Our Team

Lab director

Christine I. Hooker, PhD | Principal Investigator
Stanley G. Harris Sr., Professor of Psychiatry

Professor of Diagnostic Radiology

Christine I. Hooker received her PhD in clinical psychology from Northwestern University in 2002. She completed her clinical training at the VA Northern California and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow and later a research professor in the Neuroscience Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2007, Hooker joined the Psychology Department at Harvard University as a faculty member. In 2015, she joined Rush University Medical Center as the Stanley G. Harris Family Professor of Psychiatry. Her research uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, to investigate neural mechanisms that facilitate social functioning in healthy adults and patients with schizophrenia disorder. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the MIND Institute, and the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression.

Research staff

Kristen M. Haut, PhD | Director of Research

Instructor of Psychiatry

Kristen M. Haut received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2010. She completed her clinical training at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at UCLA and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and a visiting assistant professor at Williams College. Her research involves using multimodal neuroimaging techniques including fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging to investigate structural and functional connectivity brain abnormalities that contribute to the risk for and onset of psychotic disorders as well as how these abnormalities contribute to cognitive deficits, such as impaired working and episodic memory, in individuals with schizophrenia. Her clinical interests include psychodiagnostic and neuropsychological assessment, cognitive-behavioral therapy and social skills training. A Chicagoland native, she is enjoying spending time with her family and getting reacquainted with the city’s food, music and yoga.

Sarah Pridgen, MA, LPC | Clinical Coordinator and Lab Manager

Sarah has a BA in Special Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is a former special education teacher. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University. During her graduate training, she was a research assistant in a lab focusing on norming computer-based category and digit span tests. Sarah has experience providing individual and group therapy with at-risk populations experiencing highly acute symptomology including psychotic symptoms, suicide ideation, homicide ideation, and aggression. She also has experience combining her training as a special education teacher with her clinical work by providing specialized therapy to individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Her research interests include improving outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness, social cognition, aggression, and the effects of discrimination and microaggressions on mental health. When not in the research lab, Sarah likes to hang out with her cats, Clark and Foster, read, and explore Chicago’s dining scene.     

Research assistants

Briana Galindo, BA

Briana received her BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2017. She has almost two years of research experience in the psychology and sociology departments at UIC.  Prior to graduating, she did research investigating the prevalence of trauma in individuals with schizotypal personality traits. Her current research interests include improving cognition and social cognition in individuals with severe mental illness and also exploring how our experiences shape our behavior. When she’s in not in a lab she likes to go to movies and spend time with her dog.

Austin Lee, MS

Austin has a BA in Psychology from the University of Chicago and received his MS in Biotechnology from Rush University. Before earning his Masters, he was a research assistant at the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Lab, studying the effects of psychoactive drugs on decision-making processes and memory. He has since shifted his research interests to psychopathology, hoping to one day become a psychiatrist. His current focus is on examining brain abnormalities by MRI and correlating them with symptoms. In his free time, Austin can be found learning new recipes, planning road trips, or catching up on government policy.

Savannah Lokey, MA

Savannah received her B.S. in psychology from Arizona State University in 2015. She then went on to the National Institutes of Health’s Post-Baccalaureate IRTA program, where she worked in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. Her primary project as an IRTA examined emotion processing and attention in individuals with Moebius Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder resulting in congenital paralysis of the face. She is currently a rising second-year student in UIC’s clinical psychology program. Broadly, her interests center on determining neural correlates underlying social cognition deficits in schizophrenia, as well as the role that childhood trauma plays in the development of psychosis. Her current project in the SNAP lab examines neural differences in embodied cognition in individuals with schizophrenia.