basic learning and memory processes influence eating behaviors and, conversely, how eating behaviors may be governed by unique learning and memory processes. He received his undergraduate training at Binghamton University and is an avid fan of Chelsea FC. To see more about what Ben is up to, check out his personal page 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 Alumni:

Dr. Jeffrey Hunger

Broadly speaking, Jeff is interested in using insights from social and personality psychology to understand and improve population health. Jeff is particularly interested in the mechanisms by which social and structural conditions (e.g., discrimination) can contribute to poorer mental and physical health among stigmatized populations. Much of his current work is focused on elucidating the mental and physical effects of weight-based social identity threat. In other lines of research, Jeff examines factors that contribute to (and mitigate) anti-fat bias, exploring the potentially detrimental consequences of perceiving oneself as "overweight," and working to understand the personal and social influences on cardiometabolic health among higher bodyweight individuals. Learn more at

Dr. Angela C. Incollingo Rodriguez

Angela is a 2018 DiSH Lab graduate. She is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. 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 to psychological and biological stress. She also examines these processes in the context of pregnancy. Always prioritizing work-life balance, Angela is the proud mom of a feisty toddler princess and a smiley baby boy, a dedicated wife, a travel bug, and a lifelong explorer of food. Learn more about her here.

Dr. Jenna Cummings

Jenna graduated from UCLA’s Health Psychology program in June 2018. She is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her program of research crosses work on eating and alcohol use while exploring topics like reward, reinforcement, genetics, social relationships, and stress. 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.

Dr. Laura Finch

Laura graduated from UCLA’s Health Psychology program in June 2018. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. 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. Learn more at

Dr. Britt (Ahlstrom) Lampert

Britt graduated from UCLA’s Health Psychology Ph. D. program in Fall of 2016, and is now an employee at SpaceX. Prior to entering the DiSH Lab, Britt worked for two years as the laboratory manager of the Health and Eating Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. Britt is interested in improving the nutrition and psychological experience of individuals in extreme and isolated environments. To contact Britt or to see recent updates, check out!

Dr. Mary Himmelstein

Mary recently earned her Ph. D. 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!

Lab Manager Alum:

Ava Cazares

Ava is a recent UCLA graduate, who majored in Psychology and minored in Education Studies. She previously worked as a research assistant and Lab Manager for the DiSH Lab. Currently, she is obtaining her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy at USC. Aside from research, Ava loves traveling, watching documentaries, and discovering new music.

Nadia Dellawar

Nadia graduated from UCLA with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Education Studies. She was a DiSH Summer Intensive student, RA and study coordinator prior to being lab manager her senior year. She is now a graduate student at UCI Masters in Teaching and Multi-Subject Credential Program. Outside of the lab, Nadia loves traveling, spending time with family and friends and trying new places to eat brunch!

Alyssa Choi

Alyssa graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Psychology. She was a DiSH Lab RA and study coordinator for two years prior to being an amazing lab manager for several years! She is now a graduate student at SDSU/UCSD joint doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. Outside the lab, Alyssa loves spending time with family, exploring the latest country music, and having Gilmore Girls-esque dinners with friends.

Erin Standen

Erin graduated from UCLA with a degree in Psychobiology and Spanish. She initially became interested in the DiSH lab after participating in one of the lab's studies on weight stigma, and she’s been hooked on the lab’s fascinating research ever since! After being our amazing lab manager for several years, she is now a graduate student at the University of Minnesota's Social Psychology program. Outside the lab, Erin loves traveling, listening to music, and spending time with friends.

Jolene Nguyen-Cuu

Jolene earned 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 first started as a DiSH Lab RA, but she has also had the privilege of being the lab manager for over two years. Now, she is managing two studies in the lab, as she is currently applying to medical school. Outside the lab, Jolene loves to catch up with friends and explore all the best restaurants that Yelp has to offer!

Lab Dog:

Cashew Chicken Tomiyama

Cashew is the official lab greeter, as she loves to run around welcoming people into the lab. She joined the DiSH Lab a few years ago, and ever since has been loving all the attention and constant petting she gets around the lab!

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Jillian Chellis

Juanyi (Jane) Tan

Clara Zhang

Audrey Price

Elena Eu

Cassidy Elkins

Grace Gilligan

Christy Wang

Maddie Preiss

Joon Soo Kim

Sydney Pollard

Sydney Kong

Abigail De La Merced

Amie Adjakple

Chinmayee Chalamalasetti

Daisy Vo

Gordon Liu

Isabella Poma

Jerusalem Zerihun

Jessica Katzman

Juwan Madaki

Liyang (Julia) Zhou

Rozhia Abolghasemi

Shunka Amano

Alyssa Nevarez

Bita Ghanei

Gabrielle Noullet

Seunghyun Baek

Allan Nguyen

Matthew Phillipi

Gabriel Alaniz

Rose Malki

Joseph Liao

Aster Kim

Jenna Tam