CARRS Lab Staff
Meet the team who will be working closely with your teen!
Ronette Blake, MS
Lead Research Project Coordinator
Ronette received her MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and BS in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. Ronette has over 20 years of experience working with children and youth in various contexts including over 8 years in research with this population. When Ronette is not working for CARRS or snuggling with her boys and beagles, she enjoys sailing trips with her extended family, hosting dinner parties for her friends, and running long distances in quiet solitude.
Jenny Hong, BS
Jenny received her BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Research Specialist with CARRS, helping with clinical tasks and in-person lab visits. She has previous experience working with kids and teens in a therapeutic setting. In her free time, Jenny like to go on hikes, go to the gym, and baking in the sun!
Grace Wilson, BS
Grace holds a degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her responsibilities include assisting with sleep lab visits and orienting participants to the at-home sleep monitoring portion of the study. She enjoys spending time with her pets, a cat and an African Grey parrot.
Patrick Scanga, BS
Patrick graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in psychology. His responsibilities at CARRS include assisting with sleep lab visits, running fMRI scans, and helping with recruitment. In his free time, Patrick enjoys playing video games with his friends or spending time with his grandparents on their farm.
Natalie Ward, BS
Natalie recently received her BS in Neuroscience form the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently working on her MPH in Epidemiology from Pitt. Natalie helps with the sleep lab visits, doing behavioral tasks and spending time with teens. When she’s not in the lab, Natalie loves watching ice hockey and football, especially the Philadelphia sports teams!
Undergraduate Lab Manager
Cate works with participants during the overnight visits, helping with behavioral tasks and fMRI scans, and the CARRS social media. She is a psychology major with a neuroscience minor at the University of Pittsburgh, and in her free time she loves to run!
Undergraduate Research Volunteer
Niket is a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Neuroscience. His responsibilities include assisting with the sleep lab visits, administering behavioral tasks, and helping with the biosamples. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and napping.
Undergraduate Research Volunteer
Riya is a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Neuroscience. At the lab, Riya administers behavioral tasks and helps with bio-samples. Aside from assisting with sleep lab visits, she enjoys traveling, dancing, and spending time with friends and family!
Peter Franzen, PhD
Project Leader, Project 1
Dr. Franzen obtained a Bachelor of Science with college honors at Carnegie Mellon University. He then obtained his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Arizona, which was followed by his clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Hospital and postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and joined the faculty there in 2007. Dr. Franzen’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Pittsburgh Foundation, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, among others. His research program strives to better understand why and how sleep is so important for emotional health in adults in teens. In his free time, Dr. Franzen enjoys hiking, his dog Buddy Cornwall, gardening, and live music.
Brant Hasler, PhD
Project Leader, Project 2
Dr. Hasler’s research program, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and various foundations, focuses on the role of the sleep and circadian rhythms in regulating affect and motivation, particularly as relevant to affective disorders and substance abuse. In addition to his research program, Dr. Hasler is actively engaged in research mentorship and clinical supervision, as well as direct clinical practice, and is the Director of our accredited Behavioral Sleep Medicine training fellowship. In his free time, Dr. Hasler enjoys trying new restaurants, cooking at home, hiking, biking, and hanging out with his wife, daughter, and their 3 trusty canine companions. Dr. Hasler is much better able to enjoy his free time ever since he assembled such a hard-working, responsible, intelligent, and fun research team.
Daniel Buysse, MD
Co-Lead, Project 1
Dr. Buysse received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on the assessment, pathophysiology, and treatment of insomnia; the interactions between sleep and circadian rhythms; behavioral interventions for sleep; and the impact of sleep on health. Dr. Buysse has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science. He is Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on 15 active federally-funded research projects and over 50 previously-funded research project grants. Dr. Buysse is a recipient of the Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award from the Sleep Research Society, and the Peter Hauri Career Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Adriane Soehner, PhD
Co-Lead, Project 1
Dr. Adriane Soehner is a clinical psychologist interested in the role of sleep-circadian rhythms in brain development and psychiatric illness. Dr. Soehner earned a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and psychology with honors at Carnegie Mellon University. She then obtained her PhD in clinical science at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Hospital. Her postdoctoral fellowship was completed in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she joined the faculty in 2016. Dr. Soehner’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, and the Department of Defense. In addition to research, she provides cognitive behavioral treatment for sleep and circadian rhythm disorders through the WPH outpatient sleep medicine clinic. In her free time, Dr. Soehner enjoys yoga, DIY home projects, and playing with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Lana.
Jessica Levenson, PhD
Co-Lead, Project 2
Dr. Levenson is Project 2 Co-Lead and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research focuses on designing and evaluating interventions for adolescents that enhance sleep health specifically to promote mental and physical health broadly. She uses qualitative and quantitative approaches to developing stakeholder-informed interventions that are likely to be effective, adopted, and implemented. She is also interested in the role of disturbed sleep in the onset, course, and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Levenson’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Levenson is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with adolescents and adults. Her clinical interests focus primarily on the treatment of mood disorders and sleep disorders.
Duncan Clark, PhD
Project Lead, Core B
Dr. Clark is the Lead of CARRS Core B and Project 2 Co-Lead. He received his PhD in clinical psychology at UCLA, his MD at Harvard and completed his psychiatry residency at Stanford. Dr. Clark is MPI of the ABCD Pittsburgh site. He is PI of ABCD Social Development, a 5-site ABCD substudy on delinquency and victimization. Dr. Clark is Associate Director and Pittsburgh Site PI for the National Consortium on Adolescent Neurodevelopment and Alcohol (NCANDA). His hobbies are platform tennis and drums.
Meredith Wallace, PhD
Project Lead, Core C
Dr. Wallace is the Leader of Core C of CARRS. She received her PhD in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. She became a member of the University of Pittsburgh faculty in the psychiatry department in 2013. She is currently an associate professor of psychiatry, biostatistics, and statistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses broadly on developing and applying cutting-edge clustering and machine learning to examine how multidimensional and multimodal data predict mental and physical health outcomes. She currently has R01 support from the National Institute on Aging to develop a large, harmonized database including multiple sleep cohorts of older adults. Dr. Wallace is also a statistical co-investigator on numerous grants with varied data types (e.g. neuroimaging, ecological momentary assessment, physiological responses, actigraphy) and applications (e.g., substance use, post-partum weight gain, sleep, and depression), providing an endless stream of interesting statistical questions to investigate.