Dr. Fairbairn is a Helen Corley Petit Associate Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral training in clinical-health psychology spanned multiple disciplines ranging from social psychology to biostatistics, a transdisciplinary perspective that has expanded through her years as an independent investigator to encompass fields ranging from machine learning to social neuroscience. In recognition of her alcohol research, she was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, a Lincoln Excellence Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, and was the 2020 recipient of the Early Career Investigator award from the Research Society on Alcoholism. Her work focuses on basic social and emotional processes driving alcohol use as well as the application of novel methods and measures within addiction science more broadly
Catharine Fairbairn, Ph.D.
Talia received her B.A. in psychology from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests focus on investigating the interplay between one’s emotions, cognition, and social interactions as they relate to substance misuse. Specifically, she is interested in looking at the factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing of a substance use disorder. Outside the lab, Talia enjoys drawing and reading about nineteenth century European art.
Dani received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is broadly interested in identifying socio-contextual and emotional factors that might contribute to understanding the underlying mechanisms of AUD development. Specifically, she is interested in employing electroencephalogram technique into the lab’s alcohol administration paradigm to investigate the effects of alcohol on individuals’ cognitive processing of social contexts. In addition, she is interested in applying machine learning algorithms to social science data. In her spare time, Dani enjoys traveling, swimming, baking desserts, and spending quality time with the lab members!
Walter James Venerable, III
Walter received his B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University. His research interests are focused on alcohol’s role in human sexual interactions. Specifically, alcohol’s role in the perception of sexual cues or romantic interest that may lead to the initiation of sexual behaviors. Walter is interested in using this research to make informed improvements to sexual assault awareness and prevention efforts. Outside of lab Walter enjoys hiking through nature, watching educational documentaries, and participating in massively multiplayer online video game communities.
Jiaxu received her B.S. in Mathematics from Lanzhou University, China. Jiaxu is interested in the emotional benefits of alcohol that contribute to its abuse potential using neuroimaging and computational methods. Outside of work, Jiaxu enjoys hanging out with family and friends and playing Dota2.
Yang received his B.S. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He strives to understand and contribute to substance use research utilizing tools from both clinical and social psychology. Having a better grasp of the motivating and reinforcing mechanisms of alcohol use could help produce effective interventions that properly target social contexts. Outside of academic settings, Yang enjoys spending time with friends while taking photos or playing video games.
Eddie received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests involve exploring the relationships between social anxiety, social context, and alcohol consumption. Specifically, he is interested in using experience-sampling methodologies alongside transdermal alcohol sensor technology to capture real-world drinking behaviors and affective experiences, as well as to examine how different social environments shape patterns of drinking. Outside of the lab, Eddie enjoys going to movies and playing board games with his friends.
Post-bacc Research Coordinator
Anna received her B.A. in Psychology and Theater from Oberlin College. She is interested in exploring the psychophysiological underpinnings of alcohol use in different social contexts. More specifically, she would like to further understand the mechanisms of AUD development in the LGBTQ+ community. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading with a cup of tea, spending time outside with family and friends, and discovering new music.
Post-bacc Research Coordinator
James received his B.S. in Criminology and Psychology from Florida State University. His research background and interests are at the cross-section of emotion regulation and risk-taking behaviors, including how emotional response to one’s environment relates to heavy substance use. He also is interested in unique statistical methods for analyzing both individual and community-level health behavior data. Outside of research, James enjoys playing soccer, chess, and speedrunning video games.
Post-bacc Research Coordinator
Laura received her B.S in Psychology from Truman State University in the spring of 2020. She was a research coordinator in the Alcohol Research Lab for one year (Fall 2020-Spring 2021), then worked as a post-bacc researcher at Georgia State University. She has returned to the Alcohol Research Lab in the Summer of 2022.
Post-bacc Research Coordinator
Rosalie received her Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois in Interdisciplinary Psychology in 2021. After graduating, Rosalie served as a post-bacc researcher at PRISM Lab, which investigates the impact of intergenerational stress on early development. She joined the ARL in the Fall of 2022, and now works with a team to validate transdermal monitors for the measurement of alcohol consumption. In her free time, Rosie loves to read, draw on her iPad, and experiment in the kitchen.
Undergraduate Lab Manager
Hieu Nguyen is an honors student studying Psychology with a concentration in Clinical/Comminuty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is interested in exploring how certain personality traits relate to the development of substance abuse. More specifically, he would like to investigate the relationship between self-consciousness and alcohol use disorder. In his free time, Hieu enjoys playing D&D with friends, baking pastries, and working out.
Liz Garrity was a research coordinator in the Alcohol Research Lab for one year (Fall 2021-Spring 2022). She received her B.S. in Psychology and English at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She currently works at a local rehabilitation facility aiding at-risk populations in their substance recovery.
Rashmi Ghonasgi was an honors student and undergraduate lab manager in the Alcohol Research Lab for one year (2021-2022). She received her B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2022.
Coco Yu was an honors student in the Alcohol Research Lab for two and a half years (2018-2021). She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical/Community Psychology and a minor in Business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2021. Coco is currently a graduate student in the Computational Social Science program at The University of Chicago.
Konrad Bresin was a graduate student in the Alcohol Research Lab for three years (2015 to 2018). He received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018. Konrad is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia State University.
Kaleigh Wilkins was an honors student and undergraduate lab manager in the Alcohol Research Lab for three years (2016-2018). She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. Kaleigh is now a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University, Chicago.
Daniel Garcy was an undergraduate student and then a project manager in the Alcohol Research Lab for three years (2015-2018). He received his BS in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2017. He is currently a doctoral student in behavioral neuroscience at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.
After receiving her B.S. in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2017, Brynne was a post-bacc in the Alcohol Research Lab for three years (2017 to 2020). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Georgia State University.
Zoe Lee was an honors student and undergraduate lab manager in the Alcohol Research Lab for two years (2018-2020). She received her B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. Zoe is currently a research assistant in the Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory at the University of Chicago.
Sara Mei was an honors student in the Alcohol Research Lab for two years (2018-2020). She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a clinical concentration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020.