Lab Director

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Dr. Sarah Racine has been conducting research on eating disorders for the past 13 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McGill University where she conducted her senior honours thesis with Dr. Howard Steiger at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. She completed her PhD at Michigan State University under the mentorship of Dr. Kelly Klump. Her graduate work used twin study methodology and longitudinal menstrual cycle designs as methods to unravel the complex etiology of disordered eating behaviours. Her clinical internship and postdoctoral training were completed at the University of Pittsburgh/Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Wildes. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Ohio University from 2014-2017 before returning to her alma mater as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017. Dr. Racine’s research aims to elucidate how genetic/biological risk for eating disorders operates through personality and emotional characteristics as well as what psychological and environmental factors make individuals with these characteristics more likely to develop an eating disorder versus another psychological condition. In her spare time, Dr. Racine enjoys doing Zumba, eating Mexican food, watching psychological and crime dramas, and practising her French.

post doctoral fellow

Samantha Wilson is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Concordia University in 2012. There, she completed her Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Adam Radomsky on the topic of cognitive confidence and compulsive checking. Before beginning graduate school, she was a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Howard Steiger at the Eating Disorders Program at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and later returned there as a pre-doctoral intern in 2017. Samantha obtained her PhD in clinical psychology at Université de Montréal in 2018. Her doctoral thesis, completed under the supervision of Dr. Kieron O’Connor and Dr. Frederick Aardema, examined the applicability of a model of doubt, originally developed in the context of OCD, to eating disorders. Her research interests include transdiagnostic processes relevant to eating disorders and co-occurring conditions. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys spending time with family and friends, driving around listening to music, and working on her fantasy hockey team.

graduate students

Ege Biçaker is a second-year PhD student studying Clinical Psychology at McGill. She completed her BA at Koc University in Turkey and her honors thesis investigated the relationship between cognitive inflexibility and ruminative tendencies. She also spent a year studying at University of California, Los Angeles, where she worked as a research assistant in multiple lab settings.
For her dissertation, she plans to examine how emotional avoidance and low
levels of self-compassion relate to eating disorder symptomatology in clinical and community samples. In her spare time, Ege enjoys yoga, hiking, learning French and grocery shopping.

Aiden Mehak is a third-year PhD student studying Clinical Psychology at McGill. She completed her BA at Ryerson University, and her honours thesis explored the roles of appearance anxiety and body shame in disordered eating among undergraduate women. Her dissertation will use biopsychosocial methods to investigate the role of the experience of 'feeling fat' in the etiology and maintenance of eating pathology in both clinical and community samples. In the lab, Aiden's responsibilities include administering clinical interviews, mentoring honours students, and psychophysiological data processing. When she has spare time, Aiden enjoys cooking, powerlifting, and quality television shows.

Alexia Miller  is a second-year PhD student studying Clinical Psychology at McGill. She completed her B.A in Psychology at the University of British Columbia where she studied the relationship between eating disorder symptoms and borderline personality disorder symptoms under the supervision of Dr. David Klonsky. Her research in graduate school will focus on how traits related to borderline personality disorder, such as emotion dysregulation, influence the etiology and maintenance of eating pathology. In her spare time, Alexia enjoys running, live music, and hanging out with her friends and family. 

Sarah Schell is a sixth-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at McGill. She completed her B.Sc. in Honours Psychology at Concordia University in 2013, where she studied factors associated with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders. Since beginning her doctoral studies, Sarah has conducted research pertaining to both internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. For her dissertation, she will be examining the association between ostracism and eating disorder symptomatology, and how specific individual and situational factors moderate this association. Sarah has completed several clinical practica where she worked with clients experiencing difficulties such as anxiety, depression, disordered eating, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma, using a primarily cognitive-behavioural approach. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys running, cross-country skiing, watching re-runs of The Office, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

research coordinator

Vittoria Trolio joined the BEEP Lab in Fall 2018, and is now responsible for coordinating the lab's two major studies. She recently completed her undergraduate degree at McGill in Psychology, with minors in Behavioural Science and Organismal Biology. For her undergraduate thesis, Vittoria explored clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes in an adult cohort of patients with ARFID, under the supervision of Dr. Howard Steiger at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, where she was a volunteer since 2017. She plans to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology, with a focus on feeding and eating pathology. In her spare time, Vittoria likes to attend concerts, practice hot barre, and travel whenever possible.

Undergraduate students

Müge Acar is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. She joined the BEEP Lab in Fall 2019 and wishes to continue on to graduate school to study clinical psychology. Müge aspires to be a clinical psychologist in the future. She is excited about learning more about mental illnesses, and particularly about eating disorders and conducting scientific research. Müge enjoys reading and going to the cinema in her free time.

Bianca Akeson is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Behavioural Science and Gender and Sexuality studies. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist to contribute to the improvement of issues in mental health that affect minority populations. Bianca joined the BEEP lab to learn more about research with clinical populations and is interested in the neurobiological basis of disordered eating. She is concurrently volunteering with the McGill Peer Support Centre to gain further experience in a counselling setting. In her spare time, Bianca spends a lot of time redecorating and solving escape rooms.

Lina Badran is majoring in psychology in her second year of undergraduate studies at McGill University. She volunteers as a crisis responder at Kids Help Phone where she puts her learning into practice. Aspiring to continue on to Clinical Psychology in graduate school, she looks forward to developing her abilities in the experimental and research aspects of mental health illnesses at the BEEP lab. In between the numerous exams, Lina can usually be found reading, practicing different art mediums, kayaking, snowboarding, or relaxing with her family.

Rosie Chaykin is a fourth-year undergraduate student at McGill University majoring in Psychology and Anthropology with a minor in Behavioural Science. She is passionate about exploring the complexities of mental health and is excited to be involved with research on a clinical population. She is interested in the relationship between hormones and behaviour, and hopes to pursue her own research in the future. In her spare time, Rosie enjoys hot yoga, reading, and hanging out with her cat Leonard

Justine Daigneault is a second-year student majoring in psychology and double minoring in Behavioural Science and Sciences for Arts Students. In the future, Justine aspires to be a clinical psychologist, though she finds all domains of psychology interesting. Justine is very excited to join the BEEP lab and looks forward to learning more about the mechanisms of eating disorders. She is also very interested in research on alternative treatments for psychopathology such as PTSD or OCD, and plans to do her thesis on subjects related to this. Justine's hobbies include reading novels, watching psychological thrillers and TV shows, baking and traveling.

Lana Downs is a fourth year undergraduate student working towards her BA in Psychology, with minors in Behavioural Science and Statistics. This is her first position doing psychology research and she is excited to get some hands-on experience. In her free time, Lana enjoys hanging out with her little brother, traveling and trying new foods, and experimenting with various art mediums.

Rachel Dufour is a third-year undergraduate student in the Honours Psychology program with a minor in Anthropology. She will be completing her Senior Honours Research Project at the BEEP lab working under the supervision of Dr. Racine. Rachel plans to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology with hopes of working with children and adolescents while pursuing research. She is passionate about how psychopathology develops and maintains as well as comorbidity between disorders, including eating disorders. In her spare time, she loves reading novels and taking dance lessons.

Ruqayya Hirji is in her third year of undergraduate studies in the B.Sc. Honours Psychology program with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She will be completing her honours research project in the BEEP lab focusing on fear of self and its relationship to eating disorders. Ruqayya is especially interested in the transdiagnostic aspect and the shared mechanisms between eating disorders and other psychological disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys running, spending time with family and friends, and watching Spanish TV shows/movies. Ruqayya is also a member of the McGill women’s varsity soccer team.

Benjamin Lawson is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Psychology and Political Science, and minoring in Behavioural Science. He hopes to pursue a career in research following graduate school, and is especially interested in sub-clinical psychopathology. At the BEEP Lab, Ben hopes to learn more about research processes, the role of biological factors in eating disorders, and their etiology. In his free time, Ben enjoys spending time in nature, exercising, and reading about history. 

Tasha Liang is a third year undergraduate student at McGill University majoring in psychology and minoring in neuroscience. She joined the BEEP Lab in the Fall of 2020 and is extremely excited to learn more about how eating disorders manifest and the various factors that influence them. Tasha is also interested in the field of psychopathology and its neural correlates. In the future, she aspires to pursue a career in forensic psychology or law. In her spare time, Tasha volunteers with a peer support service on campus, enjoys acrylic painting and playing ultimate frisbee, and she absolutely loves babies.

Helen Liu is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in psychology. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to learn more about eating disorders and how to help those dealing with them. In the future, Helen wishes to pursue clinical psychology and continue doing more specialized research. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, travelling, and spending time with friends. 

Jesse Rae is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology and minoring in anthropology. She is very passionate about understanding the psychological forces that make every individual unique in terms of their behaviours, thoughts, and feelings. She dreams of one day becoming a clinical psychologist to help people live happier lives, while also pursuing research on the side, potentially in the field of personality psychology. In her spare time, Jesse loves to write children's stories, play piano, and practice yoga. 

Malka Reich is a fourth-year undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in Psychology with minors in Behavioral Science and World Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She loves psychology and working with children and is working towards pursuing her studies in child psychopathology. She hopes to work in the Middle East in the future, to work towards changing the taboo of psychologists in Arab culture. For fun, she likes to read, listen to music, dance, spend quality time with friends (especially while eating), go on long walks and take pictures. Hopefully one day, she’ll even have enough money to travel the world!

Charlotte Sacré is a third-year undergraduate majoring in neuroscience and minoring in mathematics and computer science. She is passionate about understanding the neuropsychological mechanisms behind mental disorders. By being a research assistant at the BEEP Lab, she wishes to broaden her knowledge on eating disorders and the factors influencing them. In the future, she hopes to combine her interests in neuroscience and computer science to contribute to the progress towards better treatments for various mental disorders, potentially through a career in artificial intelligence. In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys hiking, discovering new cultures, and spending time with family and friends.

Ivy Salloum is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. She is interested in gaining a greater understanding of mental health to help others on both a personal and large scale. Ivy is excited to have the chance to dip her toes in clinical research this year at the BEEP lab to explore her future clinical interests. In her spare time, Ivy enjoys cooking, listening to true crime podcasts, reading novels, playing video games, and spending time with friends. 

Alexandra Smedmor is a second year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Behavioural Science and Sociology. She is particularly interested in psychopathology, trauma recovery and resilience, and plans to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology with the goal of one day practicing or doing research in the field.  In her spare time, Alexandra enjoys doing yoga and listening to music, as well as drawing and painting. 

undergraduate Alumni

Amané Asakawa-Halicki, Research assistant, University of Montréal Hospital Research Centre

Sarah Brassard, Neuroscience graduate student, McMaster University

Joyce Quansah, Clinical neuropsychology graduate student, University of Montréal

Sabrina Martel

Isabella Tremonte, Exercise science for health and performance graduate student, Niagara College

Julia Ferrone

Irene Giannis, Clinical Psychology graduate student, Concordia University

Chloé Savignac, Research assistant, Shriner's Hospital for Children

Akira Wang, Public health graduate student, Emory University

ALUMni 2019-2020

From left to right (standing):

Muge Acar, Dr. Racine, Vittoria Trolio, Sarah Schell, Sam Wilson, Aiden Mehak, Alexia Miller, Chloe White, Viveca Lee, Stephanie de Silva, Rosie Chaykin, Malka Reich, Étienne Tessier, Bianca Akeson, Ege Biçaker, Alice Luo

From left to right (sitting):

Helen Liu, Seffie Yip, Nilufar Mokhtarian, Yuvika Dandiwal, Geneviève Auclair

ALUMni 2018-2019

From left to right (standing):

Vittoria Trolio, Isabella Tremonte, Alice Luo, Alexia Miller, Dr. Racine, Sarah Schell, Leah Suissa-Rocheleau, Dana Ajjaoui, Amane Halicki-Asakawa, Doosik Shin.

From left to right (kneeling):

Chloe White, Chloe Savignac, Joyce Quansah, Aiden Mehak, Akira Wang

ALUMni 2017-2018

From left to right:

Irene Giannis, Léah Suissa-Rocheleau, Sabrina Martel, Dr. Sarah Racine, Sarah Brassard, Julia Ferrone

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