Postdoctoral Trainees

Priya Borker, MD

Postdoctoral Scholar, , T32 Translational Research in Sleep Medicine
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellow
MD, Medicine, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine (2014); Residency, Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2017)
Mentors: Sanjay Patel, MD, Bernard Macatangay, MD
borkerpv@upmc.edu

Dr. Borker received her medical degree at Case Western Reserve University in 2014 with Honors and Distinction in Research. She trained at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts for both her internal medicine residency and sleep medicine fellowship. She is currently completing her Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

She is currently investigating the biological mechanisms by which sleep dysregulation predisposes to inflammation and cardiovascular disease in persons with chronic HIV infection, specifically investigating monocyte activation. Her long-term goal is to understand how sleep contributes to adverse health outcomes, particularly cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases and implement interventions to mitigate this risk.

Brian Chin, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, T32 Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine
PhD, Social, Personality, and Health Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University (2020)
Mentors: Martica Hall, PhD, Thomas Kamarck, PhD
brian.chin@pitt.edu

Brian is a postdoctoral scholar in the T32 Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training Program. He received his PhD in Social, Personality, and Health Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. Brian’s research investigates the pathways through which social relationships influence cardiovascular and sleep health. In the future, Brian aims to leverage the mechanistic insights gained from this research to develop accessible interventions that improve multidimensional sleep health.

Garrett Hisler, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
PhD, Social Psychology, University of Iowa (2019)
Mentor: Brant Hasler, PhD
hislergc@upmc.edu

Garrett is a Postdoctoral Associate working with Dr. Brant Hasler. He received his doctorate in Social Psychology from Iowa State University. Garrett’s research focuses on how circadian and sleep processes relate to self-control, personality and technology use, and how these relationships can subsequently shape health and wellbeing.

H. Matt Lehrer, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar T32 Translational Research in Sleep Medicine)
PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin (2019)
Mentors: Martica Hall, PhD and Christopher Kline, PhD
lehrerhm@upmc.edu

Matt is a postdoctoral scholar in the T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine program. He received an interdisciplinary PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education, Nutritional Sciences, and Quantitative Methods from The University of Texas at Austin. Matt’s research broadly investigates sleep health as a mechanism linking social-psychological stress and cardiometabolic disease, with emphasis on sleep timing and circadian misalignment. His long-term goal is to translate his findings to sleep-centric, lifestyle interventions to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Jennifer Newitt, MD

Postdoctoral Scholar, T32 Translational Research in Sleep Medicine
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellow
MD, Medicine, Albany Medical College (2012); Residency, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, Indiana University (2016)
Mentor: Patrick Strollo Jr., MD
newittjl@upmc.edu

Jennifer is a postdoctoral scholar within the T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Program. She received her medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Indiana University. She is currently a fellow in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and is planning to complete a fellowship in sleep medicine at UPMC. Jennifer’s research focuses on the impact of sleep disordered breathing in patients with neuromuscular disease. She is also interested in improving the transitions in care for patients with pulmonary and sleep diseases of childhood.

Michelle Stepan, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine
PhD, Psychology, Michigan State University (2019)
Mentors: Kristine Wilckens, PhD, Peter Franzen, PhD
tracyel@upmc.edu

Michelle is a postdoctoral scholar within the T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine program. She received her doctorate in Psychology from the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program at Michigan State University. Michelle’s research focuses on the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on cognitive processes, including memory, attention, and placekeeping ability. She is interested in the relationship between sleep architecture and cognitive functioning and in understanding how different behavioral and pharmacological interventions can be used to alleviate deficits caused by sleep loss.

Eunjin Tracy, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar, T32 
PhD, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2016)
Mentors: Daniel J. Buysse, MD and Martica Hall, PhD
tracyel@upmc.edu

Eunjin is a postdoctoral scholar within the T32 in Clinical and Translational Research Training in Geriatric Mental Health. She received her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison and postdoctoral training in Health Psychology from the University of Utah. Eunjin’s research broadly examines the role of sleep as central to the health behaviors in managing chronic illnesses and aging health issues in the context of couple and family relationships.

Caitlan A. Tighe, PhD

Advanced Fellow in Mental Illness Research and Treatment
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System VISN 4 MIRECC

Academic Health Sciences Fellow, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry
PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Alabama (2017)
Mentors: Daniel Buysse, MD, Daniel Forman, MD, & Adam Bramoweth, PhD

tigheca2@upmc.edu

Graduate Students

Marissa Bowman

Pre-doctoral Trainee
BA, University of Notre Dame (2016)
MS, Clinical-Health Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Mentor: Martica H. Hall, PhD
Clinical/Biological-Health Psychology Doctoral Student
Mabowman5@pitt.edu

Marissa is a third-year graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in the dual Clinical and Biological/Health Psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in the psychological and biological antecedents of sleep disturbances, and the cardiometabolic health consequences of poor sleep health.

Amy Hartman, MS, OTR/L

Pre-doctoral student in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Masters in Occupational Therapy, Xavier University
Mentor: Roxanna Bendixen, PhD
Agh38@pitt.edu

Amy is a 3rd year doctoral student and a trainee of the T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine program. She has 10 years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist and has worked with Dr. Roxanna Bendixen researching sleep in children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Amy’s personal research centers in sleep in children with Sensory Processing Disorder with a special interest in the underlying neurological components of sensory processing dysfunction that impact sleep health. Her long-term goal is to use her research to advocate for sleep intervention in special populations.

Andrew G. Kubala, MS

Pre-doctoral Trainee
PhD Candidate in the Department of Health and Human Development
BS, Exercise Science, Slippery Rock University (2015)
MS, Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease, University of Pittsburgh (2017)
Mentor: Christopher Kline, PhD
andrewkubala@pitt.edu

Andy is a PhD student in Exercise Physiology in the Department of Health and Human Development at the University of Pittsburgh. Andy’s current research explores the bi-directional relationship between physical activity behaviors and sleep physiology across the lifespan with the goal of improving sleep health through optimal physical activity interventions in insomnia. He has additional interests in exploring how sleep impacts bone health and physical function in older adults as well as how sleep impacts health in the military. 

Alice Lagoy, MS

Graduate Student Researcher
BS Gonzaga University (2014)
MS, Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (2017)
Mentors: Christopher Connaboy, PhD (primary), Fabio Ferrarelli, PhD, Anne Germain, PhD
adl59@pitt.edu

Alice is a third-year graduate student in the Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a dual appointment within the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and the Military Sleep Tactics and Resilience Research Team. Alice’s research focuses on the consequences of sleep loss and benefits of sleep on sensorimotor and cognitive performance.

Delainey Wescott, B.Sc. 

Graduate Student
B.Sc. (Hons), Neuroscience, Dalhousie University (2018)
Mentors: Kathryn Roecklein, PhD (primary); Martica Hall, PhD (secondary)
dlw92@pitt.edu

Delainey is a graduate student in the Clinical-Health Psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Dalhousie University. Delainey’s research focuses on sleep in mood disorders, specifically the role hypersomnia plays in affective disorders. Delainey is also interested in the interplay between sleep and circadian rhythms and discrepancies between measurements of sleep. 

T32 Summer Medical Students

Naveen Jain

Medical Student, Year 2
MD Candidate, Class of 2023
BS, Biology and Business Dual Major, University of Pittsburgh (2019)

Mentor: Martica Hall, PhD

Naveen is a second-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine program has allowed him to pursue his interest in clinical investigation. Naveen’s research focuses on the long-term effects of sleep deprivation during shift work on cardiovascular health. In particular, he is interested in how heart rate variability compares between retired shift workers and day workers.

Clayton Wyland

Medical Student, Year 3
BS, Biology, Maryville University (2018)
Mentor: Sanjay Patel, MD

Clayton is a medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). The T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine was an impactful opportunity to learn about sleep medicine from the viewpoint of a clinical researcher. Clayton’s research was centered around obstructive sleep apnea patients, in particular the different methods for initiating PAP therapy

Nicholas Gilbert

Medical Student, Year 3
BS, Biology, Psychology, Penn State University (2018)
Mentor: Daniel Buysse, MD

Nick is a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army through the health professions scholarship program (HPSP). In the summer of 2019, he gained valuable research experience via the T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Summer Fellowship designed for medical students. Nick’s research explores the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on sleep and various behavioral and functional outcomes.

Cristine Oh

Clinician Scientist Training Program (CSTP) Scholar
BA, Psychology, Literature, Yale University (2006)
Mentor: Anne Germain, PhD

Cristine is a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and currently a scholar in the Clinician Scientist Training Program pursuing a Masters of Clinical Research at the Institute of Clinical Research and Education (ICRE). She was a T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Summer Fellowship designed for medical students in the summer of 2017. Cristine’s research focuses on exposure to Childhood Trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and its effects on sleep.

PREVIOUS TRAINEES

Postdoctoral Trainees

Trainee Years Research Topic Mentor(s)
Jessica Hamilton, PhD* 2017-2020 Interplay between interpersonal, biological, and psychological processes in the development of depression and suicide among adolescents Peter Franzen, PhD
Chelsea Vadnie, PhD* 2018-2020 SCN manipulations and depression Colleen McClung, PhD; Brant Hasler, PhD
Jonna Morris, PhD* 2018-2019 Effects of sex and gender on sleep in acute and chronic health conditions. Martica Hall, PhD
Rachel Ogilvie, PhD* 2017-2019 Epidemiology of sleep and cardiometabolic disease Sanjay Patel, MD
Ashlee McKeon, PhD* 2016-2017 Identifying and demonstrating engagement of sleep-related neurophysiological targets influencing cognitive performance in military samples with posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury Anne Germain, PhD
Lynn Baniak, PhD, RN* 2017-2018 The relationship between sleep and frailty status and the effect of CPAP on frailty and other clinical outcomes Eileen Chasens, PhD; Patrick Strollo, MD
Rachel Kolko-Conlon, PhD* 2017-2018 Intergenerational obesity risk and the mechanisms and interventions related to sleep and circadian rhythms in the context of obesity Daniel J Buysse, MD
Ryan Brindle, PhD* 2016-2018 Sleep and cerebrovascular disease Martica Hall, PhD
Adriane Soehner, PhD* 2016 Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder in Adolescence: Interactions Among Sleep Variability, Familial Risk, and Reward-Control Processes Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Stephen Smagula, PhD* 2017 Depression in dementia caregivers: linking brain structure and sleep-wake risks Martica Hall, PhD
Matthew Cribbet, PhD* 2013-2016 Sleep, health and interpersonal function Martica Hall, PhD
Daniel Kay, PhD* 2013-2016 Sleep and circadian rhythms in humans and non-human primates Brant Hasler, PhD; Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Jessica Levenson, PhD* 2013-2016 Sleep and mood disorders Tina Goldstein, PhD; Peter Franzen, PhD
Heather Gunn, PhD* 2012-2015 Interpersonal functioning and sleep Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Kristine Wilckens, PhD 2012-2015 The role of sleep in brain health and cognition. Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Layla Banihashemi, PhD 2011-2014 Impact of early adversity on pre‐autonomic brain structures and functions Pete Gianaros, PhD; Anne Germain, PhD
Angela McDowell, PhD 2011-2014 Translational studies of sleep and trauma exposure Christopher P. O’Donnell, PhD;
Anne Germain, PhD
Eric M. Davis, MD* 2011-2013 Link between pulmonary arterial hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea Christopher P. O’Donnell, PhD
Salvatore P. Insana, PhD* 2010-2013 Impact of childhood adversity on sleep and mental health outcomes Anne Germain, PhD; David Kolko, PhD
Leah A. Irish, PhD 2011-2013 Sleep as a mechanism linking lifestyle factors with health and illness Martica H. Hall, PhD
Christopher E. Kline, PhD* 2010-2013 Interrelationships between physical activity, sleep, and cardiometabolic risk Martica H. Hall, PhD; Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Brant P. Hasler, PhD* 2009-2012 Complex interrelationships among sleep, circadian processes, and mood Anne Germain PhD; Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Faith S. Luyster, PhD* 2009-2010 Enhancing motivation for CPAP adherence in obstructive sleep apnea Patrick J. Strollo, MD
Benjamin C. Mullin, PhD* 2009-2010 Relationships between sleep disturbance and emotion regulation difficulties Mary Phillips, MD, PhD
Thomas B. Rice, MD* 2008-2010 Complex associations among sleep disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease Anne B. Newman, MD;
Patrick J. Strollo, MD
Alexander Balbir, PhD* 2007-2009 A mouse model of sleep disturbances in PTSD Christopher P. O’Donnell, PhD; Anne Germain, PhD
Michele L. Okun, PhD 2005-2009 Pregnancy-related sleep disturbances and adverse pregnancy outcomes Martica H. Hall, PhD; Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Wendy M. Troxel, PhD* 2006-2009 Dynamic association between relationships, sleep, and cardiovascular risk Daniel J. Buysse, MD;
Martica Hall, PhD
Adam Bramoweth      
*Appointed to T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine Training Grant
Graduate Students
Trainee Years Research Topic Mentor(s)
Briana Taylor (Milligan) 2012 – 2017 Emotion Regulation as a Potential Mechanism Explaining the Link between Chronotype & Alcohol Use Martica Hall, PhD
Laura Samuelsson 2011 – 2018 Self-reported sleep duration, sleep timing, and sleep disturbance and associations with incident breast cancer risk in a prospective, longitudinal cohort of women during the menopausal transition: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation Martica Hall, PhD
Shannon Edward, PsyD 2008-2011 Impact of sleep disturbances on executive function in veterans with and without PTSD Anne Germain, PhD
Carole Boudebesse, MD, MS 2009 Actigraphic measurement of sleep/wake patterns in clinical samples Anne Germain, PhD
Medical Students
Trainee Years Research Topic Mentor(s)
Oberlies, Nicholas 2018 Evaluation of pediatric time-induced sleep endoscopy in the diagnosis of airway obstruction and obstructive sleep apnea Sanjay Patel, MD
Oyefusi, Vivianne 2018 Sleep as a mediator of the association between race and hypertension Martica Hall, PhD
Cristine Oh 2017 The effects of gender and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on objective and subjective experiences of sleep Anne Germain, PhD
Sarah Hogan (Ford) 2017 Temporal spectral sleep relationships and executive function in older adults Kristine Wilckens, PhD
Mikisa Solomon 2017 The interrelationship of sleep, socioeconomic status and mental health disparities in cardiovascular disease risk. Martica Hal, PhD
Alexandra Fortunato, BS* 2016 Longitudinal examination of sleep in youth with bipolar disorder Brant Hasler, PhD
Christopher Mantick, BA* 2016 Sleep Pattern Effects on Short-Term Affect In Adolescents Brant Hasler, PhD
Julia Ngugen, BS* 2016 Effects of dose-dependent sleep disruption and gene-by-environment interactions on fear response Anne Germain, PhD
Gisela Delgado-Rosado, BS 2014 Mood response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in patients with insomnia Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Karla Kendrick, BS* 2014 The Impact of Transient Sleep on the Emotional Processing of Social Acceptance/Rejection Among Adolescents. Peter Franzen, PhD
Thomas Mike, BS* 2014 A Model Predicting Adult Substance Use Based on Sleep, Depression, and Anxiety in Pre-adolescents and Adolescents in the Pittsburgh Mother and Child Project Brant Hasler, PhD
Marshall Steele, BS* 2014 Factors Affecting Sleep and PTSD Symptoms in Active Duty Sailors and Marines Anne Germain, PhD
Timothy Ohlsen 2014 The Effect of Sleep Restriction on Risk-taking Behavior during Adolescence Peter Franzen, PhD
Amanda Brase, BS* 2013 Relationship between health status, inflammatory markers and cortisol, and sleep-related behaviors in elderly patients Martica Hall, PhD
Daniel Suter, BS* 2013 Affects of sleep disturbance treatment with Prazosin on PTSD symptoms during wakefulness, REM and NREM sleep in OIF/OEF veterans with PTSD Anne Germain, PhD
You Meme Wu 2010-2012 Predicting daytime symptoms from waking EEG in primary insomnia Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Kyle Duff, BA* 2012 Fatigue, sleep quality, and other disease-related factors in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease David Benhayon, MD
Frank Fetterolf, MD 2012 Sleep and hippocampal structure in women Martica H. Hall, PhD
Samantha Leathers, BS* 2010-2012 Sleep-related medication use in midlife women Martica H. Hall, PhD
Olga Milgrom, BA* 2010-2012 Effects of cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia on functional neuroanatomy during NREM sleep and wake Anne Germain, PhD
Marissa K. Pfoff, BS* 2012 Social Rhythm Therapy for spousally bereaved older adults Timothy H. Monk, PhD
Kelly Middleton, MD 2009-2011 Race differences in autonomic tone during sleep Martica H. Hall, PhD
Mark R. Youngberg, BS* 2008-2010 Clinical and physiological correlates of caffeine and caffeine metabolites in primary insomnia Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Daniel J. Cohen, BA* 2009-2010 Sleep profiles in combat veterans with PTSD Anne Germain, PhD
Steven R. Graham, BA 2008-2010 Primary insomnia and MRI-measured hippocampal volume Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Benjamin Israel, MD* 2009-2010 Measurement of sleep in patients with insomnia and good sleeper controls Martica H. Hall, PhD
Nina M. Fatigati, BA* 2008 A mouse model of sleep disturbances in PTSD Anne Germain, PhD; Christopher, P. O’Donnell, PhD