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Jamie Feusner Jamie Feusner Director
Principal Investigator

Director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Intensive Treatment Program and Associate Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. He is currently funded by the NIH to study visual and emotional information processing in BDD, and the effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy on neurometabolites in obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Courtney Sheen Courtney Sheen

Courtney Sheen, M.A. is a staff research associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and linguistics from California State University, Northridge and her Master’s from Pepperdine University. A great deal of her work is in the administration of psychological assessments.

Sarah Madsen Sarah Madsen

Sarah Madsen is a PhD candidate in the UCLA Neuroscience Interdepartmental Ph.D. program. She received her B.S. in neuroscience and psychobiology from UCLA. Currently she is working in the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging under Dr. Paul Thompson. Her work focuses on using multiple brain imaging modalities to investigate the human brain in Alzheimer's disease, aging, and BDD. Sarah is also very involved with science teaching and outreach in the community.

Giulia Salgari Giulia Salgari

Giulia Salgari in originally from Italy. She graduated with a B.A. and a Master Degree in clinical psychology from University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan (Italy). Prior to joining the Feusner Lab, she worked as Research Assistant at the Center for Anxiety and Eating Disorders- San Raffaele Turro Hospital (Milan) under the supervision of her mentor prof. Laura Bellodi. Since 2014 she has been part of the Italian Psychologists’ Association. She is interested in psychiatry disorders with a particular focus on Eating Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders.

She is planning to apply for a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. 

Wei Li Wei Li

Wei Li is a graduate student in the UCLA Neuroscience Interdepartmental Ph.D. program.  He graduated with a B.S. in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech in 2009.  He is currently studying visual processing in BDD and AN using EEG and fMRI.  Outside the lab, his interests include basketball, sports analytics, and discovering new places to eat around LA.

Vivian Shen Vivian Shen

Vivian Shen is a 3rd year Neuroscience major from San Francisco. She is interested in mental illness and psychiatry, with a particular passion for helping those with depression and eating disorders. Prior to joining the Feusner lab, Vivian has worked at the UCSF Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease studying the role of progranulin in Alzheimer’s Disease and at the London Lab at UCLA’s Semel Institute understanding addiction and the effects of cigarette smoking on the orbitofrontal cortex. In the Feusner Lab, she is focusing on visual processing in Anorexia Nervosa and BDD as understood through subjective ratings of faces and bodies and hopes to understand ways of improving treatment based on her findings.

Tsz Man Lai Tsz Man Lai

Tsz Man Lai (Jimmy) is a staff research associate for the UCLA Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program. He graduated with a B.A in psychology from UCLA in 2011. He is interested in applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to better understand the etiology of psychiatric disorders like body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys playing basketball, watching movies, and pretending to be a rock star with his guitar.

Rachel Lapidus Rachel Lapidus

Rachel Lapidus is a volunteer research assistant in Dr. Feusner’s lab. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College in 2014 and will begin graduate training at The University of Tulsa’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program with an assistantship at The Laureate Institute for Brain Research in the fall of 2015. Rachel is primarily interested in studying interoception in patients with eating disorders, particularly Anorexia Nervosa.

Nathan Hutcheson Nathan Hutcheson

Nathan Hutcheson is a postdoctoral scholar working in the lab of Dr. Feusner.  He graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Emory in 2007 and a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2014. He is currently conducting research on differential emotional processing in anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder. In addition, he is assisting in collaborations with the analysis of resting state data in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder and using graph theory to study participants with hoarding disorder.

Nahal Sabrkhani Nahal Sabrkhani

Nahal Sabrkhani is a third year undergraduate student studying Psychobiology here at UCLA. Her research interests include BDD, particularly eating disorders. BDD involved promoting community health education. Nahalhopes to someday obtain an M.D and an M.PH and pursue a career biobehavioral sciences.

Matt Sasaki Matt Sasaki

Matt Sasaki is originally from Fresno, CA. Currently, he is working with Dr. Jamie Feusner and Teena Moody on a PPI analysis on regions of the brain used for processing faces. Matt recently graduated from UCLA (Fall 2012) and will be applying to medical school in June.

Jessica Keane Jessica Keane

Jessica Keane is in her third year of undergraduate study at UCLA. She is studying Neuroscience and plans on going into the medical field. She values the experience and education that being involved in a research team provides.

David Aitken David Aitken

David Aitken, a doctoral student in the Applied Clinical Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, is a volunteer assisting Jamie Feusner, M.D. in his research on OCD. David is interested in learning more about the emotional and cognitive processes that contribute to psychological disorders related to anxiety and depression, the treatments that are most effective with these disorders, and how to best to study these phenomena.

Danyale McCurdy-McKinnon Danyale McCurdy-McKinnon, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Danyale McCurdy-McKinnon, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA). She is the Clinical Psychology Director of the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight Clinic where she provides brief psychological interventions and psychiatric referrals to pediatric patients struggling with obesity and serves as a clinical supervisor. She also serves as a consultant at the ULCA Anxiety Disorders Research Program and contributes to research pertaining to the biological underpinnings of body dysmorphic disorder and anorexia nervosa. Dr. McCurdy-McKinnon also has a private practice – with offices in Westwood and Downtown Los Angeles – where she specializes in eating disorders and weight issues. She has over a decade of experience working with eating and weight disorders and has been trained by some of the leading experts in the field. Her training began as an undergraduate at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital while attending the University of Oklahoma. She then attended the University of Kansas for graduate school, specializing in behavioral medicine, eating disorders, and obesity management, receiving her Ph.D. in 2010. She then completed a predoctoral internship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience. From 2010-2012, Dr. McCurdy-McKinnon completed a combined research and clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) Eating Disorders Program. Following her fellowship, she was an attending psychologist in the UCLA Eating Disorders Program at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital from 2012-2015. Dr. McCurdy-McKinnon aims to integrate modern empirically supported treatment modalities with attachment theory in her treatment practices, while examining eating pathology and its neurobiological correlates in research.

Alexander Zai Alexander Zai

Alexander Zai is a fourth year undergraduate studying Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is currently researching the correlation between brain morphology and symptom severity in BDD patients.

Sahib Khalsa MD, PhD Sahib Khalsa

Sahib Khalsa MD, PhD is a 4th year Psychiatry resident at UCLA, currently serving as program Chief Resident and as Chief Resident in the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic. His graduate school research focused on understanding how factors including aging, brain injury and mental training (meditation) modulate interoceptive awareness, or how we perceive the internal states of our bodies. His current research extends this interest into clinical domains, examining whether cardiac interception  and anxiety are differentially modulated in conditions including anorexia nervosa and cardiovascular disease states.


Larissa Portnoff Larissa Portnoff

Larissa Portnoff is a staff research associate at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Denver. She is interested in how neurocognitive factors such as social cognition make one vulnerable for future psychopathology. In her free time she likes to sing in the car and spend time with family/friends.

Teena Moody Teena Moody

Teena’s research is focused on techniques to analyze data from different sources including functional MRI, DTI, resting state data, and neuropsychological assessments to investigate the neural bases of several disorders.  She is excited about exploiting multiple modalities to discover how pharmacological and behavioral treatments affect brain function, with a long-term goal of helping to develop early detection techniques and intervention therapies for disorders such as BDD, Anorexia Nervosa, ADHD, and OCD.  Prior to receiving her Ph.D in Neuroscience at UCLA, Teena worked at Hughes Aircraft Company and Sirius II Corp, on projects varying from laser-eye-protection goggles and infrared imaging systems, to projection systems for 3-D movies. She has a very understanding husband, two wonderful kids, and a crazy dog. 

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