Segerstrom Lab


Trainees in the Segerstrom Lab have diverse interests within health psychology, although most are interested in aspects of self-regulation, aging, or both.  From left to right, we are:

Elana Gloger (3rd year PhD student). Prior experience as a neuropsychological research assistant and a course in psychoneuroimmunology led me to Dr. Segerstrom’s lab in the fall of 2017 after I received my B.A in Psychology and B.S. in Biological Sciences at Ohio University. My current research interests can be broadly be described as investigating mind-brain-body connections, with a focus on the way our immune systems interact with the environment (and vice versa). More specifically, I am interested in the mechanisms by which this interaction influences how individuals age through older adulthood (i.e. good vs. poor aging). In my free time I enjoy cooking, running, local coffee shops, and catching up on my latest TV show obsessions (currently: The Handmaid’s Tale, MasterChef, and The Good Place). More information about me, current projects, and typical musings of a 3rd year graduate student can be found on my twitter account (@EG_healthpsych) or at ResearchGate (

Stephanie Judge (4th year PhD student). Having accumulated post-baccalaureate research experience in psychology and rheumatology, I came to University of Kentucky to combine my love of both fields by joining Dr. Segerstrom's psychoneuroimmunology lab. The current focus of my research is exploring biopsychosocial influences on pain and pain interference across various pain conditions. For my masters thesis I investigated the effects of personality (optimism) and daily activity on pain interference. Going forward, I plan to compare biopsychosocial factors influencing central sensitization and pain interference across various pain populations. In my free time, I enjoy sewing, baking, learning new languages, and gardening. My husband and I love living in Lexington, and our German Shepherd loves romping around the Bluegrass.

Anita Adams (2nd year PhD student) During my post-baccalaureate experience, I gained a wide array of research and clinical experience in psychology that cemented my desire to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. I come from a primarily developmental psychology background from my undergraduate research experience at North Carolina State University, and after graduation, I sought out clinical and research experiences that involved working with older adult, middle adult, and child populations with diagnoses such as dementia, hormonally-impacted depression (specifically, perimenopausal depression), and autism. I was enamored with the University of Kentucky and particularly Dr. Segerstrom’s lab due to the potential for high-quality and ample research and clinical experience and training in my preferred area of interest. My research and clinical interests lay at the intersection of aging, health, emotion, and personality traits on the normal and abnormal spectrum. More specifically, I am interested in personality trait and disorder development across the lifespan and specifically how external (e.g., SES, culture) and internal (e.g., emotion regulation/understanding, health) factors impact and potentially alter personality trait and disorder development. In my free time, I am avidly involved in “geek” culture. I enjoy playing video games, watching anime, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and cosplaying (e.g., dressing up in costume as a character from some form of media but most often anime and video games). I also love to video edit, read novels from the Victorian Era, and write fantasy-genre short stories and novels.

Natasha Garcia (psychology intern, Palo Alto VA; not pictured). Dr. Segerstrom and Dr. Berry are my co-mentors. I am interested in cognitive change and psychological well-being in aging populations and individuals with with neurodegenerative disease. Additionally, I have an interest in helping those with chronic illness, neurodegenerative disease, and caregivers cope with distress. My recent research focuses on purpose in life and quality of life in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and their caregivers. I chose to study at the University of Kentucky based on shared research interests with my mentors, high caliber training with the Clinical Scientist model, secure funding, and diverse clinical training opportunities. Outside of graduate school I enjoy yoga, craft beer, hiking, and canoeing

Collaborating researchers (not pictured):

Kate Leger, PhD (collaborating researcher). I am a collaborating researcher with the Segerstrom Lab and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. I completed my PhD in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. My research examines how people’s emotional responses to stress impacts their physical health across the adult life span. I am interested in the effects of emotions that linger after a stressor is over, and I examine the impact of these emotional responses on health behaviors and outcomes such as sleep, disease development, and physiological functioning. I employ a multi-method approach, using naturalistic longitudinal designs and lab-based experimental studies to assess physical health as a life-long process that is influenced by a culmination of emotional experiences to daily events.

Karen Lawrence, PhD (collaborating researcher). I am a collaborating researcher with the Segerstrom Lab and an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work. My background is interdisciplinary and includes a PhD in neuroscience and an MSW in mental health social work. The goal of my research program is to improve mental health outcomes in traumatized populations and advance understanding of the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to trauma-related pathologies to improve prevention and treatment. With the Segerstrom Lab, I am investigating associations between executive functioning and biomarkers of inflammation during aging in older adults and the relationship between early-life socioeconomic context and the frequency of positive versus negative life events in aging adults, potential mediators, and sex-specific differences. Dr. Segerstrom is mentoring my career development proposal involving a psychoneuroimmunological approach to understanding biopsychosocial factors underlying trauma-related symptomatology in later life.

Lab alumni:

Jay Castaneda, PhD.  Faculty, Georgetown College.

Alyssa Averill, PhD.  Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, Pencils of Promise.

Lise Solberg Nes, PhD.  Faculty, University of Oslo.

Abbey Roach, PhD.  Director of Psychology and Neuropsychology, Frazier Rehabilitation Institute.

Sarah (McQueary) Flynn, PhD.  Faculty, University of the Cumberlands.

Daniel Evans, PhD.  Faculty, University of Washington School of Medicine.

Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD.  Faculty, University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine.

Jaime Hardy, PhD.  Private practice, Lexington, KY.

Hannah Combs, PhD. Postdoctoral scholar, Baylor University.

Paul Geiger, PhD. Postdoctoral fellow, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ian Boggero, PhD. Postdoctoral scholar, University of Cincinnati.

Rebecca Reed, PhD. Faculty, University of Pittsburgh.

Conference presentations:

Paper presentation to the American Psychosomatic Society, 2020 (Segerstrom)

Poster presentation to the American Psychosomatic Society, 2020 (Adams)

Poster presentation to the American Psychosoamtic Society, 2020 (Gloger)

Poster presentation to the American Psychosomatic Society, 2020 (Hillmann)

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