TELO Lab Team
Aoife O'Donovan, Ph.D.
Dr. O’Donovan leads the TELO Lab. She received her undergraduate education in psychology and philosophy at University College Cork and subsequently completed a Masters in Health Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. During her Masters, she conducted experimental research examining the effects of subtle manipulations of social support on cardiovascular responses to acute stress. Inspired by the findings of this research, she pursued a PhD in Clinical Psychobiology at University College Dublin and St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin funded by the Craig Dobbin Newman Scholarship in Mental Health Research. Her PhD research focused on uncovering associations between threat-related psychological variables and indices and mechanisms of biological aging including inflammatory activity and telomere length. Currently, Dr. O’Donovan is a Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellow at UCSF studying the psychological and biological mechanisms by which psychological stress accelerates biological aging. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, biking and skiing in the Bay Area and travel to her native Ireland.
Honors & Awards
2010-2015 Society in Science – The Branco Weiss Fellowship
2012 Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research
2012 National Institutes of Health Mobile Health Summer Institute Travel Award
2011 Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Trainee Award
2011 RAND Summer Institute Travel Award
2011 Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion Travel Award
2010 Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Trainee Award
2008 American Association of University Women International Fellowship (Declined)
2008 Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Trainee Award
2008 American Psychosomatic Society Young Scholar Award
2008 Health Research Board, Ireland award to attend National Cancer Institute Summer Curriculum
2007-2009 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to University of California San Francisco
2007-2008 Fulbright Scholarship to University of California San Francisco
2007 Psychological Society of Ireland Postgraduate Student of the Year (1st place)
2005 Health Research Board, Ireland award to attend British Council Scientific Writing Workshop
2004-2007 Craig Dobbin Newman Scholarship in Mental Health Research at University College Dublin
1998 College Scholar Award, University College Cork
Ashkan Ahmadian, B.A.
Ashkan Ahmadian is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, pursuing a degree in psychology. With a passion for the health sciences, he aspires to pursue a career in the medical field. His particular research interest involves gaining a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that allow stress to have such wide-range effects on physiology and learning more about the intimate roles that psychological factors like hypervigilance play in this relationship. When he isn’t studying or working, Ashkan likes to de-stress by taking walks, watching comedy, and slacklining with his friends.
_Adam Luxenberg, B.A.
Adam is a medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. He has arrived at the TELO lab following a long-standing interest in the biology of aging and a more recent interest in stress. In the TELO lab, Adam studies the relationship between trauma exposure and threat sensitivity in individuals with and without post-traumatic disorder. When he isn’t working on school or research work you can find him listening to bluegrass music and hiking, biking, or backpacking.
Kristen Nishimi, B.A.
Kristen recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology in the College of Letters & Science. After completing coursework in many different concentrations of psychology including cognitive, biological, clinical, social and developmental, she developed a particular interest in the application of positive psychology in the study and treatment of mental illness. Interest in both psychology and public health have lead to past work experience in different medical offices and clinics, hospital quality improvement, and the student-run psychology research journal at Berkeley. Integrating all this into studying health effects of chronic stress and PTSD in Veterans is particularly exciting and important to her. In the future, she intends to further her research interests by pursuing an advanced degree that would hit on both health/social psychology and public health. Besides psychology, she enjoys traveling with friends, hiking, painting, cooking, and exploring the beautiful bay area.
Mark Pacult, B.A.
Mark is a post-baccalaureate student at UC Berkeley completing his medical school pre-requisites. After graduating from Harvard, where he studied architectural philosophy, Mark worked at a law firm in Paris for two years. His interest in solving topical global health problems like PTSD in veterans using technology and rehabilitative medicine brought him to TELO lab, where he hopes to help develop mobile health applications and learn about the biological effects of stress, trauma, and aging. Outside of class and work, Mark enjoys exploring the bay area, cycling, swimming, sailing, and reading.
Annika Rose, B.A.c
Annika is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, entering her senior year as a double major in neurobiology and cognitive science. She was drawn to the research conducted by the TELO lab due to her interests in mental health, particularly the effects that psychological factors like stress and depression have on brain chemistry and immunological function. She hopes to attend graduate school for neuroscience and one day work in the field of psychopharmacology. When she is not working or studying, you can find her listening to drum & bass music or tending the net on the hockey rink.
Rebecca Rosser, M.A.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a Master’s degree from the Wright Institute, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include the effects of childhood trauma on adult psychosocial functioning. She has worked for several years as a study coordinator at UCSF’s Department of Psychiatry, examining the mechanisms underlying depression. She also works at the San Francisco VA PTSD program, providing individual and group psychotherapy to veterans coping with military and early life trauma. Originally from Massachusetts, Rebecca enjoys exploring the west coast with friends as a retreat from graduate school.