Lab Director

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Dr. Sarah Racine has been conducting research on eating disorders for the past 14 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
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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
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Ege Biçaker is a third-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.

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Aiden Mehak is a fourth-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.

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Alexia Miller is a third-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.

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Vittoria Trolio is a first-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at McGill. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at McGill where she 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. Vittoria's graduate research will investigate restrictive eating and associated traits across the spectrum of eating disorders, with a focus on shared mechanisms and differentiating factors between avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and anorexia nervosa. In her spare time, Vittoria likes to attend concerts, practice hot barre, and travel whenever possible.

research coordinator
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Chloe White joined the BEEP Lab in Fall 2018, and is now responsible for coordinating the lab's ongoing studies alongside Vittoria. She recently completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Indigenous Studies. Chloe's senior undergraduate thesis was conducted with Dr.Anna Weinberg and examined whether COVID-19 related stress interacted with a neural response to error to predict anxiety symptoms. Chloe plans to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology with a focus on differential diagnosis among eating and other comorbid disorders. In her spare time, Chloe enjoys baking, reading a good book, biking and hanging out with friends and family.  

Undergraduate students

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lisa Zhu is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Honours Psychology and minoring in Social Studies of Medicine. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology and to work with children and adolescents. Lisa is very excited to do research in the BEEP Lab and learn more about eating disorders. She is especially interested in the etiology and maintenance factors of eating disorders. In her spare time, Lisa loves to run, bike, cook new recipes, and take film pictures.

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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. 

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Johanna Keller is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill university majoring in Psychology and minoring in Behavioral Science and History. She is interested in the field of psychopathology specifically the different mechanisms that can lead to the development of a psychopathology. In the future Johanna plans to pursue graduate studies in psychotherapy with the dream of one day becoming a clinical psychologist with a license to conduct CBT. Through her experience in the BEEP lab, she is looking forward to learning more about eating disorders and conducting scientific research. In her free time, Johanna enjoys going on long runs, reading, and spending time with friends. 

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Bianca Adjei is a third-year undergraduate student at McGill University, majoring in psychology. She is interested in psychopathology as well as cognitive psychology research.  Bianca is also curious in understanding the ways in which biological diathesis and psychological traits that predispose individuals to eating pathology may interact with specific environmental stressors that are widespread in today’s society, such as exposure to media and beauty standards. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist and is very excited to learn more about eating disorder research at the BEEP lab! In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching true crime shows, playing with her birds and spending time with her friends and family.  

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Ivy Salloum is a fourth-year undergraduate student at McGill University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Behavioural Science and 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, knitting/crocheting, reading novels, playing video games, and watching movies with friends.

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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

Charlotte Sacré

Malka Reich 

Helen Liu

Tasha Liang 

Bianca Akeson

Lina Badran

Rosie Chaykin

Rachel Dufour, Completing Masters in Clinical Psychology, Concordia University

Lana Downs

Benjamin Lawson

Doosik Shin, Completing Masters in Counselling Psychology, University of Ottawa

Genevieve Auclair

Viveca Lee, Research Assistant, Douglas Eating Disorders Continuum

Alice Luo

Nilufar Mokhtarian, Completing Masters in Counselling Psychology, University of Ottawa

Etienne Tessier

Seffie Yip 

Stephanie de Silva, Completing Masters in Cognitive and Decision Science, University College London

Amané Asakawa-Halicki, Completing PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of British Columbia-Okanagan

Léah Suissa-RocheleauCompleting BCL/JD Program, McGill University

Sarah Brassard, Completing PhD in Neuroscience, McMaster University

Joyce Quansah, Completing PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Montréal

Sabrina Martel

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

Julia Ferrone, Completing PsyD in School Psychology, Adelphi University

Irene Giannis, Completing PhD in Clinical Psychology, Concordia University

Chloé Savignac, Completing PhD in Integrated Program in Neuroscience, McGill University

Akira Wang, Completing Masters in Public Health, Emory University

ALUMni 2019-2020

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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

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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