Lab Director:

Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama

The DiSH Lab is run by Dr. A. Janet Tomiyama, an associate 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:

Nadia Dellawar

Nadia is currently a fourth year at UCLA majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education. In the past year, she has participated in the DiSH Lab Summer Intensive Program, has been a DiSH Lab RA, and a study coordinator. She is excited to take on this new role as Lab Manager! After taking a few years off from school, she plans to apply to Developmental Psychology PhD programs. Outside the lab, Nadia loves teaching taekwondo, traveling and eating brunch.

Project Managers:

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!

Graduate Students:

Kristen Lee

Kristen is a first-year graduate student in UCLA's Health Psychology program. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she spent a few years working in the nonprofit and education industry before making her way to the DiSH Lab! Broadly, Kristen is interested in the biopsychosocial influences on eating behavior as well as the role that food plays in shaping our social relationships and identities. When she's not in the lab, Kristen loves working in the community garden and growing her own plant babies, hiking/backpacking, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Daniel Rosenfeld

Daniel is a second year graduate student in UCLA’s Health Psychology program. He earned his B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. Daniel’s research centers on the psychology of vegetarianism and meat consumption, particularly as they relate to identity, morality, and cognitive dissonance. Outside of academia, Daniel enjoys playing table tennis, hiking, and freestyle rapping. Check out his Google Scholar page here.

Lauren Hofschneider

Lauren Hofschneider is a third 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 third 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 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:

Pamela Abeka

Lauren Arriola-Sanchez

Sonia Avila Contreras

Ava Cazares

Kiran Cherian

Arriba Choudry

Roxanne Cooke

Brooke Cullen

Avery Douglas

Josie Equita

Elena Eu

David Figueroa

Nancy Gomez

Selina Hsuan

Sonja Kobayashi

Grace Li

Maria Ocampo

Srikar Poruri

Hana Qureshi

Angenica Ramos

Gabriella Reihanian

Daniel Silva

Emily Short

Ching Gi (Summer) Siu

Juanyi (Jane) Tan

Tamara Torosyan

Clara Zhang