Post-Doctoral Associates/Fellows

Dahomey Abanishe, Ph.D.

Dr. Dahomey Abanishe is a Post-Doctoral Associate in Neuropsychology at the UF Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Prior to starting her post-doctoral training in neuropsychology, Dr. Abanishe worked as a Licensed Psychologist for almost a decade, with the elderly population in rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes across the State of Florida.   She has also worked as a Licensed Psychologist in the private practice sector and in a University Counseling Center in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Dr. Abanishe obtained a Masters degree in Community Psychology in 2005 and her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Her dissertation cross-culturally examined construct and method bias in therapeutic outcome assessment.   Current interests include neuropsychological, treatment, and service delivery to adults with cognitive concerns, including those with TBI, focal brain lesions, neurodegenerative conditions and worried well.

Franchesca Arias, Ph.D.

Dr.  Arias is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Neuropsychology Area of the UF Department of Clinical & Health Psychology. She is a research fellow on a multidisciplinary T32 training grant focused on pain and aging (T32-AG049673, Fillingham PI), under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Price. Her T32 research investigates the relationship between pain and outcomes of older adults who undergo elective surgery. As part of her training, she is involved in providing neurocognitive assessments and interventions with patients and family through the Perioperative Cognitive and Anesthesia Network (PeCAN) program, along with supervision of doctoral students.  Dr. Arias obtained a masters in Neuroscience in Education (Columbia University), completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Florida (neuropsychology), and obtained her doctorate from Fordham University in 2017.    Her dissertation examined relationships among executive function, characterological facets of inhibitory control, and risky behaviors in adults receiving opioid agonist therapy.

Janna Belser-Ehrlich, Ph.D.

Dr. Belser-Ehrlich is a post-doctoral Associate  in Neuropsychology through the UF Department of Clinical & Health Psychology. In  this role,  Dr. Belser-Ehrlich conducts neuropsychological evaluations for individuals with movement disorders, pre/post Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery, aging and dementia, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy,  and pre-surgical cognitive screening.  She   plays an active role in supervision of doctoral students and interns, under  the supervision of  neuropsychology faculty. Dr. Belser-Ehrlich completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Florida (neuropsychology concentration) and obtained her doctorate from Yeshiva University in 2017. Her dissertation examined the contribution of cognitive functioning to a theoretical model of health-related quality of life  in community-dwelling older adults. Current research interests include cognition and aging, as well as neuropsychiatric symptoms of movement disorders.

Heshan Fernando, Ph.D.

HeshanDr. Fernando is a Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, double majoring in Molecular Biology and Psychology. He received his Master’s degree from New York University and earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, where his dissertation research examined the role of executive functioning in interpersonal problems and distress in young adults. Dr. Fernando’s current research interests focuses on cerebral hemodynamic/metabolic risk factors and neurocognitive functioning in adults. His primary role involves clinical neuropsychological assessment of adults with various neurological disorders including dementia syndromes, movement disorders, and epilepsy.

Joseph Gullett, Ph.D.

Dr. Gullett is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory under the research supervision of Dr. Ron Cohen. He specializes in the application of Diffusion Tensor Imaging to the study of white matter and cognitive function in various clinical populations, and is interested in further developing multimodal neuroimaging approaches with the addition and integration of resting-state fMRI and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Clinically, he conducts neuropsychological evaluations through the UF Neuropsychology Service under the supervision of neuropsychology faculty in the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology.   Dr. Gullett completed his predoctoral internship at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida (neuropsychology track), where his dissertation investigated brainstem white matter integrity and sleep disordered breathing in veterans with a history of Traumatic Brain Injury.

 Aprinda Indahlastari, Ph.D.

aprindaDr. Indahlastari is a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Woods lab, Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory (CAM) in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. She is a biomedical engineer by training and her research interests are in the fields of neuromodulation and neuroimaging. She received her B.S.  from University of California, San Diego and M.S. from Arizona State University. Dr. Indahlastari earned her doctoral degree from Arizona State University. Her dissertation involved a validation study between human in-vivo measurements and computational models of a non-invasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Her current work is focusing on applications of tDCS coupled with cognitive training to remediate age-associated cognitive decline in older adults. She also incorporates multimodal neuroimaging techniques such as structural and functional MRI to assess cortical structures and any changes in neural efficiency and brain connectivity related to tDCS and cognitive training.

Sarah Westen, Ph.D.

swestenDr. Sarah Westen is a pediatric psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida (UF) through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Bringing Science Home Initiative. Dr. Westen also completed her doctoral training and psychology internship/residency at UF (mentor: Dr. David Janicke) specializing in pediatric chronic illnesses with an emphasis on type one diabetes research and clinical care. Dr. Westen will be staying as a second year postdoctoral fellow in 2018-2019 as a recipient of JDRF’s National Fellowship Program in Psychology. She is also a 2018 Children with Diabetes Friends for Life® fellow and the 2018 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s (APA, Division 54) Drotar-Crawford Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Grant in Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Westen is currently involved on projects examining depression; telehealth intervention; barriers to participation in clinical trials; and, sleep, glycemic control, and adherence in pediatric type one diabetes. In 2015, Dr. Westen was awarded the APA Mary Jo Kupst Trainee Grant for Research in Resilience and examined psychological predictors of adherence in adolescents with type one diabetes. In the same year, she was awarded the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology’s Geoffrey Clark-Ryan Memorial Award for Pediatric Research. Dr. Westen is interested in the biopsychosocial aspects of chronic illness in children, young adults, and families (e.g., quality of life, adherence, coping, family management, transition from pediatric to adult care, treatment of comorbid mental health and behavioral conditions). Clinically, she sees patients for intervention services in the UF Psychology Clinic and the multidisciplinary UF Pediatric Endocrinology Diabetes Clinic. Dr. Westen is passionate about teaching and supervises undergraduate students, psychology doctoral students, and doctoral interns in diabetes research, therapy, and consultation-liaison work (including psychology services in UF Pediatric Endocrinology). She is involved in several multi-site working groups regarding type one diabetes treatment in the context of interdisciplinary care; for example, she is a current member of the JDRF Psychosocial Advisory Committee, and Co-Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Special Interest Group in Diabetes.