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Lab Members

Michael Lowe

Michael Lowe, PhD
Professor and Lab Director
Education: 1978, Boston College - PhD (Clinical Psychology - Behavioral Therapy) 1973, Boston University - BA (Psychology)
Research Interests: The relationship between dieting, overeating, and weight control. Obesity and the prevention of weight gain and weight regain. Eating disorders research. Integrating biological and psychological influences on eating and weight regulation.

Meghan Butryn

Meghan Butryn, PhD
Assistant Research Professor
Education: 2006, Brown Medical School, Clinical Psychology Internship 2006, Drexel University - PhD (Clinical Psychology) 2001, Cornell University - BS (Human Development)
Research Interests: Innovations in behavioral treatment for obesity; dissemination of evidence-based eating disorder prevention programs; acceptance and commitment therapy; physical activity promotion.

Samantha Winter

Samantha Winter, MS
Graduate Student
Education: 2012, University of Michigan, BA, BM (Psychology - Neuroscience concentration; Music - Vocal performance)
Research Interests: Samantha is a fifth-year doctoral student from the Washington DC area. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with degrees in neuroscience and vocal performance. She is currently interested in researching neural correlates of obesity and eating disorders. She hopes to specifically examine comorbidity of eating disorders and other psychological disorders.

Hallie Espel

Hallie Espel, MS
Graduate Student
Education: 2013, University of Minnesota - BIS (Psychology, Life Sciences, and Public Health)
Research Interests: Hallie is a fourth-year doctoral student originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in 2013, where she majored in psychology, life sciences, and public health. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant in the Mann Lab for Health and Eating Behavior Research, and also served as Education Chair for the Emily Program Foundation, a nonprofit eating disorders prevention and advocacy organization. Hallie's current research interests include: examining loss-of-control eating as a dimensional construct; understanding the role of hedonic hunger in weight control and eating behavior; and identifying factors which predict the risk and maintenance of eating pathology.

Alexandra Muratore

Alexandra Muratore
Graduate Student
Education: 2011, Skidmore College, BA (Psychology)
Research Interests: Alex is a third-year doctoral student from Connecticut. Before attending Drexel, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where she studied obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Since starting at Drexel, Alex has been involved in behavioral and neuroimaging projects examining the relationship between body weight, weight change, and eating pathology. Her current research interests include identifying the biological correlates of eating disorders, cognitive and affective mechanisms associated with eating pathology, and markers of treatment outcome.

Elin Lantz

Elin Lantz
Graduate Student
Education: 2013, Hamilton College, BA (Psychology, Minor in History)
Research Interests: Elin is a third-year doctoral student originally from Minnesota. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hamilton College, where she completed research in neuropsychology and motor control. Before joining the Lowe lab, she researched eating disorders at a treatment center in Minneapolis and racial and gender intersectional identities at UCLA. Her interests include the trajectory of eating disorders, the interaction between biological and psychological factors that influence the course of a disorder, comorbidity, and the development of new evidence-based treatments. Her current research examines the relationship between weight trajectories or premorbid weights and eating disorder subtypes. While in the Lowe lab, she has also contributed to research on the distinct motivations behind dieting and their relationship with binge eating, the psychometric properties of a measure related to eating disorder psychopathology (Drive for Objective Thinness), and possible ways to improve the CBT model for bulimia nervosa.

Amani Piers

Amani Piers
Graduate Student
Education: 2014, Trinity University, BS (Psychology and Biology)
Research Interests: Amani is a first-year doctoral student originally from Canada. After completing her undergraduate degree at Trinity University, she worked as a research coordinator in the Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change at Drexel University. She is broadly interested in obesity and eating disorders, with a particular interest in the interaction between biological and environmental factors on the development and maintenance of eating pathology.

Leora Benson

Leora Benson, MS
Graduate Student
Education: 2010, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, MS; 2008, Barnard College, BA (Neuroscience and Behavior)
Research Interests: Leora is a first-year doctoral student from New York. She earned her bachelor's degree in neuroscience and behavior from Barnard College, where she conducted research on motor systems in mice. She earned her Master of Science degree in nutrition from Columbia University, where she conducted research on behavioral and neural correlates of obesity in adolescents and adults. Before attending Drexel, she worked as a Research Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins studying neurobehavioral familial risks of obesity in adolescents and their mothers. Her current research interests include identifying the psychological, behavioral and neural mechanisms associated with appetite, eating behavior and weight in obesity and disordered eating.

Nicole Virzi

Nicole Virzi
Research Coordinator
Education: 2017, Pepperdine University, BA (Psychology, Minor in English)
Research Interests: Nicole is a research coordinator who is currently working on two of Michael Lowe's studies: the study of weight history, brain activation to food cues, and eating disorder psychopathology and the study of weight suppression, dieting, and bulimia nervosa. She graduated in 2017 from Pepperdine University with a BA in psychology and a minor in English. Her research interests include identifying the sociocultural, personality, and relational factors that coalesce to predispose individuals to abnormal eating and exercise behavior as well as the most effective environmental interventions to alleviate body dissatisfaction among adolescent females. Nicole plans on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology in the fall of 2019.

Raven Bennett

Raven Bennett
Research Coordinator
Education:  2017, Swarthmore College, BA (Psychology, Minor in Educational Studies)
Research Interests: Raven is a research coordinator primarily working on Michael Lowe’s study of weight history, brain activation to food cues, and eating disorder psychopathology. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2017 with a BA in psychology and a minor in educational studies. During her undergraduate career she assisted in research on the relationship between grit and well-being. She also conducted studies on the efficacy and effectiveness of two sexual violence prevention interventions as part of her Honors thesis. Her research interests include the interactions between environmental, psychological, and biological factors and their influences on eating behavior and eating pathology.

Former Lab Members

Jena Shaw
Vicki Clark
Maria Coletta
Shawn Katterman
Sapna Doshi
Jessica Markowitz
Yelena Chernyak
Jason van Steenburgh
Karyn Tappe
Laura Berner
Ali Ely
Ashley Witt
Lisa Shank
Renee Mikorski
Amy Neeren
Emily Feig
Kirstie Herb
Kelsey Gilbert