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. 


Julia Kong, BA | Project Manager

Julia received her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Rutgers University in 2018. Before joining the ADN Lab, her research focused on alcohol use disorder and factors that made treatment more successful. She also worked in a residential treatment facility that specializes in opioid use disorder. In her spare time, Julia enjoys jigsaw puzzles, martial arts, and exploring new food.


Joshua Stuckey | Laboratory Technician

Josh received his BA in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University. Prior to joining the ADN Lab, he studied the relationship between psychosocial stressors, PTSD, and schizophrenia in humans using biomarkers identified in buccal cells with Dr. Bonnie Firestein's lab at Rutgers. He is eager to continue investigating how environmental risk factors affect mental health in a new clinical population here in the Konova Lab. In his free time, Josh enjoys going to the gym, producing music, and playing guitar.


Manny Alvarez | PhD Student | TRACC-RU & NIDA T32 Fellow

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.


Emma Schweitzer | PhD Student | NJ Acts TL1 Fellow

Emma is a PhD student in Neuroscience at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Prior to joining the ADN Lab she studied decision-making behavior and the role of oxytocin in mediating social reward value in Dr. Tim Hackenberg's lab at Reed College, where she received her B.A. in Neuroscience. Her research interests encompass how value is represented in the brain and the neurobiology of decision-making in healthy and disease states. When not in lab, Emma enjoys baking and 3D printing assembly. 


Francesca LoFaro | PhD Student

Francesca received her B.S. in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Puget Sound. Prior to joining the Konova lab she did resting state fMRI research using the Human Connectome Project and worked with Dr. Read Montague on sub-second neurotransmitter signaling in humans during decision making tasks. When not researching, she enjoys watching every TV show and movie she can while eating anything sugary.


Sergej Grunevski | PhD Student

Sergej received his B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Kansas in 2019. Prior to starting his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, he worked with Drs. Tim Pleskac and Richard Yi on decision-making studies in participants with addiction and in healthy controls. Outside of work, Sergej enjoys learning to play the piano and staying in touch with family in Macedonia.


Alina Smirnova | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alina is currently an undergraduate student at Rutgers University, where she is pursuing dual degrees in Psychology and Cognitive Science. Her academic focus centers on the neurological aspects of cognition, with a precise interest in how decision-making is influenced in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alina is thrilled to join the ADN Lab, where she will have the opportunity to actively contribute to research that can positively impact many. In her free time, she indulges in painting and traveling to different destinations like Germany and Portugal.


Helena Mattar | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Helena is currently an undergraduate student at Rutgers University where she is pursuing a BA in Cognitive Science, on the Cognitive Neuroscience track, with a minor in Biological Sciences. Her academic interests focus on the clinical applications of cognitive and computational neuroscience. Helena Is enthusiastic to further develop her understanding of decision making as a member of the ADN lab. In her free time, Helena enjoys attending concerts and crocheting. 


Errol | Seeing-Eye Puppy-in-training

Errol is a black Lab cross (75% Labrador Retriever/25% Golden Retriever). He is excited to become a guide dog for his future person. Here in the Konova lab, Errol is learning basic obedience while being socialized to a variety of new experiences. In his spare time, Errol enjoys playing fetch, going on walks, and eating lots of kibble.

Interested in joining the lab? Find out more here.

Former Lab Members

Luisa Echeverry | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Syed Sarwar | Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student

Richard Goyette | Undergraduate NeuroSURP Summer Student

Sahar Hafezi | Clinical Research Coordinator

Lindsay Ahn | High School Intern

Maëlle Gueguen, PhD | Postdoctoral Fellow

Lauren Keating Reidy | Research Assistant

Hyeonjin Cathy Kim | Visiting PhD Student

Murium Whala | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kathryn Biernacki, PhD | Postdoctoral Associate

Ananya Kapoor | Graduate Research Assistant

David Lau | Undergraduate Research Assistant/Programmer

Akshita Kumar | Undergraduate Research Assistant/Project SUPER Fellow

Dhruv Govil | Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Josh Zhao | Accelerated BA/MD Student

Michael Park | MD Student

Darla Bonagura | Lab Manager

Joany  Xue | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Melanie Ruiz | Aresty Research Fellow

Robert Laumbach | Aresty Research Fellow

Gabriela Silguero | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Yash Nisar | Graduate Research Assistant/Programmer

Adaugo Chikezie | Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student

Rhea Kanwar | Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mingwen Dong | Senior Research Assistant, Neuroscience PhD Student