We hope that this page gives you a sense of the kind of work that we are doing in our lab here, the PTSD Treatment and Research Program – and the opportunities for students that are available. Our work is focused on intervention studies, primarily in the area of PTSD, but also in mood disorders. We are a busy, productive group. Below are the names of everyone currently working in the lab, with introductions from some of the lab members.
Our Current Team
Norah Feeny, Ph.D., Professor, Director, PTSD Treatment & Research Program
Dr. Norah Feeny is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Psychological Sciences. She specializes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is the Director of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. Norah has concentrated her research program on evaluating treatments for PTSD, optimizing treatments for PTSD, and understanding processes that underlie treatment efficacy.
Alice Coyne, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar
I earned a B.A. in psychology from Albion College in 2013 and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a PhD in clinical psychology in 2021. Prior to completing my graduate training, I completed my clinical internship at the Charleston Consortium. Broadly speaking, my research program aims to identify, and develop ways to capitalize on, patient, therapist, and dyadic characteristics and processes that can enhance the efficacy of mental health care for affective disorders. More specifically, I study personalized pathways to therapeutic change through answering the broad questions of how, for whom and in what contexts, and when delivered by whom do different interventions and types of psychotherapy work? I am very excited to be a part of such a collaborative and supportive team at the PTSD Treatment and Research Program!
Alexandra Klein, MA, 6th year student, Intern at VA San Diego Healthcare Systems
I earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Before beginning graduate school at Case, I worked at the VA Boston Healthcare System in the National Center for PTSD on a study examining trajectories of PTSD in Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. My research interests include better understanding mechanisms that underlie trauma-related psychopathology in order to improve diagnostic accuracy and treatment. Additionally, I am interested in studying how emerging technologies might be used to facilitate the dissemination and implementation of evidence based treatments for PTSD. The PTSD Treatment and Research Program has provided me with opportunities to work on studies that map on to my interests. I am excited to be a part of such a supportive and collaborative team!
Kathy Benhamou, MA, 5th year student
I graduated from Binghamton University in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology. Before coming to Case for graduate school, I worked as a research assistant at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania. At CTSA, I worked on a multisite military trial on the implementation of prolonged exposure therapy (PE), an on-site PE treatment study, and a naturalistic treatment outcome study through the clinic. My research interests include investigating empirically supported treatments for PTSD, specifically, understanding for whom these treatments work best and studying underlying mechanisms of improvement. Additionally, I am interested in the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for PTSD. I am also recently interested in first-responder mental health and exposure to trauma. In my short time here, the PTSD Treatment and Research Program has given me the opportunity to dive into a wide array of research that is in line with my interests. I am so excited to be a part of such a supportive and brilliant team!
Elsa Mattson, MA, 3rd year student
I earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2017. After graduating, I worked as a study coordinator in the Cognition and Brain in Psychopathology (CAB) Lab the Minneapolis VA. During my time in the CAB Lab, I worked on studies detailing the inter-relationship of brain abnormalities that come from mild traumatic brain injury and combat-related stress conditions. My research interests include the role that cognitive processes play in the development of psychopathology following exposure to a traumatic event. I am also interested in neurocognitive markers that may underlie post-traumatic symptoms and recovery trajectories. I am very excited to be part of a supportive and collaborative team here at the PTSD Treatment and Research Program!
Jenna Bagley, MA, 3rd year student
I graduated from Santa Clara University in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to starting my graduate studies at Case, I worked as a clinical research assistant and later became the research coordinator for the Road Home Program (RHP) at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. In my role at RHP, I coordinated various research studies aimed at evaluating and enhancing the effectiveness of intensively-delivered, evidence-based PTSD treatment for veterans. My research interests are primarily focused on improving treatment access, engagement, and efficacy for PTSD, depression, and related mental health disorders, particularly among survivors of sexual trauma. I am interested in discovering what treatments work best for whom, so as to better inform treatment selection and ways to tailor treatment strategies. I am one of the newest members of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program and I am thrilled to have joined a team of such supportive and talented individuals!
Daniella Levine, BA, 2nd year student
I graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Psychology. Before beginning at CWRU, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital on projects spanning process and outcome in treatments for anxiety and traumatic stress disorders. I also examined the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in community settings. My research interests include individual, interpersonal, and systemic mechanisms and predictors of response and dropout in treatments for traumatic stress. I am also interested in the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments into low-resource community settings. My goal is to increase access to care with community-based approaches to PTSD treatment optimization, dissemination, and implementation, especially for individuals without access to resources. I am so excited to be a graduate student with the PTSD Research and Treatment Program!
Sarah Rutter, MA, 1st year student
I graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Psychology and French, and from New York University with an M.A. in Psychology. Before coming to CWRU, I worked at the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai, where I explored the relationship between trauma exposure and systemic inflammation, and worked on clinical trials of ketamine and Written Exposure Therapy (WET) for PTSD. In my own research, I am interested in the etiology and treatment of trauma- and stressor-related disorders, especially PTSD and MDD. Specifically, I’m interested in exploring patterns of symptom change over the course of treatment, and how PTSD and depressive symptoms may interact during and after treatment. I am thrilled to be a graduate student in the PTSD Treatment and Research Program!
Sinan Payat, BA, Research Coordinator
I am the research coordinator for the PTSD Treatment and Research Program. I graduated from the University of Southern California in May 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology. During my undergraduate career, I served as a research assistant at the Race, Disparities, and Intervention Laboratory for a study on the feasibility of biomarker research as part of the greater Resilience Against Depression Disparities (RADD) study. I joined the PTSD Lab in Fall 2021 and am looking forward to the opportunity to work with and learn from a brilliant and supportive team!
Current Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Previous case graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that we have worked/published with:
Alex Rothbaum, PhD, MPH
Alexander Kline, PhD
Mark Burton, PhD
Hannah Bergman, PhD
Andrew Cooper, PhD
Erin Clifton, PhD
Stephanie Keller, PhD
Loren Post, PhD
Shoshana Kahana, PhD
Carla Kmett Danielson, PhD
Teresa Linares, PhD
Victoria Miller, PhD
Lisa Schwartz, PhD
AnnaMaria Aguirre, PhD
Jeannie Duax, PhD
Are you interested in working with our group? We have positions available for interested, enthusiastic students who would like to work as research assistants in our lab for credit or as volunteers. Research assistants in the PTSD Treatment & Research Program are involved in many aspects of the day-to-day functioning of the ongoing treatment studies, assist with writing and editing manuscripts, conduct literature reviews, and participate in our bi-weekly PTSD Journal Club meetings during the academic year.
2018-2019 Research Team
L-R: Kathy Benhamou, Allison Baier, Norah Feeny, Alex Rothbaum, Alexandra Klein, Alexandra Bowling