GFED Scholars

 

GFED identifies promising young researchers and helps speed their development to deliver solutions for the treatment & elimination of eating disorders. 

 

 
 

Kendra Becker

Harvard University

Kendra Becker


Kendra received a B.A. from Purdue University in behavioral neuroscience and a M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The University of Georgia. She completed a pre-doctoral internship and is finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eating Disorder Clinical and Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-Harvard Medical School (MGH-HMS) under the mentorship of Drs. Jennifer J. Thomas, Kamryn T. Eddy, and Elizabeth A. Lawson. Her interest focuses on the neurobiology of emotional and reward/reinforcement mechanisms that motivate and maintain eating pathology. By integrating neurobiology, neuroendocrinology, personality traits, and cognitive and emotional functioning, her hope is to develop not only integrative explanatory models of disordered eating, but also to identify new targets for treatment interventions. Congruent with these aims and with the guidance of my mentors, Kendra was awarded an NIH-NIMH NRSA award (F32MH111127) comparing the reward neurobiology of anorexia nervosa and low-weight avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). An integral part of her training under this fellowship is the treatment of individuals with a range of eating pathology, including ARFID. As there are currently no empirically supported treatments for ARFID, her team is conducting an open pilot study of a novel cognitive behavioral therapy, developed by Drs. Thomas and Eddy, to address the key maintaining mechanisms and possible neurobiological features of ARFID. As a GFED scholar, she will examine the responsiveness of hormonal and neurological features of ARFID, hypothesized to be mechanistic both in illness and recovery, to our team’s treatment.

Alison Darcy

Stanford University

Alison Darcy


Dr. Darcy has been an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She conducted her PhD research at University College Dublin where she developed and evaluated a group cognitive behavioral therapy for people with chronic anorexia nervosa. She is interested in building an evidence base that informs the development, adoption and implementation of internet and mobile health behavior change applications in mental health care. Particularly exciting is the potential these technologies offer for individualized medicine and targeted prevention and/or treatment.

Britny Hildebrandt

University of Pittsburgh

Britny Hildebrandt


Britny Hildebrandt, MA (Michigan State University) Interests: Biological bases of eating disorders, and translational approaches to study the neurobiology of eating pathology, including hormonal influences and reward circuitry alterations in human and animal models.

Laura Mayhall

Michigan State University

Laura Mayhall


Laura Mayhall is a second year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at Michigan State University in Dr. Kelly Klump’s lab. In May 2015, Laura graduated Summa Cum Laude as a University Honors Scholar from Auburn University with a concomitant degree in Psychology and Spanish. Her research interests focus on the etiology of eating disorders and the interaction between genetic/neurobiological factors (e.g., hormones and brain reward pathways) and psychological (e.g., personality) and environmental (e.g., societal pressures for thinness) risk factors. As an undergraduate student at Auburn University and a post-baccalaureate research assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Laura gained extensive research experience on studies examining neuropsychological and neural risk factors and interventions for a range of psychological and medical disorders. Laura’s academic and research records earned her a number of awards and honors, including membership in several honor societies (Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, Sigma Delta Pi, National Society of Collegiate Scholars) and nomination to the Dean’s list. In addition, at Auburn University, Laura was named a 2012 College of Science and Mathematics Outstanding Freshman, and she was elected a National Merit Scholar in 2011. Since beginning graduate school, Laura has presented her research at multiple conferences, including meetings of the Eating Disorder Research Society in New York City, and the Behavioral Genetics Association in Oslo, Norway. She has also been a contributing author on book chapters and empirical studies examining biological and hormonal risk factors for eating pathology.

Joanna Steinglass

Columbia University

Joanna Steinglass


Dr. Joanna Steinglass is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychiatry in the Center for Eating Disorders at NYSPI/CUMC. Dr. Steinglass graduated from Amherst College, and received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed her psychiatry training at NYSPI/Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed a Research Fellowship in Eating Disorders under the mentorship of B. Timothy Walsh, M.D. and has continued as faculty in the Center for Eating Disorders since that time.

Melanie Brown

Icahn School, Mt Sinai

Melanie Brown


Melanie Brown, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Eating and Weight Disorders Program at Mount Sinai. Dr. Brown’s research interests focus on investigating the etiology and course of eating disorders using neuropsychological measures and neuroimaging. She has co-authored numerous publications on eating disorders in children, adolescents, and diverse populations.

Molly Foukal

Duke University

Molly Foukal


Dr. Foukal is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Stephanie Knatz Peck


Dr. Peck’s approach focuses on delivering state-of-the-art, evidence-based treatments for a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and relational issues in a warm and compassionate manner that recognizes the human spirit. She has extensive training in health psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy and offers scientifically-backed treatments for: eating disorders, obesity, adolescent and child issues, anxiety management, and mood disorders, and coping skills training. She regularly presents at professional conferences and have published professional chapters and articles. Other areas of expertise include family-based treatment for eating disorders, parent training, behavioral weight loss, and mindfulness training for all ages and is trained and certified in biofeedback, an effective psychophysiological treatment for anxiety disorders and other health issues including chronic pain, IBS, and childhood abdominal pain.

Cristin Runfola

U of NC, Chapel Hill

Cristin Runfola


Dr. Runfola holds a Clinical Assistant Professorship at Stanford University and a private practice in Menlo Park. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from PAU and completed a psychology internship and NIH-funded post-doctoral research fellowship in eating disorders at the UNC-CH. Dr Runfola has received extensive training in the delivery of evidence-based practice for a variety of issues including eating disorders, weight-related concerns, mood disorders, and relationship concerns. As a research-practitioner, she has worked to develop and study both prevention and treatment programs, which included developing protocols for delivering therapy in individual and couple-based formats either in person, online, or via video-conferencing.

Vibha Singhal

Harvard University

Vibha Singhal


Vibha Singhal is a pediatric endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is interested in dissecting the impact of body composition and different fat depots like visceral, subcutaneous, marrow and brown fat on bone health in adolescents across the nutritional spectrum. Adolescence is the time of maximum bone accrual and factors impacting that process are crucial to the future fracture risk. She was awarded the GFED grant to support her project evaluating changes in marrow fat after estrogen and IGF-1 administration in young women with anorexia nervosa.

Tiffany Brown

UC, San Diego

Tiffany Brown


Dr. Brown is a Research Scientist at the San Diego State University Research Foundation and a postdoctoral research fellow at the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center. Her research interests include psychosocial risk factors for eating disorders in male and sexual minority populations, how gastric interoception relates to eating disorder symptoms in anorexia nervosa, and the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and body image disturbance in diverse populations.

Natasha Fowler

Michigan State University

Natasha Fowler


Natasha Fowler is a second year Clinical Psychology graduate student at Michigan State University (MSU). She graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychobiology and minors in Nutritional Biology and Neuroscience. She is also a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Eating and Weight Disorders Certificate Program. Natasha’s research interests focus on physiological, endocrinological, and neural risk factors for eating behavior and eating disorders, particularly as they relate to stress, ovarian hormones, and eating disorders characterized by binge eating. Natasha has presented her research at numerous conferences, including the Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). She has published papers on maladaptive eating behaviors in bariatric patients, as well as ovarian hormone influence on binge eating in women. She has also been awarded numerous grants (6 in total) and awards, among which include the Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship at UC Davis and the MSU Distinguished Fellowship, both of which are highly competitive, campus-wide awards aimed at furthering undergraduate and graduate research. Natasha is also a mentee on an NIH administrative supplement aimed at promoting minority participation in higher education and research.

Luke Stoeckel

Harvard University

Luke Stoeckel


Dr. Stoeckel is the Director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience of Obesity and Diabetes Program, and manages a portfolio of basic and applied cognitive, behavioral, and clinical human neuroscience research focused on the brain-behavior mechanisms related to the pathophysiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of obesity and diabetes. The goal of this program is to translate basic neuroscience discoveries into novel, brain-based interventions for obesity and diabetes in humans. This includes basic neuropsychological and behavioral science in humans to understand mechanisms of neuropsychological and behavior change and identify neuropsychological and behavioral phenotypes that explain individual differences in outcomes or response to intervention. There is a special interest in the development and leveraging of technological solutions to these disorders, including advanced capabilities to monitor and modulate the brain, web-based and mobile assessment of neuropsychological function and behavior, and data science solutions to these complex problems.

June Liang

UC, San Diego

June Liang


Dr. Liang is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in self-compassion and science-based treatments for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, overeating, weight, perfectionism, overachievement, and parent coaching. Her therapy includes evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Family- and neurobiologically-based treatment for eating disorders