Principal Investigator: Claudia B. Padula, Ph.D.

Dr. Padula is the head of the BRAVE lab. Her official title research health science specialist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (MIRECC) and Instructor (Affiliate) at Stanford School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, but her passion for science goes beyond this role. She ultimately wants to improve treatment outcomes for Veterans suffering from addiction by leveraging the power of where neuroscience and clinical psychology intersect. Dr. Padula completed her undergraduate work and research assistant positions at the University of California San Diego and received her masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Cincinnati in psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology. She fulfilled her APA-accredited clinical internship in neuropsychology at Patton State Hospital and is an alumni of the APA-accredited Sierra Pacific MIRECC postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis in geropsychology. Claudia enjoys traveling the world, cooking, spending time with her husband and fulfilling her role of academic mama to two kids.


Timothy C. Durazzo, Ph.D.

Timothy C. Durazzo, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and a Research Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Health Care Administration, Palo Alto Divison. Dr. Durazzo obtained his BA in Psychology from San Diego State University in 1988, and he received his PhD in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1996. Dr. Durazzo completed a one-year internship in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology from the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, California in 1996, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Neuroscience from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington in 1998.


Leanne M. Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Williams directs the PanLab for Precision Psychiatry and Translational Neuroscience. She has developed a new way to understand and treat mental disorders, anchored in a neuroscience-informed model for precision mental health. She integrates brain imaging, genetics, wearables and clinical information in the context of each person’s life experience. This model guides more precise diagnoses and treatment choices, and is being translated from lab to real-world settings. Her experience is that a neuroscience-informed model empowers each person with an understanding of their own brain function and can reduce barriers to equity. 


Research Coordinators

Lea-Tereza Tenekedjieva, B.S.

Lea received her B.S. in Human Biology with a concentration in Brain Science and Psychopathology and a minor in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. Prior to joining the lab, Lea conducted research in concussion and mild traumatic brain injury education at a public health organization. Lea aspires to work at the intersection of psychiatry and neuroscience, utilizing brain-based insights to better the classification, diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Lea is particularly interested in the interplay between mood disorders, trauma and substance use disorders and their underlying brain circuitry, hoping to contribute to transdiagnostic neuroscience-informed treatments.

Manu Kaur, B.S.

Manu Kaur received a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Manu previously worked in a mental health clinic to study the efficacy of group therapy and medication management in treating comorbid psychiatric illnesses. They are interested in gaining translational neuroscience research experience in the hopes of using these skills to facilitate effective treatment outcomes for various mental illnesses. They are especially interested in studying the effects of trauma on the brain and the implications in recovery from PTSD and substance use disorders. Manu plans to pursue either an MD/PhD or a PhD in neuroscience and continue their work in mental health advocacy. They also love cats and are the proud parent of two grey tabbies, Laila and Joon. 


Practicum Students

Rachel Hughes, M.S.

Rachel received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus, and her Master's of Science in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology at Palo Alto University. Her clinical experience includes providing individual therapy in a community mental health setting, as well as conducting neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic evaluations in a medical setting and substance use rehabilitation setting. Rachel is a practicum student in the BRAVE lab who assists with co-facilitating a psychoeducational group, along with providing feedback sessions and cognitive remediation therapy. She is interested in understanding the impact of neurocognitive functioning on treatment outcomes.

Lab Babies


Daniella was the first lab baby, introduced in 2016. She often requests lab visits because of the high likelihood she will obtain a treat during said visit. She enjoyed drawing in mom’s outdated textbooks and snuggling with stuffed “mommy neuron and baby neuron.” She is currently pursing her pronunciation of neuroanatomical regions per the PIs request.


The youngest member for the BRAVE lab, Darrien enjoys sitting on the PIs couch mostly. He is content to play on the floor with above mentioned neurons but prefers to interact with all research personnel on the 4th floor. His main focus is on his own basic neurodevelopment at this time.

Lab Alumni

Linh-Chi Nguyen, B.S.

Linh-Chi received a B.S. in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Neuroscience from the University of California, Davis in 2016. Linh-Chi previously worked in a neuropsychiatric clinic, where she worked with adults and children with various psychiatric conditions. In the near future, Linh-Chi hopes to pursue graduate study in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Candice Dwyer, M.A. 

Candice received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, where she specialized in Spirituality and Mind-Body Practices.  Prior to joining the lab, Candice gained research experience in the areas of addiction, trauma, emotion regulation and coping, cognitive neuroscience, women’s health, and mindfulness. Candice hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology. She is broadly interested in examining the neural correlates of long-term recovery from substance use disorders. Outside of the lab she can undoubtedly be found with her beloved chocolate lab, Harley. In the fall of 2020, Candice will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Tech.

Andrew Rauch, B.S. 

Andrew received his B.S. in management science and psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 2016. Prior to joining the lab, Andrew worked in clinical aging research at UCSD, and specialized in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease research. Andrew will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago beginning in the fall of 2019.

Roshni Lulla, B.S.

Roshni is an NYU graduate who majored in Neuroscience with a Pre-Medical Concentration and graduated one year early. She was a Clinical Research Coordinator for the BRAVE Study. Roshni is hoping to pursue either a PhD or MD/PhD in the future, and would love to understand how emotion affects complex decision-making processes in the brain, such as moral dilemmas.

Kate Maslowski, M.S.

Kate received a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy. Following 8 years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, Kate resigned her active duty commission to pursue a career in clinical psychology. After leaving active duty, Kate received her M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, she is conducting her internship at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT with an affiliation at Yale University. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis on Neuropsychology at Palo Alto University. Kate was a practicum student in the lab who performed cognitive screens for participants with mild cognitive impairments as well as providing cognitive remediation for residential patients using psychotherapy techniques such as CBT. Additionally, Kate is currently a LCDR in the Navy Reserves.

Beate Davis, M.S.

Beate received her Bachelor of Arts from Le Moyne College in Psychology, along with a Dean's Scholarship, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with emphasis on Neuropsychology at Palo Alto University. She has experience as a therapist through the Gronowski Center and previously worked at UCSF as a Research Assistant. She was a practicum student in the BRAVE Lab who assisted with cognitive remediation therapy and focused on traumatic brain injuries along with different types of drinking (relief/reward).

Haley Cook, M.S.

Haley received her Bachelor of Arts from Texas State University in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with emphases on Neuropsychology and LGBT at Palo Alto University. She has experience as a therapist through the Gronowski Center and previously worked at a Living Community as an intern. She was a practicum student in the BRAVE Lab who assisted with Feedback reports, clinical evaluations, and medical chart reviews.

Alicia Vanden-Bussche, Ph.D.

Alicia received her Bachelor's from Michigan State University in psychology and recently earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Palo Alto University. She was the very first member of the BRAVE Lab, and was a pivotal component of the pilot study. She has experience through the Gronowski Center, UCSF, and Santa Rosa Kaiser. Her profession interests include the impact of PTSD symptomatology on neurocognitive functioning.