Principal Investigator

Chad M. Sylvester, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Department of Psychiatry profile:

Dr. Sylvester is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine. He completed M.D. and Ph.D. (neuroscience) degrees in 2009, a general residency in psychiatry in 2012, and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry in 2014, all at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Sylvester uses computer games and neuroimaging to study attention in youth with anxiety disorders.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Michael Perino, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Michael is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018, where he studied socioaffective processing in externalizing adolescents. He uses computer games and fMRI to study emotion processing and moral decision-making.

Rebecca Schwarzlose, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Rebecca Schwarzlose is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience from MIT and formerly served as Editor of the scholarly reviews journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Dr. Schwarzlose studies the mechanisms of functional specialization in brain development with a particular focus on the developmental neural underpinnings of anxiety disorders.


Jennifer Harper

Research Staff

Jennifer graduated with a Masters in Applied Health Behavior Research from Washington University School of Medicine in 2021 and from University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) with a Bachelors in Psychology with minors in Biological Sciences and Chemistry in 2017. Jennifer has prior experience assisting with EEGs and other assessments with 6 and 12 month old children. She also has experience conducting child observations within various elementary schools in Jefferson City. She currently works as a coordinator for Dr. Sylvester’s Anxiety studies and conducts clinical interviews, eye tracking tasks, behavioral assessments and fMRIs with infants and adolescents.

Shelby Kessler

Professional Rater I

Shelby graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a B.S. in Psychology, as well as a minor in Women’s Studies. Shelby has experience in working with adolescents and adults in multiple settings such as residential, hospitals, and youth centers. Shelby currently coordinates Dr. Sylvester’s Anxiety Studies with Jennifer and Megan, and helps conduct eye tracking tasks and fMRIs with infants and adolescents.

Michael Myers


Since completing his BA in English in 2009, Michael developed an interest in computer science and has gained experience in business intelligence and analytics. He now assists with fMRI data processing and analysis in support of Dr. Sylvester’s studies.

Beth Brunworth, MSW

Clinical Research Coordinator

Beth received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Beth serves as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the EEDP.  She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and her B.A. in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.  Beth has experience working with kids, adolescents, and adults in school, residential, research, and agency-based settings. She has particularly focused on clinical work with children and teens.  Within the EEDP, Beth conducts parent and child assessments for multiple ongoing studies, and oversees hiring and staff onboarding.

Molly Mendoza, LCSW

Clinical Research Coordinator

Molly Mendoza is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an MSW from Colorado State University. 

Molly coordinates the Brexanolone Imaging Study that aims to characterize brain network changes associated with postpartum depression and treatment response to the medication brexanolone.  

Victoria Brooks

Clinical Coordinator I

Victoria is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work. She became clinically licensed in Social Work in 2017 and has previously worked at the Early Emotional Development Program at Washington University conducting behavioral assessments for teens and their caregivers. 

Zoey Deutsch

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zoey is a sophomore at Washington University, pursuing a B.A. in Psychological & Brain Sciences: Cognitive Neuroscience with aspirations to matriculate to medical school.  Her research interests surround different methods of treatment for psychiatric disorders and the ways in which we can use neuroscience to better understand the causality and progression of these disorders.  She is excited to broaden her background in both neuroscience and research through her experiences in the SEAL lab.

Minerva Pappu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Minerva is currently a junior at Washington University in St Louis majoring in Physics and Psychology and Brain Sciences. She hopes to go to graduate school for clinical psychology and use her computational skills from her physics and math background combined with some statistical programming skills to find better ways of modeling brain activity to better understand pathways and their connections to behaviors.

Lab Alumni

Tommy Baumel

Tommy completed his B.A. in Psychological & Brain Sciences: Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Medical Humanities from Washington University in St. Louis. He worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Sylvester from spring 2017-summer 2019 where he conducted behavioral analyses on the eye tracking data and computer games. Tommy is currently a medical school student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Amanda Namchuk

Amanda worked in the lab from June 2018 to May 2019 assisting with subject testing. She also used survey data from the Attention in Anxiety and Depression study to conduct an independent study project for her PNP Capstone examining the relations among family history of psychopathology, child psychopathology, and child attention. In July 2019 Amanda will begin working as a Research Assistant in the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Lab at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD under Dr. Irwin Lucki. She will be assisting with a variety of projects, but she is most excited to help develop novel antidepressants in animal models using metabolites of ketamine. In the fall she will be applying to neuroscience PhD programs.

Bruce Ramphal

Bruce has been investigating the relations between socioeconomic status, resting-state functional connectivity at birth, and psychiatric symptoms at age 2 years. He worked in the lab in the summers of 2017 and 2018, and has since continued working on his project remotely. Bruce recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in Neuroscience and will be working at Columbia University in the Department of Psychiatry with Amy Margolis researching neurodevelopment.

Ben Srivastava, MD

Ben Srivastava worked in the SEAL lab as a PGY4 psychiatry resident at Wash U, from 2017-2018, learning the basics of neuroimaging and working on the functional connectivity of the human amygdala in highly sampled subjects from the Dosenbach Lab (  Working in the SEAL lab was Ben’s first experience with neuroimaging, and he absolutely loved it.  Currently Ben is a clinical and research fellow in Substance Use Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute.  He is currently working under Chad’s long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Gaurav Patel (, applying the techniques he learned in the SEAL lab to look at subcortical-cortical resting state functional connectivity as a predictor of relapse in substance use disorders.

Qiongru Yu, M.Ed

Qiongru worked in the SEAL from July 2017 to June 2019 as a research staff. She worked on applying the fMRI data processing pipeline and developing tools for resting state and task fMRI data analysis for various projects in the lab. Qiongru was also involved in fMRI and eye tracking data collection with infants and adolescents. In fall 2019 Qiongru will join the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology as a PhD student working with Dr. Jillian Wiggins to investigate the neural correlates of child psychopathology.

Shana Sanchez

Shana worked in the SEAL from September 2015 until May 2017. She helped launch the start of the Anxiety study–recruited, scheduled, helped with MRI’s, eye-tracking, and managed the administrative side of things. Shana went on to study Social Work at University of Chicago, and is now a Child Therapist.

Katherine Pope, M.Ed., LPC, NCC

Kathy completed her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with an emphasis on Family and Couples counseling and also received her B.S. degree from Purdue University. Kathy’s prior experience included working in pediatric hospice, advocacy work with various area agencies, and working with families affected by domestic violence. Kathy conducted parent interviews for the PCIT study at the EEDP. Kathy worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the PDS study, Jennings PCIT-ED Pilot study and was working with the PED-SI study.  She conducted assessments for several of the studies in the EEDP.

Megan Manhart

Megan worked in the SEAL lab as a Professional Rater I from August 2019 to August 2021. She coordinated Dr. Sylvester’s anxiety studies, and conducted eye-tracking tasks, fMRIs, and behavioral assessments with infants and adolescents. In the fall of 2021, Megan will begin work towards a Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis in Mental & Behavioral Health at the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis.