Skip to content

 Current CNRI Leadership Team

Jenna Merenstein | Program Leader

Jenna (she/her) is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center with Dr. Dave Madden. She uses MRI to study the effect of brain aging on different cognitive abilities (learning, memory, attention), especially in advanced age groups (individuals beyond age 80). Jenna believes that mentoring has been fundamental to her career from the undergraduate through postdoctoral stages and hopes to facilitate similar successful mentor-mentee relationships through her participation in CNRI. Beyond research, Jenna loves hanging out with her two dogs and two cats or being outside near the mountains or ocean.

Rachael Wright | Program Co-Leader

Rachael (she/her) is a 6th-year PhD candidate in the Psychology and Neuroscience department and is co-mentored by Dr. Alison Adcock and Dr. Kevin LaBar. She is primarily interested in how people manage their emotional states, how these skills can be learned over time, and how that process works in the brain. She is dedicated to helping increase equity in research and has been involved in CNRI since its inception, joining the leadership team in its second semester. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, and cooking.

Nitisha Desai | Visibility & Recruitment Leader

Nitisha is a postdoctoral researcher in the Psychology and Neuroscience Department working in the Huettel Lab. Nitisha uses computational modeling and process-tracing techniques, such as eye-tracking and mouse-tracking, to understand the social decision-making process. Nitisha participants in CNRI by working on visibility & recruitment and also as a mentor and lecturer.


Kevin O’Neill | Graduate Student Mentor Representative

Kevin (he/him) is a 5th-year PhD candidate in Psychology & Neuroscience working with Felipe De Brigard and John Pearson. His research uses computational modeling to understand how people identify the causes of events in the world (see his website for more information). As the Graduate Student Lead, Kevin helps organize graduate student mentors into project teams to support undergraduate research, and he has also participated in CNRI as a mentor and lecturer. Outside of the lab, Kevin likes to ride his bike, play the bass, and hang out with his cats.

Laura Yost | Financial Lead & Undergraduate Intern Representative

Laura (she/her) is a research associate/lab manager for the Adcock lab. Her research interests are centered around how particular areas of the brain are responsible for certain cognitive functions. As an undergraduate representative and financial lead, she values increasing equity in science and the opportunity to cultivate an enthusiasm for research in students. Outside the lab, she enjoys hiking, baking, and reading.


Miles Martinez | Python Programming Co-Leader

Miles (he/him) is a 4th-year Electrical & Computer Engineering PhD student working in the Pearson Lab. His research interests are centered around building computational models to describe the brain and behavior. He participates in CNRI as both an instructor of the Python course and as a mentor, and he enjoys the opportunity to introduce students to computational research in a more welcoming way than he experienced. Beyond research, he really likes either hiking outside or bouldering inside!

Joyce Park | Python Programming Co-Leader

Joyce is a PhD student in the Psychology & Neuroscience program. She works with Dr. Elizabeth Marsh and researches topics surrounding memory, learning, and metacognition. Recently, Joyce has been exploring the effect of nudges on self-regulated learning as well as exploring the metacognitive mechanisms behind collaborative learning processes.


CNRI LeadershipTeam Alumni

  • Abby Hsiung, CNRI Co-Founder, 2020 – 2024
  • Alex Breslav, CNRI Co-Founder, 2020 – 2022
  • Alyssa (Allie) H. Sinclair, Graduate Student Mentor Representative, 2020 – 2023
  • Audrey Siqi-Liu, Undergraduate Intern Representative, 2020 – 2023

Spring 2023 Intern Cohort & Graduate Mentors