Lab Director

Prof. Brooke Ammerman is the director of the ASSIST Lab at the University of Notre Dame. She received her B.S. from North Dakota State University, M.A. from University of Northern Iowa, and Ph.D. from Temple University. She is most interested in better understanding the mechanisms underlying non-suicidal self-injury and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and how to translate what we learn in the laboratory to the “real world.” She has a specific interest in how interpersonal stress can influence the onset and maintenance of these experiences. When not at work, Prof. Ammerman enjoys running, exploring and photographing the outdoors, and spending time with her family, including her dog and two cats. For more information on Prof. Ammerman's research, see her CV (Ammerman Cv). She can be reached at 

Graduate Students

Caitlin O'Loughlin is a third year student in the ASSIST Lab. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and completed a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at Drexel University’s Center City Clinic for Behavioral Medicine prior to attending graduate school. Caitlin’s research interests broadly focus on interpersonal factors associated with suicidality, NSSI, and other risky behaviors. She is particularly interested in the relationship between stigma and risky behavior engagement, as well as exploring the predictors and aftermath of disclosing highly-stigmatized behaviors or diagnoses to others. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her family and being outside.

Yeonsoo Park is a third year student in the ASSIST Lab. He graduated from New York University with a BA in Psychology and earned a MA in Counseling & Clinical Psychology from Sogang University in Seoul, Korea. Yeonsoo’s research interest is in the broad range of self-injurious behaviors (i.e., non-suicidal self-injury, suicide) with a focus on identifying their risk factors. More specifically, he is interested in how emotion and cognition interact to increase one’s risk, and how intrapersonal and cultural factors influence their manifestation. During his free time, Yeonsoo enjoys spending quality time with friends, playing sports, and listening to music.

Anne Knorr is a first year student in the ASSIST Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Temple University and her Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics from Penn State University. Anne's research interests focus broadly on the course of and risk and protective factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including the study of those engaging in non-suicidal self-injury. She is also interested in the use of machine learning to create and test risk prediction models that are translatable to the clinical setting. In her free time Anne enjoys cooking, playing sports, and traveling to new places.  

Research Assistants

Sara Wallander. Originally from Indianapolis, Sara Wallander is a junior at Notre Dame. She is a Neuroscience and Behavior major in the College of Science. She is particularly interested in applying the biopsychosocial model to different mental illnesses. Outside of academics, Sara enjoys spending time outdoors and with friends.

Rebecca Hammond is a senior at Notre Dame. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. She is interested in the field of psychology and specifically how to improve patient's overall well-being. Rebecca plans to attend medical school after graduation and hopes to eventually work in a primary care setting. 

Keely Thornton is a senior research assistant in the ASSIST Lab. She is currently majoring in neuroscience on the pre-med track with a minor in musical theater. After graduation, she hopes to either attend medical school to specialize in psychiatry or attend graduate school for clinical psychology. Keely’s research interests lie in suicidality among secondary to university level students and what prevention techniques produce the best outcomes for these students. Outside of academics, she enjoys theatre and hanging out with friends and family.

Evan McKenna is a junior at Notre Dame majoring in Psychology and English with a minor in Science, Technology, and Values. Hailing from East Tennessee, he hopes to attend graduate school for clinical psychology and to help improve mental health resources in the rural South. Outside of academics, Evan enjoys reading and writing fiction, running, and singing with the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir. 

Bianca Widjaja is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying Neuroscience on the Pre-med track. On campus, she is very involved with the Model UN team and various CSC programs, and likes to watch documentaries in the little free time that she has. After graduation, she hopes to either go to medical school or graduate school, and her career interests include finding a way to implement effective and cheap treatments for neurological diseases in the developing world.

Oumayma Al-Shamary is a second-year student majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Compassionate Care in Medicine. She is currently involved in Neuroscience Club and MSA and has a passion for painting. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school in hopes of pursuing pediatric oncology and advocating for mental health. She's interested in psychology, more specifically, how perceptions of one's self through interactions with others influence self-injurious thoughts and behaviors and how they're exhibited across different cultures. 

Katrina Vogel is a Junior at Notre Dame majoring in Psychology and Sociology from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She hopes to attend Graduate School for Clinical Psychology and would like to help others with all different Psychological struggles no matter what they may be. In her free time she loves spending time with friends, working at the Early Childhood Development Center on campus, going to Gymnastics club practice, and walking around the lakes.