Staff Members

Dr. Chelsie Benca-Bachman
Associate Director of Research

Learn more about Dr. Benca-Bachman

Dr. Benca-Bachman received her PhD in Behavioral Genetics from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on the intersection of executive functions, psychopathology, and substance use. She utilizes a variety of methodologies to better understand the genetic and environmental contributes of these constructs, from twin studies, to whole genome approaches, and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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Victoria Risner
Research Assistant

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Victoria began as an undergraduate in the BGA lab during her sophomore year while majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She graduated Emory College with her B.S. in Spring 2019 and began working as a Research Assistant for the lab. For her honor's thesis, Victoria examined the predictive utility of a multitrait polygenic risk score model using known genetic correlates of nicotine dependence. More generally, she is interested in how developmental time periods and stress interact with genetics to impact drug use outcomes. Victoria is currently applying for medical school to pursue a career as a doctor.

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Jenani Srijeyanthan
Research Assistant

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graduated from Emory with a B.S. after majoring in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology and minoring in American Studies. She has continued working in the BGA lab as a part-time research assistant and focused on the identification of genomic loci for alcohol use disorder. She began this work in the lab during her junior year. She is generally interested in how stressors created by U.S. sociopolitical/socioeconomic policy may interact with neurochemistry to increase the likelihood of PTSD and/or substance use disorders, particularly in the case of institutionalized racism, trauma exposure, and marijuana. She plans to pursue graduate school in Fall 2020.

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Yijin Xiang
MPH Graduate Research Assistant

Learn more about Yijin

Yijin earned her BSN degree in Shanghai Jiaotong University, in China and now is a second year MPH student in Epidemiology Department, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory Univeristy. She is interested in applying various longitudinal methods to better build models to predict how kids and teens’ psychological and physical status will develop. Currently, she assisting with MAPMe data analysis and will conduct research based on the data.

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Haley Hershey
MPH graduare research assistant

Learn more about Haley

Haley graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She is currently a second year MPH student in the Epidemiology Department at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. She is interested in how social factors influence the incidence of health conditions across different populations and how they affect individuals’ lifetime health habits. Haley is working on MAPme data analysis and project planning.





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