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 first-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 second-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 first-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 fifth-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 second-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 third-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.

Genevieve Auclair is a fourth-year undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in psychology and minoring in interdisciplinary life sciences. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to work as a counselor in school settings in the future. Genevieve joined the BEEP Lab in the summer of 2019 and is excited to gain hands-on experience in psychology and learn more about the correlates and causes of eating disorders. In her free time, she enjoys taking her pet rabbit to the park, drawing, dancing, and trying new foods.

Rosie Chaykin is a third-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

Yuvika Dandiwal is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Educational and Counselling Psychology. She is a psychology enthusiast who aspires to do research in the field of suicidology with a focus on its intersection with different psychopathology. Additionally, she wishes to be a mental health activist and advocate in the developing world, hoping to reach every nook and cranny before her brain and bones give out. She is a Junior ABA therapist, who enjoys painting and listening to melodramatic music in her leisure time.

Stephanie de Silva is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Behavioural Science and Marketing. She is passionate about experimental psychology and is extremely excited to be conducting research on eating disorders in the BEEP Lab. Stephanie is also volunteering in a second lab at McGill, where she will be completing a research project this semester. In the future, Stephanie hopes to continue conducting psychological research and attend graduate school. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys traveling, blowing glass, going to museums, and attending concerts.

Viveca Lee is in her third year as an undergraduate student in the Honours Psychology program with a minor in Neuroscience. She will be completing her Honours Research Project with the BEEP Lab under the supervision of Dr. Racine. Viveca is passionate about the neurobiological basis of eating disorders and the development of effective treatments for eating disorders using the biopsychosocial approach. In the future, she is looking to pursue a career in clinical psychology or medicine. During her spare time, Viveca enjoys spending time with friends, having jam sessions, and playing volleyball.

Helen Liu is a second-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. 

Alice Luo is an undergraduate student in her third year at McGill University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. She joined the BEEP Lab in the Fall of 2018 and will be completing an undergraduate research project this year at the lab. She plans to pursue either Clinical Psychology or Medicine in the future. In her spare time, Alice enjoys creating colored pencil drawings and abstract acrylic paintings, as well as swimming and hanging out with friends.

Malka Reich is a third-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!

Nilufar Mokhtarian is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in both Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Life Sciences. After having worked as a special needs swimming instructor for several years, she developed a general interest in child and adolescent psychopathology.  In graduate school she wishes to become a practitioner for children and adolescents, and to pursue research that spans education, psychopathology, and human motivation.  In her spare time, Nilufar enjoys salsa dancing and photography.

Étienne Tessier completed a B.A. in psychology at McGill University with a minor in behavioural science and a minor in management. He has a keen interest in mental health and is excited to learn more about how research in the field of eating disorders is conducted. He currently volunteers for a help line and aspires to pursue graduate studies in counselling. In his spare time, he likes working out, reading or playing video games.

Chloe White is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill University. Chloe is currently working towards her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Chloe is passionate about mental health and effective treatments for psychological conditions. Chloe aims to one day be a clinical psychologist and is thrilled to be pursue a research project in the BEEP lab! In her spare time, Chloe enjoys reading a good book, hiking, and watching The Office.

Seffie Yip is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology with minors in Social Studies of Medicine and Communication Studies. She joined the BEEP lab in Fall 2019 and is excited to learn more about the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to eating disorders. In the future, she hopes to be a clinical child psychologist with a focus on play therapy. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, eating sushi, and spending time with her dogs.

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 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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