Danielle received her BA in Psychology and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on improving mindsets about diet and health, enhancing the experience of healthy eating, and measuring the power of such mindsets and experiences to influence behavior and physiology. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys learning oldies songs on the guitar and ukulele, working on 1000+ piece puzzles, and indulging in green smoothies, fried chicken, and donuts.
Melissa is a Ph.D. candidate in Bioengineering. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron. Her work bridges the fields of biomechanics and psychology to understand not just how we move, but how we think about movement and our motivation for being physically active. Her current research focuses on improving the mindsets of people with osteoarthritis to be more beneficial for their health, wellbeing, and mobility. She enjoys living an active lifestyle - through running, hiking, yoga, and volleyball - hosting her podcast (Biomechanics On Our Minds), reading, and traveling.
Kari began her PhD in Social Psychology in 2015, and her research seeks to understand and optimize psychological and social forces in healthcare, with an emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship. Kari received her BA from Emory University in 2012 and served as the the Program Coordinator for the Emory-Tibet Partnership from 2012-2014. In this role she coordinated the visit of the Dalai Lama to Emory in 2013. Kari also spent a year as a U.S.-Norway Fulbright scholar studying wintertime mindset above the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, Norway. Her writing has been featured in The Conversation and The Atlantic. When she’s not in her office, you can find Kari in the pottery studio, reading fiction, or tending to her houseplants. You can read more about Kari's work on her personal website: www.karileibowitz.com
Kengthsagn received her BA in Psychology from Skidmore College with a minor in Business. Her research broadly focuses on how different health mindsets and cultures impact people's health behaviors and physiology. Kengthsagn spends her spare time watching documentaries, dreaming about Caribbean cuisine, dancing, and now learning to draw.
Erik received a BA in Economics from Yale University, where he formed the discussion group The Examined Life and developed a love for deep introspection. After working in the world of management consulting for two years at Bain & Co, Erik was excited to try his hand at mindset research and application as the inaugural MBL lab manager. Erik is especially interested in understanding how to harness the power of beliefs to improve our everyday experiences and physiology. In his free time, Erik enjoys reading science fiction and tech blogs, staying in touch with long-distance friends, exercising on the elliptical machine, and eating cookies.
Eric is a PhD student in Social Psychology. His interests focus on how people respond to challenge, uncertainty, and failure, particularly in an academic setting. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in Psychology and Biology, he helped develop educational interventions at PERTS with Dave Paunesku and Carissa Romero, and managed an emotion regulation intervention under the direction of James Gross. Eric is passionate about promoting ethical research practices and responsible applications of psychological insights. Outside of his research interests, Eric's recent accomplishments include designing a website, building a Death Star out of Legos, and filing his taxes on time.
Octavia is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior studying activity adequacy mindsets
– people’s mindsets that their level of physical activity is adequate or inadequate, and thus beneficial or harmful to their health. Her research investigates how public health guidelines, social comparison with peers, and wearable fitness technologies shape these mindsets. Octavia holds a BA in European Social and Political Studies from University College London. In her free time, Octavia enjoys music, dancing, dabbling with art, exploring national parks and other new places. You can learn more about Octavia at her website: www.octaviazahrt.com
Sean started his PhD in Social Psychology at Stanford in the fall of 2016. He is interested in how patients’ mindsets, beliefs, and expectations impact physical health, treatment outcomes, and well being. His current work focuses on understanding how mindsets about illness function in patients with chronic illness. Prior to joining MBL, Sean received a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Psychology from Boston University. He also spent two years working in clinical research at Harvard Medical School and teaching undergraduate psychology classes at BU. When he’s not in the lab, Sean enjoys traveling, kayaking, listening to audiobooks, and exploring California with his Australian Shepherd, Tucker.
Kris received a BA in Sociology and Communications from Stanford. Fascinated by the ability of the mind-body mechanism, the study of people, and optimal performance he joined the lab to investigate and learn more. He is involved in a variety of organizations focused on researching, developing and empowering individuals by utilizing the power of the mind-body to enhance health, well-being, and performance. Outside of the lab, you might find Kris teaching Yoga, reflecting on the self, or playing League of Legends.
Rina received her BA in Psychology from Stanford in 2018. Her honors thesis with the Mind and Body Lab tested an intervention to change mindsets about healthy eating. As a Research Coordinator, Rina hopes to continue learning how to harness mindsets and other psychological forces to improve health and well-being. In her spare time, Rina enjoys sketching, reading cookbooks, and learning how to propagate plants.
HONORS THESIS STUDENTS
2019 - 2020
Kathryn is a senior B.S. candidate in Human Biology who has been a research assistant in the lab since her sophomore year. She is interested in social determinants of health, particularly in the domain of dietary health. Kathryn is currently working on her honors thesis, which aims to quantify the nutritional content of foods and beverages depicted in celebrity Instagram posts. Outside of the lab, you can find her playing for Stanford’s varsity beach volleyball team, hiking, and volunteering with the Special Olympics.
Michelle is a senior majoring in Psychology who has been a research assistant in the lab since her freshman year. Building upon a project she did last summer hosting community discussion spaces about death all across the U.S., she is now working on her honors thesis to understand the mindsets people have about death. She is particularly interested in expanding beyond Western narratives of death anxiety to incorporate the fuller spectrum of how death is viewed. Beyond the lab, Michelle organizes an art project with incarcerated artists, volunteers at a crisis hotline, and designs zines.
Shannon is a senior B.S. candidate in Human Biology at Stanford. Starting as a research assistant in the Mind & Body Lab her freshman year, she was interested in how mindsets could shape physiological health outcomes. Now, Shannon is working on her honors thesis, which aims to understand the mindsets patients and physicians hold about pain and the body in the Emergency Department (ED). When she isn't in the lab, you'll likely find Shannon on the sand, playing for Stanford's varsity beach volleyball team. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and volunteering in the ED at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
SUMMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Tania is a rising senior from India. At Stanford, she is majoring in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Neuroscience and a minor in Data Science. As she explores social psychology, Tania is interested in changing mindsets and healthy eating behaviors. Outside of the lab, you'll most likely find her fulfilling her Resident Assistant role, hiking in the Bay area, watching comedy stand-ups, or obsessing over tennis and Formula One.
Julia is a rising sophomore studying Philosophy and Education. In the lab, she is interested in mitigating health disparities by utilizing productive mindsets about health. She is currently working on a curriculum to teach high school students and their families healthier mindsets about stress and illness. She relieves her own stress by jazz dancing and singing with the Stanford Chamber Chorale.
LAUREN HOWE (2017 - 2018) - Assistant Professor at University of Zurich
BRAD TURNWALD (2014 - 2019) - Postdoc at Stanford University
LAUREN HOWE (2014 - 2017) - Assistant Professor at University of Zurich
ERIK SANTORO (2014 - 2017)
MAGGIE PERRY (2016 - 2019)
EMERSON HARDEBECK (2015 - 2018)
DANIELLE BOLES (2015 - 2017)
RACHEL HANEY (2015 - 2016)
Honors Thesis Students
MATTHEW BERNSTEIN (2018 - 2019)
ANGELA LEE (2018 - 2019)
TAYLOR DUARTE (2017 - 2018)
STEVE RATHJE (2017 - 2018)
RINA HORII (2017 - 2018)
PAST LAB PHOTOS
2018 LAB PHOTO
2017 LAB PHOTO
2016 LAB PHOTO
2015 lab photo