Anna Konova, PhD | Principal Investigator

Anna completed her PhD in Integrative Neuroscience with Rita Z. Goldstein at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Stony Brook University. She was then a postdoctoral fellow with Paul W. Glimcher at the Center for Neural Science at NYU. At Rutgers, Anna directs the ADN Lab which studies the computational and neural basis of human decision making in health and addiction.

E-mail: | CV | Google Scholar

Darla Bonagura, BA | Lab Manager

Darla received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Critical Sexuality Studies from Rutgers University in 2018. Before joining the ADN Lab, she worked as a Lab Manager and Research Assistant in clinical and social psychology labs. Her interests include the impact of stress and discrimination on psychological and physical health. In her spare time, Darla enjoys writing poetry and taking photos.


Kathryn Biernacki, PhD | Postdoctoral Associate

Kathryn completed her PhD in Psychology at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on decision-making impairment in substance users with a special interest in opioid using populations. She is currently working at the ADN and CMBN as a postdoctoral research associate. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys cooking and traveling.


Manny Alvarez | Rotating PhD Student

Manny is pursuing his PhD in Neuroscience at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Before joining the ADN Lab, he examined reward function in schizotypy and hypomania at Rowan University, where he received his BS in Psychology. His research interests include deciphering the role of reward dysfunction in severe psychopathology and its neural correlates. In his spare time, Manny enjoys cycling and seeking out great food.


Yash Nisar | Graduate Research Assistant

Yash is a grad student at Rutgers University and is majoring in Computer Science. Before joining the ADN lab, he interned at Amazon Web Services, and successfully completed Google Summer of code twice. He is interested in neuroimaging data processing and analysis. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and contributing to the Open Source community.


Adaugo Chikezie | Undergraduate Honors Student

Adaugo is a senior at Rutgers University, a psychology major, a public health minor, and is on the pre-med track to become a pediatric psychiatrist. Her interests include anxiety, depression, and addiction and the impact these disorders have on mental health and specific brain pathways as well as on how people learn in uncertain environments. In her spare time, Adaugo enjoys running, dinner dates with friends, and listening to music.


Gabriela Silguero | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Gabriela is a junior at Rutgers University studying psychology with a minor in public health and a concentration in neuropsychology. Her interests include substance use, addiction, stress, and how these factors impact the thoughts and behaviors of individuals through specific brain pathways. In her spare time, Gabriela enjoys the outdoors, listening to music, and painting.


Joany Xue | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Joany is a junior in the Rutgers University Honors College with a Cell Biology and Neuroscience major, and is on the pre-health track. Her interests include finding new treatment options for different psychopathologies and learning more about how different parts of the brain work together. In her spare time, Joany enjoys teaching and taking fitness classes at the gym, hiking, and volunteering as an EMT.


Robert Laumbach | Aresty Research Fellow

Robert is a sophomore at Rutgers University double majoring in economics and computer science. He is interested in exploring and modeling the neural processes underlying economic decisions involving risk and uncertainty. He also enjoys coding and powerlifting in his spare time.


Melanie Ruiz | Aresty Research Fellow

Melanie is a senior at Rutgers University studying Psychology and Cognitive Science in the decision-making track, along with a minor in philosophy. Her interests include decision making, reasoning, cognitive neuroscience, and the neural basis of reward and craving. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, writing music, spending time with friends, and listening to music.


Interested in joining our team? Find out more here.

Former Lab Members

Rhea Kanwar | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mingwen Dong | Senior Research Assistant, Neuroscience PhD Student