People

The Morey lab has many talented contributors with strengths in diverse fields including psychiatry, neuroimaging, clinical neuroscience, biomedical engineering, computer science, psychology, as well as cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience.


Principal Investigator


moreyDr. Rajendra Morey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Director of the Neuroimaging Core of the VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center, and core faculty in the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC).

Dr. Morey received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University, and a M.D. degree from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) School of Medicine in 1997. After completing residency training in general psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and an NIMH extramural research fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Drs. Jeffrey Lieberman and Aysenil Belger, he started at Duke and the Durham VA.

Current research interests include: elucidating how PTSD symptoms alter the balance of prefrontal-limbic signaling during tasks of executive function, emotional distraction, symptom provocation, and memory function, leading to novel insights regarding the neural circuits associated with cognitive and emotional deficits in PTSD; developing a diagnostic approach for TBI using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that can be applied at the single subject level; and assessing the merits of competing neuroimaging methodologies for structural MRI morphometry and volumetry.

Connect with Dr. Morey:

rajendra.morey@duke.edu

–   Google Scholar
–   Mentorship History


Collaborators


Dr. Kevin LaBar, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. Dr. LaBar’s research emphasis is on the cognitive neuroscience of emotional learning and memory with particular focus on the role of the amygdala and hippocampus in fear-dependent learning. Drs. LaBar and Morey have collaborated for the past 5 years on several fMRI studies of veterans with PTSD, focusing on the imbalance of prefrontal-limbic signaling during tasks of executive function, emotional distraction, symptom provocation, and memory. Dr. Morey has published several manuscripts with Dr. LaBar and is embarking on a new phase of collaboration to determine whether fear generalization in PTSD can come under stimulus control to restore balance in the relevant fronto limbic pathways.
 

–   Visit Dr. LaBar’s Website

Dr. Michael De Bellis, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. Dr. De Bellis is a licensed child psychiatrist with specialty training in child maltreatment, neuro-biological predictors, and consequences of adolescent alcohol and substance abuse, pediatric brain imaging, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and neuro-endocrinology. He is also the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Duke National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) study.

 
 

Dr. Stephen Simons, Ph.D. is a Principal Scientist in the applied sciences division of Teledyne Scientific & Imaging in Durham, North Carolina. His primary research interests are in the fields of neurotechnology, systems neuroscience, and computational neuroscience. Dr. Simons has over fifteen years of experience in electrophysiology and neuroimaging methods, as well as in computational models of neural processing and algorithm development for complex signal analysis. Dr. Simons and his team are collaborating on and have developed an at home stimulation mechanism for the current study Clinical Outcomes for TBI and Suicidality in U.S. Veterans using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Learn more about Teledyne

Dr. Robert Turner, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and holds a position as a Research Scientist in the Center for Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke University. Dr. Turner is an author, researcher, and former NFL player committed to serving his communities. He is a co-investigator on the current study identifying psychosocial and neurocognitive risk and protective factors, accelerated cognitive aging & mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) among former NCAA Division I and former NFL athletes.
 

Visit Dr. Turner’s Website

Dr. Johnathan Weiner, M.D. is Senior Staff Psychiatrist at the Durham VA. He received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his psychiatry residence at Duke University. His is also a board certified Forensic Psychiatrist. He has been with the Durham VA Medical Center since 1992. His clinical expertise includes the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Mental Illness, and Addiction Medicine. He is a principal supervisor for training Duke psychiatry residents rotating in the outpatient Mental Health Clinic. His research interests include structural MRI morphometry and volumetry, fMRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of PTSD and TBI.

 

Dr. Gregory McCarthy, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Human Neuroscience Laboratory at Yale University. He was the founding director of both the Mid-Atlantic MIRECC and the Duke-UNC BIAC. Dr. McCarthy is an international authority in MRI and fMRI methodology and its application to anxiety disorders and depression. He was the Dr. Morey’s K23 mentor prior to joining Yale University three years ago, but has maintained a formal relationship with the Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Neuroimaging Lab. Drs. Morey and McCarthy worked together closely after the founding of the MIRECC, where they spearheaded the formation of the MIRECC Registry. Dr. McCarthy is a senior consulting member of the MIRECC Neuroimaging Lab, providing ongoing guidance and long-term vision. He has worked closely with the Morey lab for over six years and co-authored numerous publications in PTSD and neuroimaging methods.

–   Visit Dr. McCarthy’s Website


Research Scientists


Dr. Delin Sun, Ph.D. is a research scientist. He received his PhD in BioPhysics in The University of Science and Technology of China, and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow and research assistant professor in the department of psychology in The University of Hong Kong. He is now working on uncovering the neural anatomy and neural functions of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and moral injury. He also has great interest in social neuroscience, including face recognition (expression, attractiveness and familiarity), social interaction (dishonesty, cooperation) and affective processing. His research methods include behavioral, neuroimaging (MRI/fMRI) and neurophysiological (EEG/ERP) approaches. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife and three kids.

Connect with Dr. Sun:

ds366@duke.edu
LinkedIn
ResearchGate
Google Scholar


Data Analysts


haswellCourtney Haswell, M.S. is an analyst/programmer at the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. She received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis described the acquisition of internal models of motor control in children with autism and was published in Nature Neuroscience. As part of a graduate student medical device design team, her work on a portable negative pressure ventilation device contributed to the development of a novel method of electronically stimulating the phrenic nerve in emergency situations (patent pending). Previous research includes motor learning, autism, spectral analysis of speech signals, and biomechanics. Courtney is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her husband and three kids and doing zumba.

Connect with Courtney:

courtney.haswell@duke.edu


Post-Docs


Dr. Adam Fijtman, M.D. Ph.D. is a resident in psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Fijtman received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. He has dedicated his research career to studying aspects of cognition, resilience, and trajectory of psychiatric disorders. During his Ph.D., Dr. Fijtman investigated how bipolar disorder affects emotional memory, an essential cognitive aspect associated with amygdala function. His thesis focused explicitly on how childhood trauma and multiple mood episodes affect emotional memory in patients with bipolar disorder. Dr. Fijtman is interested in the impact of exposure to traumatic events and psychiatric diagnoses on cognition in the Veteran population.

Connect with Dr. Fijtman:

adam.fijtman@duke.edu
More About Adam


Project Coordinators


Emily Clarke-Rubright, M.S. is a project coordinator in the Morey lab. She received her B.S. In Psychology from the College of William and Mary. While in college, she received an independent research grant to study full-body controlled video games as a potential training tool for mental rotation ability. Emily received her M.S. In Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied gender differences and similarities in math engagement and performance under Dr. Janet Hyde. Her masters’ thesis used a novel measure of math mindset during a parent-child math homework task to longitudinally predict STEM outcomes across adolescence. Her responsibilities in the lab include coordination of many aspects of the ENIGMA-PGC PTSD neuroimaging project, including collection and organization of neuroimaging and clinical data, data matching and cleaning, management of the ENIGMA-PGC PTSD neuroimaging SQL database, assurance of data privacy and compliance, processing of structural data, and coordination between various sites and projects within the ENIGMA-PGC PTSD neuroimaging working group. Outside of work, Emily enjoys dance, gaming, and disc golf.

Connect with Emily:

ekc23@duke.edu
ResearchGate


Post-Bacc Research Assistants


Heather Bouchard, B.S. is a research assistant in the Morey lab. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Neurobiological Sciences and a minor in Health Science. Heather completed her senior thesis under Dr. Russell Bauer studying the effects of exercise on functional changes in the default mode network following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). To supplement her interest in mTBIs, Heather interned in the neuropsychology department of the UF Health-Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Assessment Center where she helped develop a protocol to assess gait changes after a TBI. She also spent time volunteering as a suicide hotline councilor at the Alachua County Crisis Center. In the Morey lab, Heather focuses on a project that assesses the impact of subconcussive blast exposure on functional connectivity and cognitive functioning. Heather is also the local site coordinator for the ENIGMA Brain Injury Consortium. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hanging out with her dog and being outdoors and on the water, especially wakeboarding, where she holds the 2016 USA Collegiate Wakeboard Women’s National Championship.

Connect with Heather:

heather.bouchard@duke.edu
ResearchGate

Amanda Watts, B.A. is a research assistant in the Morey Lab. She graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from Duke University. During her studies, she worked under Dr. Lawrence Appelbaum to investigate the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation in improving laparoscopic surgery training skills. She also combined her passions for neuroscience and music in conducting functional neuroimaging research on the effects of musical consonance, dissonance, and context on brain activation. Outside of the lab, Amanda is an intern at Jamla Records, the recording studio of Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder. She enjoys playing, listening to, and creating music, playing soccer, and practicing yoga.

Connect with Amanda:

amanda.watts@duke.edu

Mary Nicole Buckley, B.A. is a research assistant in the Morey Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience and Educational Studies from Gettysburg College. During her undergraduate career, she has worked in the cognitive neuroscience lab with Dr. Kevin Wilson investigating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) technology on autobiographical memory and fear processing. For her senior thesis, Nicole researched the relationships between unique life stressors in the LGBTQ+ community and two integral factors in suicidality: perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. She also worked as a bilingual client services specialist in a shelter that served survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Outside of the lab, Nicole enjoys crocheting, hanging out with her cats, and finding the best milkshake each city has to offer.

Connect with Nicole:

mary.n.buckley@duke.edu
ResearchGate


Undergraduate Students


Leonel Rangel Jimenez is an undergraduate at Duke University graduating in 2023. He is currently enrolled in the Pratt School of Engineering with the intent to major in Biomedical Engineering. Currently, his favorite course is his introductory design course, in which his team will be working to design a self-retaining retractor for endonasal surgeries. In the Morey lab, Leo is excited to develop an insight on the topic of temporally interfering fields and their applications for brain stimulation. Outside of school, Leo enjoys dancing to a variety of Latinx genres and loves anything that lets him tinker, such as 3D printing and woodworking.
 

Connect with Leo:

Leonel.rangel.jimenez@duke.edu

Madeline Eckhardt is an undergraduate student at Duke University graduating in 2022. She is a neuroscience major hoping to attend an MD/PhD program following her graduation. Outside of the Morey Lab, she is a member of the Duke Clinical Research Undergraduate Experience, as well as a volunteer with Duke Puppy Kindergarten, where she helps to raise puppies to be trained as Canine Companions for Independence service dogs.

 
 

Connect with Madeline:

madeline.eckhardt@duke.edu

Karan Desai is a current sophomore at Duke University on the pre-medicine track. He is planning to pursue a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Computer Science. Extracurricularly, he dances competitively for Duke Rhydhun, a Bollywood fusion team, and he is involved in leadership positions for Duke Conversations, Duke Synapse, and NAMI. Karan is also a part of a Bass Connections project. His favorite sports team are Ohio State football and Duke basketball, and some of his hobbies include working out, watching movies, and anything outdoors.

 

Connect with Karan:

karan.desai@duke.edu

Molly Monsour is an undergraduate at Duke University graduating in 2021. She is interested in pursuing an MD/PhD after her time at Duke, but is currently working towards her BS in Neuroscience with a minor in psychology. In the Morey lab, Molly is looking at how brain age can be used as a biomarker of PTSD. Outside of the lab, Molly is VP of Hunger, Homelessness, and Housing Awareness for Duke Partnership for Service where she works on projects to help those experiencing homelessness in Durham. She also enjoys running.

 

Connect with Molly:

molly.monsour@duke.edu


Lab Alumni


  • Dr. Ashley Clausen
    Staff Health Psychologist at the Kansas City VA Medical Center
  • Rachel Phillips
    Graduate student in Clinical Psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Viraj Adduru
  • Aurelio Falconi
    Medical Student at Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Gopalkumar Rakesh
    Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Kentucky
  • Arnav Pondicherry, M.D.
    Resident Physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Clare Kehoe
  • Loreanne Oh
    Medical Student at U-Pittsburgh
  • Chelsea Swanson
    Masters Student at UNC Chapel-Hill
  • Sarah Lancaster
  • Andrea Gold, Ph.D.
    Psychologist at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center at Bradley Hospital
  • Shannon Beall, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
    Outpatient Therapist at Hope Services
  • Cassidy Fox
  • Vanessa Brown
    Graduate Student in Psychology
  • Avani Vora
    Management and Business Administration Student at the University of Iowa
  • Jasmeet Pannu Hayes, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at The Ohio State University
  • Soyee Li
    Research Coordinator at Henry Jackson Foundation
  • Jessica Nasser
    Doctoral Student at Case Western Reserve University
  • Elizabeth SelgradeM.S.P.O., C.O., L.O.
    Certified Orthotist at Children’s at Meridian Mark and Children’s at Duluth
  • Srishti Seth
    Doctoral Student at Catholic University
  • Christopher Petty
    Systems Programmer at Duke-UNC BIAC
  • Debra Cooper, Ph.D.
    Science Policy Fellow at California Council on Science and Technology