Christine I. Hooker, PhD
Principal Investigator | Stanley G. Harris Sr. Professor of Psychiatry


Dr. Hooker received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University in 2002. She completed her clinical training at the VA Northern California and then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and later a Research Professor in the Neuroscience Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2007, Dr. Hooker joined the Psychology Department at Harvard University as a faculty member. In 2015, Christine joined Rush University Medical Center as the Stanley G. Harris Family Professor of Psychiatry. Her research uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate neural mechanisms that facilitate social functioning in healthy adults and patients with schizophrenia disorder. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the MIND Institute, and the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression.

Research Staff

Kristen Haut, PhD
Research Director


Dr. Haut received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2010. She completed her clinical training at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at UCLA and then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University and a visiting assistant professor at Williams College. Her research involves using multimodal neuroimaging techniques including fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate structural and functional connectivity brain abnormalities that contribute to the risk for and onset of psychotic disorders as well as how these abnormalities contribute to cognitive deficits, such as impaired working and episodic memory, in individuals with schizophrenia. Kristen’s clinical interests include psychodiagnostic and neuropsychological assessment, cognitive-behavioral therapy and social skills training. A Chicagoland native, Kristen is enjoying spending time with her family and getting reacquainted with the city’s food, music and yoga.

Sarah Pridgen, MA, LPC
Clinical Coordinator
Lab Manager


Sarah has a BA in Special Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is a former special education teacher. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University. During her graduate training, she was a research assistant in a lab focusing on norming computer-based category and digit span tests. Sarah has experience providing individual and group therapy with at-risk populations experiencing highly acute symptomology including psychotic symptoms, suicide ideation, homicide ideation, and aggression. She also has experience combining her training as a special education teacher with her clinical work by providing specialized therapy to individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Her research interests include improving outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness, social cognition, aggression, and the effects of discrimination and microaggressions on mental health. When not in the research lab, Sarah likes to hang out with her cats, Clark and Foster, read, and explore Chicago's dining scene.     


Research Assistants

Briana Galindo, BA


Briana received her BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2017. She has almost two years of research experience in the psychology and sociology departments at UIC.  Prior to graduating, she did research investigating the prevalence of trauma in individuals with schizotypal personality traits. Her current research interests include improving cognition and social cognition in individuals with severe mental illness and also exploring how our experiences shape our behavior. When she's in not in a lab she likes to go to movies and spend time with her dog.


Austin Lee, MS


Austin has a BA in Psychology from the University of Chicago and received his MS in Biotechnology from Rush University. Before earning his Masters, he was a research assistant at the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Lab, studying the effects of psychoactive drugs on decision-making processes and memory. He has since shifted his research interests to psychopathology, hoping to one day become a psychiatrist. His current focus is on examining brain abnormalities by MRI and correlating them with symptoms. In his free time, Austin can be found learning new recipes, planning road trips, or catching up on government policy.


Savannah Lokey, BS


Savannah received her B.S. in psychology from Arizona State University in 2015. She then went on to the National Institutes of Health's Post-Baccalaureate IRTA program, where she worked in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. Her primary project as an IRTA examined emotion processing and attention in individuals with Moebius Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder resulting in congenital paralysis of the face. She is currently a rising second-year student in UIC's clinical psychology program. Broadly, her interests center on determining neural correlates underlying social cognition deficits in schizophrenia, as well as the role that childhood trauma plays in the development of psychosis. Her current project in the SNAP lab examines neural differences in embodied cognition in individuals with schizophrenia.


Colin Iwanski, MA


Colin graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Psychology.  He is currently a graduate student of Ellen Herbener in the Clinical Program of the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Colin’s main research focus is the relationship between different aspects of social cognition and social functioning for individuals with schizophrenia.  If Colin finds spare time, he enjoys going to concerts, watching movies, and taking his dog Zoe to the park.  


Student Research Assistants 2018-2019

Advanced Research Assistants

Parnika Telagi


Parnika is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Biology while being on the pre-med track. She started in the SNaP lab in June of 2017 in hopes of gaining more exposure to clinical research and mental health. She hopes through her involvement in the SNaP Lab she is helping contribute to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness. Her current research project is looking at further analyzing Emphatic Accuracy in individuals with schizophrenia and those who are at clinical high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. In her spare time, Parnika loves to hang out with her family and friends, play the piano, and explore Chicago!

Junior Research Assistants

Ojus Khanolkar is a third year Biology student at UIC. She has done previous research at Northwestern University in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Department, and most recently at the University of Chicago Surgical department, where she used agent-based modeling to examine factors that influence urban violence. She is hoping to grow her programming skills further here at the SNaP Lab and use technology to change people's lives.  

Leslie Zuniga is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in disabilities and human development. She joined the SNaP lab to learn more about the neuroscience field as she would like to become a physician!

Nicholas Harnisch is a forth year student at UIC majoring in Applied Psychology. Following in his mother’s footsteps of working in the field, he is eager to expand his knowledge through his studies and his work in research at both UIC and at the SNaP Lab. In his free time, he likes to surround himself with friends and visit new places in the city.

Lab Canines



Abbie enjoys playing fetch and hanging out at the dog beach. She is obsessed with cats and chasing squirrels. Abbie is currently working towards her dream of becoming a therapy dog.  



Pudgey might be 13 years old but he still gets around. He loves long walks and car rides. He might be a bit shy but this handsome fella is as kind and cuddly as they come. In his free time, he enjoys a good meal and finding the best place for naps. 



Zoe is a 50 pound ball of pure energy and excitement.  She is very interested in whatever you’re up to, especially if there is food involved.  She likes long walks in the park and playing with her puppy and human friends.  

Lab Felines

Clark and Foster  


Clark and Foster are litter mates that are interested in kibbles, bugs, and cat naps. They enjoy ear rubs, sitting in Amazon boxes, and chasing each other around the house. They pride themselves on being extra cuddly and adventurous. 

Leo (aka Leonardo DeCatprio)


Leo is a 4 year old British short-hair who loves cuddles. His hobbies include watching TV, hiding his toys, running as fast as he can at 3AM, and stealing morsels of people food.