Principal Investigator

The Translational Neuroimaging Lab at UCLA is directed by me, Dr. Nicole Petersen. I'm interested in learning how the brain works -- and how it doesn't work, and (credible, scientific) methods to try to restore brain circuits when things go wrong inside them.

You can find my publications here (if you can't access a manuscript you'd like to read, I'd be happy to send a pdf, and we have preprints of all our new work too). We also have a GitHub now!

I'm a founding chair of the ENIGMA-Neuroendocrinology consortium. If you're interested in hormones and brains, send me a note and we'd love to welcome you into our community.

On emails:

(1) I have a very low threshold for eloquent and insincere rhetoric. If you aren't honestly interested in the work the lab does, save yourself the effort and don't write to me and ask for a position.

(2) If you are selling a product or service, your message will be marked as spam.

(3) If you are applying to grad school at UCLA and you'd like to work with me, there is no benefit to emailing me now. I can take students through the NSIDP but I probably will not until the lab has another substantial research project grant, and there is no way to know if that will be true or not in fall 2024. My advice to you, whoever you are, is to think hard about (1) whether you definitely want to do a PhD and (2) whether you definitely want to live in LA, and if you're sure the answer to both of those is yes, then apply and hope for the best.

Current Appointment: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.

Education & Professional Training:


*Please contact me if you would like to see any of these grant proposals and/or summary statements. I would not have gotten any of them without similar resource sharing from colleagues who generously offered me their materials.

Selected Awards:


I am Dr. Tim Jordan, currently a Postdoctoral researcher in the Translational Neuroimaging Lab. My goals and interests are in developing and applying new and old neuroimaging methods in the clinical setting for patient assessment, diagnosis, and treatments. I’m also interested in eventually applying these methods to chronic pain and migraine patients. Additionally, to my passion in research, I pursue ways to spread science through different methods of outreach into the community and the internet.

Staff Research Associate

My name is Michael Apostol and I am a Staff Research Associate in the Translational Neuroimaging Lab. I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of San Diego, where I contributed to research in clinical, cognitive, and social psychology. I’m interested in pursuing a research career, and I’m currently exploring different research areas in clinical psychology and neuroscience before applying to graduate school. For fun, I enjoy trying new restaurants, playing tennis and ping pong, blogging about psychology, and spending time with my cat, Lexa. 

Undergraduates and other trainees

My name is Lauren Kim and I am a second-year neuroscience student at UCLA from San Diego. I love learning about the brain and am very passionate about treating substance use disorders and about mental health. Eventually, I hope to either apply to medical school or pursue research further. In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening, and trying new coffee shops and restaurants. 

My name is Gino Haase, and I'm a fourth year neuroscience student at UCLA. My interests lie in the neural mechanisms involved in neuropsychiatric disorders, and I hope to pursue a career related to their treatment and ethical issues surrounding intervention techniques. In my spare time, I enjoy rowing, reading, and rummaging through music stores to find cool CDs.

My name is Jason Liu. I am a second-year computer science student at UCLA. I am very interested in learning about the human brain and mental health, as well as how computational methods help researchers study them. Outside academics, I love to listen to music, play sports, and see what’s out there in the world.

Hiya! I’m Brian Bossé, a veteran software engineer bending my skills towards neuroscience in the hopes that I can bring a different perspective and skillset to the field. I am generally fascinated with all things to do with understanding the brain’s function, but have particular interests in understanding the roots of attention disorders and the role of hormones on brain development and function. When I’m not glaring at my code wondering why it isn’t working, you can find me tweaking my button-up shirt pattern or out dancing Lindy Hop.

Hello there! I'm Jianna Ursitti, a fourth-year student majoring in psychobiology at UCLA. I have a keen interest in neuroscience and the interplay between the brain and body. My aspirations include a career in the medical field or research. Beyond my studies I enjoy climbing, lifting, and backpacking.