April, 2023As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Sophie majored in Psychobiology. The DiSH lab was her first research experience and was formative in realizing she very much enjoys research, and the innovation behind asking questions that people have not asked before, alongside her interest in medicine. As study coordinator for a 2-week randomized controlled trial, she gained fundamental skills in conducting literature reviews, creating study documents, managing data acquisition, training research assistants, using SPSS for statistical analyses, presenting at conferences, and helping prepare a manuscript for publication. All of these provided her with a solid foundation in how research works and a broad sense of how she wants her research to examine health using a biopsychosocial lens.She chose to apply for MD-PhD because she wants a career as a physician-scientist, both practicing as a physician and leading research at an academic institution. The dual degree provides an integrated experience of both research and medical training. She hopes that her practice as a physician can better inform her research and vice versa. The dual degree will help her understand both perspectives of developing new scientific knowledge and medical practice to combine into a career as a physician-scientist. She hopes to develop the skills to design high-quality studies, tackle research questions that directly impact her patients, write fundable grants, and practice as a physician.
DiSH RA Ellan Jiang Got Into Biostatistics MS program at the University of Washington
As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Ellen double-majored in Statistics (B.S.) and Psychology (B.A.) and has worked as a research assistant in the DiSH Lab since her third year. After graduation, she will join the Biostatistics MS Capstone program at the University of Washington.
Working in the DiSH Lab alongside supportive and lovely scholars, researchers, and peers with diverse backgrounds was a very meaningful experience for Ellen. As an RA, she developed good habits of learning and communication, received detailed training, and gained practical experience in conducting health psychology research, which made her realize the significance of leveraging quantitative skills in promoting health behaviors. She greatly appreciated the recognition and encouragement from Dr. T during her graduate program application process. All kinds of learning resources in and out of our lab meetings also strengthened her profile and provided helpful suggestions for her statement of purpose.
Ellen received offers from several programs, and she ultimately chose to pursue further studies in biostatistics at UW. Through the program’s 18-month systematic curriculum, she looks forward to exploring various applications in areas such as clinical trials, epidemiological methods, and environmental and spatial research. The capstone project, which differs from a traditional thesis paper and involves collaborating with peers and meeting professionals from medical schools, local tech companies, and pharmaceutical firms in Seattle, offers her an excellent opportunity. She is eager to continue her efforts to benefit human health through these endeavors.
Jordan Parker and Jordan Levinson’s Study is Covered In APS
DiSH Lab Grad Students Jordan Parker and Jordan Levinson’s longitudinal study on disordered-eating symptoms in Black and white women is covered in Association for Psychological Science (APS). Click this link to learn more!
Jordan Parker’s Study is Covered In PsychPost
DiSH Lab Grad Student Jordan Parker’s study on the relationship between skin color satisfaction, body dissatisfaction, and binge eating in Black girls is covered in PsychPost. Click this link to learn more!
Alejandra Lopez and David Figueroa Received the NSF Fellowship
A BIG congratulations to both of our full-time study coordinators, Alejandra and David, for receiving the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Fellowship! We are SOOOO proud of you both!
Dr. T is mentioned in a National Geographic ArticleDr. T is mentioned in the National Geographic Article that discusses the relationship between weight loss and health. Regarding this topic, Dr. T says “Moving the body more, getting a good night’s sleep, adding one more fruit or vegetable to your meal, and getting a handle on your stress—these are things that make anyone healthier, no matter their weight.” Please click this link to learn more!
DiSH RA Joon Soo Kim Got Into Johns Hopkins School of MedicineJoon majored in Psychobiology at UCLA. He thought the biggest thing he gained out of the DiSH Lab was an understanding of how social norms and small nuances in human interactions can dramatically affect the delivery of healthcare (i.e. weight stigma, or really any other kind of stigma, and how these affect physician trust/adhesion to medical guidance). Aside from the research skills and experiences he learned while working in the Lab, he feels like his ability to speak passionately about LOOSE and COFI and how they fit into his own personal interests was an important part of his application.One thing he really liked about the “Genes to Society Curriculum” at Johns Hopkins is their dedication to understanding and teaching about the social determinants of healthcare. He thought this was really well-aligned with his experiences in the DiSH Lab. He thinks he still has a lot to learn in navigating the intersection of social issues and medicine, particularly in areas outside of weight stigma. He is looking forward to continuing to grow in this area to hopefully become a more trustworthy provider!
Dr. T is featured in a National Geographic article
Dr. T is featured in a National Geographic article that discusses the negative consequences of weight-shaming. Click here to learn more.
Dr. T being a Guest Speaker in Her Former Student Isha Das’ Podcast
Dr. T’s former student Isha Das invited Dr. T to be a guest speaker for their podcast. In the episode “Training the Brain to Crave Healthier Food”, Dr. T discussed the effect of food on stress and her Pavlovian Intervention to Condition Comforting Effects of Fruits study. To check out the podcast and learn more, please click here.
DiSH RA Cassidy Elkins Got Into the UCLA MSW program
Cassidy is a psychology major with both an Education Studies and Community Engagement and Social Change minor. She worked in the DiSH lab for about two years, where she realized her passion for psychology. Working in the DiSH lab allowed her to work with other like-minded individuals, enhance her analytical thoughts, and work on her leadership abilities. She also fostered her communication and collaboration skills working with other peers and Ph.D. students. As she worked as a research assistant, helped with data analysis, and completed the hair auditing, she believes that she also learned how to ask for and take more responsibility. She was able to work on her professional skills weekly which contributed to her acceptance into the UCLA MSW program. She hopes her fostered skills will help her excel in the UCLA MSW program. She also hopes to gain the knowledge and abilities to eventually become a therapist for young adults.
Daniel won a gold medal in US Open Table Tennis Championships
Daniel participated in US Open Table Tennis Championships from December 16 – December 21, 2022, and won a gold medal in the Paralympic division doubles event. Congratulations, Daniel!!
Dr. T‘s study is quoted in Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s landmark statement
Dr. T’s study is quoted in this landmark statement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation saying that health is more than weight. For more details, check out this link!
Alejandra Lopez Received Student Research Award at ISTSS
Congratulations to DiSH study coordinator and former lab manager Alejandra Lopez for receiving the Lifestyle Interventions for Traumatic Stress Special Interest Group student research award for her abstract at ISTSS (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies)! Check out the great news and Alejandra’s poster here!
Dr. T got major coverage in the Washington Post
Check out the article here to learn more about stress eating and ways to train your brain to crave healthy foods!
DiSH Lab Alumni Sophia Antoci launched her "School Psych Finds" podcast
Daniel’s blog on stereotypes about race and vegetarianism is posted on SPSP
Check out Daniel’s post using this link
DiSH Lab’s 10th Year Anniversary Celebration
If you are interested in our previous posts, please visit our blog archive to access them!