Body Acceptance Lab
UCSD Health Sciences
Tiffany A. Brown, PhD
Assistant Project Scientist
Director & Principal Investigator of the Body Acceptance Lab
Pronouns: she, her
Dr. Tiffany Brown is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Project Scientist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center. She has extensive clinical experience working with pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients with eating disorders using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (EXRP), and Family Based Therapy (FBT) and enjoys working with patients from diverse backgrounds. In particular, she is an advocate for patients who have typically been underrepresented in the eating disorder field, including LGBTQ+ and male patients. She currently serves on the scientific advisory broad for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and is a participating scholar at SDSU's Center for Research on Sexuality and Sexual Health (SASH). Her research interests focus on eating disorder prevention in male and LGBTQ+ populations and treatments for body image and eating disorders, particularly those targeting altered interoception - the brain-body relationship - and anxiety about body sensations. Dr. Brown has received research funding from the National Institute of Minority Heath and Health Disparities, the Global Foundation for Eating Disorders, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. Her current research focuses on reducing eating disorder and muscle dysmorphia risk for LGBTQ+ and male populations, understanding factors related to treatment outcome across gender and sexual identity, the effectiveness of DBT for eating disorders, and how interoception and gastric specific anxiety can be targeted in eating disorder treatment (e.g., interoceptive exposure).
Dominic M. Denning, BA
Research Coordinator for the Body Acceptance Lab
Pronouns: he, him
Dominic Denning is a research coordinator in the UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Program. He has clinical experience working with suicidal pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients in both outpatient, inpatient, and interventional neuropsychiatry settings. His previous research and clinical work surrounded individuals who generally are underrepresented in the literature but but are clinically relevant, including ethnic/racial minorities, men, and sexual and gender minorities. His research interests focus on the development and transactional relationship of emotions and behavior dysregulation, with a particular interest in Borderline Personality Disorder. One of Dominic's current research interest focuses on the role of experiential avoidance in disordered eating behavioral phenotypes in men. It is crucial to explore the role of experiential avoidance as it not only could provide an understanding of one of the underlying mechanisms in development and maintenance of eating disorders in men, but also inform integrated evidence-based interventions for psychopathology, as well as prevention efforts.
Taylor Perry, BA
Clinical Psychology Graduate Student and the State University of New York - Albany
Pronouns: she, her
Taylor is a first-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, under the mentorship of Dr. Drew Anderson. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of North Dakota. After graduating, she worked as a post-baccalaureate research coordinator, at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research under the supervision of Dr. Tiffany A. Brown. Taylor's personal research interests surround: exercise and eating disorder behaviors; assessment and nosology of eating disorders; and the overlap of anxiety with eating disorder behaviors. In her free time Taylor enjoys running, golfing, exploring hiking trails in the Adirondacks, binge watching TV, and hanging out with friends, and recently discovered she enjoys cooking.
Research Assistants (RAs)
Matthew is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Public Health. He hopes to attend medical school and is particularly interested in palliative care and pediatrics. From 2018-2019, Matthew worked at the Children's Hospital of Orange County where he designed the CHOC Experience Internship program in an effort to improve patient experience and clinical practices throughout various units including the CVICU and PICU. He currently works as an Emergency Medical Technician and enjoys spending time with friends and family at the beach.
Darryl Contrano (he/him)
Darryl is a recent clinical psychology graduate with a minor in cognitive science. He has a huge love for sports, and is especially interested in conducting research about athletes, and understanding the link between mental health and performance. Ultimately, his goal is to pursue a PhD in sports psychology, and perhaps work as a psychologist for an eSports team or professional team. In his free time, Darryl enjoys cooking, baking, and playing video games.
Majd Jarjour (he, him)
Majd is a recent Psychology graduate with a specialization in Clinical Psychology. His current research interests surround Eating Disorders, Personality Disorders, and addiction. He is particularly interested in understanding these disorders in relation to sexual minority identity. In the future he plans on applying to Psy.D. programs to become a clinician. In his free time he enjoys going to the beach and hiking.
Sabrina Chen (she, her)
Sabrina is a fourth-year student at UCSD majoring in literature & writing. She plans on attending medical school with her eyes set on specializing in psychiatry or palliative care for underrepresented populations. Her personal research interests include the scientific study of how creative writing can affect change in patients with histories of traumatic experiences. She is also broadly interested in studying both human and animal behavior. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching TV, and playing with her dog. She would like to expand her hobbies to include fish-keeping and aquatic design.
Zachary is a third-year Human Biology major also minoring in Business while competing on the Club Soccer Team. He aspires to attend medical school, planning to become an Orthopedic Specialist with a focus in sports medicine. He has always been interested in how clinical aspects of psychology and nutrition could be used to promote longevity using a holistic approach. He joined the Body Acceptance Lab to obtain more exposure to patient interaction and gain insight into perspectives of individuals similar to those he plans to one day work with. In his free time, Zachary also enjoys working out and hiking with friends.
Vicky Nguyen (she, her)
Vicky is a third-year psychology major with a clinical emphasis and a minor in sociocultural anthropology. She is interested in specializing in treating adolescents with Eating Disorders and advocating for those silently suffering. She is interested in pursuing research that examines how culture and society influence presentations of mental illness especially among sexual minorities. Outside of academia, her hobbies include writing and reading poetry, exploring new cities and beaches, learning about environmentalism, and caring for her succulents. She recently started planting and is expanding her collection. Her future goals include learning how to swim and surf.
Varsha is a second-year undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. Varsha loves the lab and clinic and joined the Body Acceptance Lab to expand her research experience in a clinical context. She is currently interested in research regarding Eating Disorders, OCD, immunotherapeutic cancer treatment, and the effects of sleep on mental wellbeing. In the future, she hopes to be a physician and researcher that makes a positive impact on underserved communities. Outside of school, Varsha enjoys playing the violin, watching figure skating, going on bike rides, and baking.
Amy Kung (she/her/they/them)
Amy is a fourth year undergraduate majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Psychology. They have an interest in genetics and empathy based counseling, and hope to one day become a genetic counselor to help advise and support patients about their genetic health. Amy first became involved with eating disorder research when they joined UCSD's Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research and assisted in an Outcomes study following patient progress throughout and after eating disorder treatment. Amy became interested in the Body Acceptance Lab after learning about the Body Project and the efficacy of intervention strategies. In their free time, Amy enjoys playing video games, crocheting and traveling with friends.
Christine is recent graduate from UCSD. She majored in cognitive behavioral neuroscience and psychology. She is interested in the influences social factors such as socioeconomic status (SES), education, and social support have on the development of mental illnesses. I am planning on pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology or a Psy.D with the goal of working as a therapist, helping individuals improve their mental health and overall quality of life.
Christine Wang (she/her)
Cesar is a recent Psychology graduate with a specialization in Clinical Psychology. He aspires to be a Clinical Mental Health/Psychology Counselor. His future goals involve attending graduate school where he will have the opportunity to obtain a Master’s Degree in Counseling and eventually a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. His clinical and research interest include Mood Disorders and Suicide, Eating Disorders, Mental Health Awareness and Stigma, and Telehealth, particularly in minority communities. In his free time he enjoys watching movies or television series.
Emma Thomsen (she, her/they them)
Emma is a recent cognitive and behavioral neuroscience graduate at UCSD. She plans on pursuing a PhD in experimental psychology. My research interests include the neurobiology of trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Specifically, how an understanding of these conditions can better inform treatments. Outside of academia, she enjoys baking bread, gardening, and spending time in the sun.
Kevin Lin (he, him)
Kevin is currently a second-year Psychology student with a specialization in Clinical Psychology, at UCSD. In the future, he plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and work as a therapist. His research and clinical interests include Mood and Anxiety Disorders as well as concerns related to impulse control. Kevin enjoys playing the piano, tennis, and grabbing coffee with friends.
Nathalie is a 4th year Psychology major at University of California, San Diego. Her goal is to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is specifically interested in studying Personality Disorders. In her free time she spend a lot of my time biking outdoors and finding new recipes to cook.
Carl Hermes Castillo, B.S. (he, him)
Carl is a recent graduate from UCSD with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience. He is currently enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program with the goal of becoming a physician, particularly as a psychiatrist. Mental health intervention is his primary area of interest, and aspires to study the effectiveness of treatments for Mood, Personality, and Eating Disorders. In his free time, Carl enjoys exercising and hiking. As a certified personal trainer, he values the importance of self-care and personal well-being through exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness.
Veronica Ho (she, her/they them)
Veronica is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Human Health Psychology in the spring '21. As an aspiring osteopathic doctor (DO), she is committed to increasing public health literacy and promoting equitable access to care, eventually returning to serve her hometown community in Anaheim, CA. Outside of the lab, Veronica enjoys listening and making music. She also practice powerlifting and basketball.
Jack Daly (he/him)
Jack is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Human Biology, and a transfer from a local community college. Jack hopes to pursue a medical degree, with an interest in an internal medicine specialty such as a hospitalist, or perhaps family medicine. Jack has personal goals of contributing to the expansion of health literacy, as well as examining how various socioeconomic, gender identity and expression, and more, affect access to healthcare as well as health outcomes among different communities. Outside of school, Jack enjoys finding great new food and coffee spots around San Diego, spending time with friends, and practicing Aikido, a unique and peaceful form of martial arts.
Angie Yogaratnam (she/her)
Angie is a second-year undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Psychology. She joined the Body Acceptance Lab because she is passionate about increasing diversity in psychological and psychiatric research, especially regarding how people of different genders, races, and sexual orientations experience mental and physical health struggles in different ways. In the future, she hopes to work with marginalized communities through either research or clinical practice in order to further advocate for equity in patient care. In her free time, Angie enjoys reading and writing poetry, singing, and spending time in the sun.