Dr. Roecklein started the Seasonality Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. She has a B.S. in Neuroscience (Biology and Psychology) and Minor in Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1995. She earned her Ph.D. in Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland in 2008. Please see the About page for research interests for the lab.
The Roecklein Lab is engaged in cutting edge research to identify the biological, psychological, and socioenvironmental causes behind seasonal affective disorder (SAD). We are currently enrolling participants in our NIH Funded research study on SAD, and interested volunteers can click here to learn more and complete a confidential, online screening.
One main goal of understanding the multiple causes of SAD is to identify individualized treatment predictions for different individuals with SAD. We are using the post-illumination pupil reflex to measure how individuals differ in their responsivity to light, as this may explain why some individuals develop depression in winter, while others do not. Other measures we are taking include hormonal levels for Melatonin, and DNA samples to measure genetic variations in the genes related to light perception, circadian rhythms, sleep, neurotransmitter function, reward processing, and emotion.
Future goals of the lab include determining which variables, such as the pupil or genetic or hormonal measures, may predict whether a given person with SAD responds to one of the multiple treatments for SAD including bright light therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (CBT-SAD), or antidepressant medication.
Dr. Roecklein enjoys biking and playing with her family when not working. She also enjoys playing soccer, snowboarding, hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, and plans to learn to ski this winter. Her favorite animals are horses, cats, specific types of dogs, rabbits, birds & owls, moose, bison, and chipmunks.