Adolescent Health Lab

Graduate Students

Carlos Sierra, M.A.

Carlos completed his BA (Hons) at the University of Western Ontario in May 2008, with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. After completing his undergraduate degrees, Carlos joined the Psychotherapy Program at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a research technician, Carlos participated in numerous research projects all of which revolved around the investigation of the processes underlying effective psychotherapies. During his time at UBC Carlos also developed a deep interest in the study of the gendered experiences of mental health problems.

Currently, Carlos is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University. As a member of the Adolescent Health Laboratory, Carlos’ research program focuses on investigating the mechanism by which transactional change occurs from parents to children and, in particular, the gendered mechanisms by which this transaction between parents and children occurs during adolescence. A Vanier Scholar, Carlos’ research program is funded by the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Consistent with Carlos’ research program, Carlos’s Master thesis focused on investigating the effectiveness of an attachment-based parenting program (Connect) designed for parent of youth experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties. Unique to this project was the focus on investigating the effectiveness of this program for youth and the participating mothers and fathers. This research was funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Master’s Award.

Lin BaoLin Bao, M.A.

Rajan Hayre, M.A. 

Raj completed both his BSc in Health Sciences and BA (Hons) in Psychology at Simon Fraser University in Aug 2014 and Oct 2017 respectively. During his time, Raj joined various research labs to further his understanding of research conducted in Psychology. In addition to being an RA, Raj has been the Lab Coordinator for the Cognitive Science Lab supervised by Dr. Mark Blair at SFU. Raj was recently accepted in to the Clinical Psychology Program at SFU and he hopes to further develop his clinical and academic skills. Raj’s research interests include: Attachment theory, affect regulation, impulsiveness, psychological maltreatment, substance use, self-harm and suicide.


Julia Vernon, M.A.

Julia earned her BA in Psychology and International Development Studies at McGill University in 2013. After graduation, she worked at the HIV Prevention Lab in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University for five years, where she coordinated multiple research studies, including clinical trials evaluating individual and group-based motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy treatment protocols. Julia joined the Adolescent Health Lab in September 2018 as a Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program. She looks forward to developing her clinical and research skills and contributing to the literature on adverse childhood experiences, internalizing symptoms, resilience, and attachment.

Julia Lukacs, M.Sc.

Julia (L) has worked on projects related to mood, sleep, risk-taking, and dynamic communication between brain areas, among others. She earned a BA in Psychology and Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, and then completed an M.Sc. at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the Netherlands in 2017. She spent two years working in Lyon, France as a project manager in a cognitive neuroscience laboratory at INSERM (Institut Nationale de la santé et de la recherche médicale), until she joined the Adolescent Health Lab in September 2020 as a Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program. She looks forward to learning the ropes as a clinician and continuing on her research journey, studying adolescent health and well-being in the coming years.

Sherene Balanji, B.A. (Hons)


Katherine O’Donnell, M.Sc., PhD

Antonia Dangaltcheva, M.A., PhD

Stephanie Craig, M.A., PhD

Tania Bartolo, M.A., PhD