Our Team




Fadel Zeidan, PhD

Fadel is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at UCSD. His research is focused on determining the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between self-regulatory practices and health. He is especially interested in determining the neural mechanisms supporting mindfulness meditation-based pain relief.    


Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Jennifer N. Baumgartner, PhD

Jenny hails from the beautiful city of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her M.S. and PhD in Human Factors Psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Jenny is driven by understanding the psychosocial, psychophysiological, and neural mechanisms supporting the modulation of stress and pain by mindfulness meditation. In her free time she likes to play video games, listen to loud music, and immerse herself in nature with her pup, Galileo.

Research Assistants


Nadine Bahlawan

Nadine earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently completing the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at UCSD. She compliments her studies with clinical research and experience in the emergency department, which drive her to enhance the patient experience through an emphasis on mental health. Nadine aspires to practice her background in clinical psychology as a physician one day, aiming to improve the health and overall well-being of local communities. In her spare time, Nadine enjoys cooking, exercising, and playing with her dog, Buster.


Julia Birenbaum

Julia is a native of San Francisco, CA , where she graduated from the Oberlin College in 2017 with a major in Psychology and concentrations in Cognitive Science and Neuroscience. Julia combines her interests in psychology with her passion for providing better access to mental healthcare services for women of color. She aspires to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to achieve this goal. Her favorite non-work activity is baking and loves sharing what she makes!


Elise Chong

Elise was born and raised in the beautiful state of Hawaii where she received her B.S. in Biological Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She is now attending the UCSD Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program to enhance her understanding of human biology and physiology. Her goal is to apply her knowledge and research experiences to support the transition of bench-to-bedside research as a clinical physician. In her free time, Elise enjoys expanding her culinary horizons, as well as outdoor hiking and rock climbing.


Delaney Davey

Delaney is finalizing her B.S. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience from UCSD. She is currently expanding her knowledge of research in the field of cognitive neuroscience with future aspirations of obtaining a PhD. Delaney is interested in the use of neuroimaging, psychophysics, and neurophysiology as methods of investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms of human experience, with a particular interest in affect and emotion. 

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Nailea Gonzalez

Nailea received her B.S. in Human Biology at UCSD. In the department of Biology, she assisted in research focused on elucidating the role of the medial entorhinal cortex in spatial memory. Currently, she is looking to expand her knowledge in the neural, physiological, and behavioral correlates of pain relief by mindfulness meditation. What keeps her sane is her yoga practice, and her life goal is to continue traveling the world. 

Favorite quote:

"A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr


John Liedle

John received his B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and aspires to become a physician. His current interests include the therapeutic and clinical applications of mindfulness meditation. In his free time he enjoys surfing and swimming at Torrey Pines State Beach.

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Sean Stephens

Sean received his B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2015. He is currently attending the Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate at UCSD with future aspirations of becoming a physician. He is interested in understanding mind and body benefits associated with mindfulness meditation, as well as the applications meditation can serve to treat pain. In his free time, Sean enjoys being outdoors, playing sports, and trying all the wonderful food places San Diego has to offer.