Graduate Students and Research Staff

Joseph Bellitti is currently a first-year graduate student in KU's clinical psychology doctoral program. His research interests include the development and maintenance of eating disorders (particularly binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa) and substance use disorders (particularly alcohol use) as well as understanding the motivational mechanisms that drive both behaviors. Furthermore, identifying prevention methods and interventions that will help improve the long-term outcomes in individuals who have or are at risk for these behaviors.

Graduate Research Assistant

Kayla Bjorlie is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at KU. Her research interests include the exploration of shared mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of substance use disorders and eating disorders. 

Graduate Student

Alexis Exum is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at KU. Her research interests include the investigation of the underlying mechanisms for binge eating and obesogenic behaviors in racial/ethnic and sexual minority adolescents and young adults.

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Zahra Hajiaghalarkhani is currently a researcher assistant in the Health Behavior and Technology Lab in the department of psychology. She completed her bachelor’s studies in psychology in 2019. Her research interests include the mechanism and development behind eating disorders particularly binge eating and bulimia, and substance use disorders. She also seeks to identify methods for the prevention of these behaviors. She is planning to pursue her education in graduate school in the future.

Alexa L’Insalata is currently a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at KU. Her research interests include examining and applying the mechanisms of addiction to better define and assess excessive exercising, overeating, and other reward-seeking behaviors that influence the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Moreover, using this information to improve prevention and intervention methods for this population.

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Graduate Student

Daiil Jun is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at KU. His research interests include underlying motivational mechanisms of reward-seeking behaviors such as heavy drinking and eating hyper-palatable foods. He is also interested in using technology for momentary assessment and brief intervention to addictive behaviors.

Assistant Researcher (full time)

Kaitlyn Rohde has a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and is currently a research assistant for the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment. Her research interests include the mechanisms that drive the consumption of hyper-palatable foods and the various factors that predispose individuals to development substance use disorders and eating disorders. Kaitlyn aspires to continue her education by attending medical school in the future.

Cassandra Sutton is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at KU. Her research interests include examining the overlapping motivational, reinforcement, and sociocultural factors related to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders and eating disorders.


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