Lisa Starr, Ph.D.
Dr. Starr is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Rochester and the director of the Starr Lab. Her research has been published in numerous prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and she also frequently authors book chapters and presents in professional presentations. She received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and completed additional predoctoral and postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research has previously been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and she has received national awards from the American Psychological Association, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America; she also was recently named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Her research interests include emotional adjustment in adolescence and adulthood. In addition to directing her research lab, Dr. Starr teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Rochester.

Other online profiles:

UR Faculty Bio      ResearchGate     Google Scholar

Graduate Students

dept pic

Y. Irina Li, Graduate Student
Irina is a doctoral student in the clinical program (entering class of 2014). She obtained her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 with a major in psychology. Irina’s research interest is broadly focused on transactional models that incorporate biological and cognitive factors in predicting the development of internalizing symptoms. Areas of particular interest include the influence of emotion regulation on functioning and comorbidity between depression and anxiety. For more information on Irina, please see here.


Zoey A. Shaw, Graduate Student
Zoey is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Rochester (entering class of 2015). She received her BA from Tufts University with a double major in Clinical Psychology and Child Development. Zoey’s research interests include the role of anxiety as a predictor of other disorders, and the specific mechanisms that contribute to the extensive co-occurrence of internalizing symptoms. Additionally, she is interested in biological, cognitive, and interpersonal risk factors that influence the intergenerational transmission and maintenance of depression. More information on Zoey can be found here.


Meghan Huang, Graduate Student
Meghan is a doctoral student in clinical psychology (entering class of 2016). She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2014, where she received her BA in psychology. Meghan is interested in exploring the role of interpersonal factors in the development of internalizing symptoms as well as the impact of depression and anxiety on interpersonal functioning. Her research interests also include the comorbidity of depression and anxiety disorders. More info on Meghan can be found here.

Undergraduate Students


David Weissman, Head Research Assistant
David is a senior majoring in Psychology. His research interests range from depression and anxiety to social influence and self identity. Still in the process of figuring out exactly what he wants to pursue, David enjoys unicycling, cooking, and listening to and playing music in his spare time.

Lydia Dake, Research Assistant
Lydia is a junior majoring in Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences with a focus in psycholinguistics. Her academic interests include human sexual behavior as well as affective and anxiety disorders. After graduating from the University of Rochester, Lydia plans to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. In her free time Lydia sings in a number of music groups on campus ranging from musical theatre to rock and pop. She also enjoys traveling and playing guitar and ukulele.


Mahir Khan, Research Assistant
Mahir Khan is a junior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in Public Health. His research interests include cognitive and social development as well as neuronal gene expression. Outside of the classroom, Mahir dedicates much of his time to GlobeMed, a social justice organization. Mahir also enjoys participating in events and performances with ADITI, a South Asian interest student organization, and he’s often playing pick-up basketball games with friends. After completing his undergrad at Rochester, he plans to pursue either an MD or an MD-Ph.D.


Herman Li, Research Assistant
Herman Li is a junior double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. His interests include everything having to do with the brain with a touch of genetics. Outside of academia he practices taekwondo, is involved in Spoon University as part of the marketing committee, and loves to cook British Food. Herman eventually hopes to attend medical school and earn a MD or MD-PhD.


Emily Scarpulla, Research Assistant
Emily is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Brain and Cognitive Science. She is particularly interested in major depressive disorder and PTSD outside of a military context. Emily hopes to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology after graduating from the University of Rochester. Outside of academics, Emily is involved in her sorority, Chi Omega, and enjoys dancing and cooking. During Fall 2016, Emily is studying abroad in Italy!


Allison Friske, Head Research Assistant
Allison is a senior Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences double major, with a creative writing minor. She hopes to go to graduate school after her time at the UofR. Eventually, she hopes to do some kind of therapy, possibly with children and adolescents.


Megan Kibler, Head Research Assistant
Megan is a senior majoring in Psychology and Music and minoring in Creative Writing. She loves to sing, and performs in multiple genres, including classical, rock, pop, and a cappella. She is also a staff writer for the Campus Times in the Arts and Entertainment section. She enjoys running and playing the piano and guitar in her spare time. Her research interests include exploring the therapeutic benefits of music and its potential to improve certain behavioral skills, particularly in populations affected by Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease. Another area of interest to her is the idea of using music therapy to combat negative reoccurring emotions present in anxiety disorders and in OCD. She hopes to become a music therapist and eventually obtain her Ph.D in this field. Megan is a McNair Scholar, and completed her research for the McNair program in our lab.



Leah Kesselman, Research Assistant

Leah is a senior, double majoring in Psychology and Public Health. Her academic interest include Health Policy, especially in regards to children and families, Child and Adolescent Development, and American Sign Language. She hopes to someday peruse a career in Child Advocacy. Outside of academics, Leah is an active member of TOOP and the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and enjoys reading and cooking.

Khai Du, Research Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Rebecca Matthews, Research Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Emma Cho, Research Assistant

Bio coming soon!


For information on what former members of the Starr IDEA Lab are up to, please click here.