Social & Affective Immunology Lab
Baldwin M. Way, Ph.D., Lab Director
I first became interested in the psychological and neurochemical underpinnings of sociality through the inspiration of Roger D. Masters, Ph.D., at Dartmouth College with whom I studied the role of affect in attitude change to political leaders. This led me to UCLA for graduate school to study the serotonin system in non-human primate social behavior in the laboratory of William P. Melega, Ph.D. and also receive training in pharmacology and neurochemistry under the tutelage of Arthur K. Cho, Ph.D.
After receiving my Ph.D. in Neuroscience, I had a fortuitous meeting with Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. and Chris Dunkel Schetter, Ph.D., which led to the opportunity to receive postdoctoral training in the Health Psychology program at UCLA. Under the mentorship of Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., Naomi Eisenberger, Ph.D. and Dr. Lieberman, I used a genetic approach to extend my studies of the serotonin system into the study of social stress and rejection.
Since coming to OSU, my primary research has focused on inflammatory influences on psychology and behavior as well as psychological influence upon inflammation (with a little oxytocin and opioid research sprinkled on the side).
Charlie Ferris, Post-doctoral Fellow
Charlie Ferris is a cognitive neuroscientist with research interests focusing on the interplay between healthy and disordered human memory systems, emotion, and inflammation. He completed his Ph.D. at Emory University studying the neural correlates of autobiographical memory retrieval under the tutelage of Stephan Hamann. Charlie has a has a broad research background ranging from the neuropsychology of sports related concussion to sociological research with both incarcerated individuals and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His current research focus is in using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the network-level contributions of different brain regions to memory processes as they unfold.
When not doing research, Charlie enjoys low-stakes high-energy sports, cliché nerdy activities, and running a novelty Instagram account.
Haemi Nam, Graduate Student
If the mind and body are connected what happens when that connection is broken? To answer this question I conduct research using behavioral and pharmacological methods to study acetaminophen’s effect on aggressive behavior and effort. Additionally, I explore the mechanisms by which acetaminophen affects different behavior. I’m also interested in adversity and resiliency. Why do some people thrive in the face of adversity and how can people become psychologically tough to succeed? I’m interested in the role of life history and relationships in the development of resiliency.
Kendra Wilson, Graduate Student
Kendra is a first year PhD student in the lab interested in studying the interplay between stress, health, and brain activity. More specifically, she is interested in studying stress mindsets (whether stress is appraised as helpful or harmful) and how those mindsets affect stress coping behaviors, the immune system, and neurological responses to stressful stimuli. Kendra earned her B.S. in Psychology from OSU in 2019, then spent two years in the SAIL lab as the study coordinator before starting as a graduate student in the fall of 2021. In her spare time, you can usually find Kendra going on escapades with her dog, tending to her myriad plants, and climbing up rock walls.
Angela Xie, Study Coordinator
Angela is currently coordinating the longitudinal adolescent neuroimaging project examining the neural and immune effects of different geospatial exposures.
Kyle Ratner, Assistant Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara
Kyle Ratner was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory from 2012 to 2014. His research focused on the role of acetaminophen in intergroup processes as well as social stigma upon health. This latter research focus led to a National Science Foundation grant to explore the effects of social stigma on health symptoms following Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage. His current web page is located here.
Dominick Mischkowski, Assistant Professor, Ohio University
Dominick Mischkowski's research in the laboratory focused on the role of acetaminophen in empathy, aggression, and social exclusion. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Dominick began as an assistant professor at Ohio University in the fall of 2017. His current web page is located here.
Ian Roberts, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto (Laboratory of Cendri Hutcherson)
My research seeks to answer 2 basic questions: (1) How do people make decisions and exert self-control? (2) How can psychological and situational factors change the effects that a drug has on behavior? To answer the first question, I use a combination of behavioral, pharmacological, and neuroimaging techniques to explore the psychological processes involved in decision-making. These same methods allow me to investigate my second question by showing how manipulating the situational context can change, and sometimes even reverse, the effect that a drug has on behavior.
You can learn more about Ian at: iandroberts.com
Geoff Durso, Assistant Professor,
Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University
Geoff received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Ohio State in 2018. After doing a post-doctoral fellowship Vanderbilt University, he became an assistant professor of marketing in the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago. His broader research interests focus on the psychological process of evaluation. He and his colleagues examine evaluative processes in three related areas: (1) How people perceive--and behave accordingly to--conflicting negative and positive information (ambivalence), (2) how people respond to subsequent confirmations or violations of their evaluative expectations, and (3) how, when, and why people exhibit differential sensitivity within both positive and negative contexts.
You can learn more about Geoff at: geoffdurso.com
Lexi Keaveney Breitz, Ph.D.,
Research Manager at Facebook
Lexi graduated in 2019 and took her skills to Facebook where she currently leads research for Facebook Dating, Young Adults & Community Verticals. While in the lab, Lexi spearheaded two novel lines of work. In one line of research, she demonstrated that valence weighting curvilinearly predicts longitudinal changes in inflammation. In another line of research, she demonstrated that immune system functioning effects risk-taking behavior.