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MEET THE GYRL LAB

 
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ELLEN GARRISON

Lab Manager

Ellen is from the Chicago suburbs and received her BS in Biology from the University of Michigan. She worked for a few years as a pharmaceutical rep and decided to go back to school to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Rush. After 10 years as a Labor and Delivery nurse and Assistant Unit Director of a post-partum unit, she changed course and discovered her passion for research.


Ellen enjoys working in women’s health because it is so understudied.  For too long women with menstrual pain have been with limited options for therapies and treatments.  The research we are doing is taking steps forward in understanding the basic mechanisms behind the pain and she enjoys figuring out the “why”.

 
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SARAH DARNELL

Research Coordinator

Sarah is originally from St. Louis, MO and graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2020 with a BS in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychology. Sarah has a strong research background in sensory modalities and is interested in how menstrual pain may influence these mechanisms. Sarah is also passionate about advocating for independent access to health care for those who menstruate, and pain management related to chronic conditions.

 
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KAELA HARBER

Research Assistant

Kaela graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2021 with her B.S. in Psychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Bioethics. In her research experiences at Loyola, she studied physical activity, mental health, and food marketing’s effects on young women and girls. The GyRL Lab allows her to continue studying women’s health while also working to reduce inequities in women’s health and research. In her time at the GyRL Lab and beyond, Kaela hopes to help eradicate the barriers that prevent people from accessing both physical and mental health care.

 
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KENDRA JULIETTE

Research Assistant

Kendra graduated from the University of Michigan in 2022 with a B.S. in Biology, Health, & Society and a minor in Gender and Health. Her research at Michigan focused on community engagement, health equity, and crisis-response initiatives following the Flint Water Crisis. Kendra is interested in the mechanisms of menstrual pain and continuing to study reproductive health in a clinical research setting, highlighting typically understudied areas in healthcare with the potential for widespread impact.

 

ALUMNI

MATTHEW KMEICIK, PHD

2020-2022

23andMe

GENEVIEVE ROTH

2017-

PhD candidate, Loyola University Chicago

KAT DILLANE

2014-2016; 2019-2022

Senior Research Specialist, UIC

SIOBHAN IHENACHO

2021

Masters Student, UIC

MARGARET SCHROER

2019-2021

Nursing Student, Rush University

GABRIELA ASHENAFI

2019-2021

Medical Student, University of Michigan

CODY SAIN

2019-

MD candidate, Pritzker School of Medicine

FOLABOMI OLADOSU, PHD

2016-2019

Medical Writer HealthVizion

NICOLE STEINER

2015-2019

Senior Research Coordinator SCL Health

OMAR NELSON, PHD

2018-

Research Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

RICHARD COCKRUM, MD

2018-

Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Gynecology, NorthShore

REBECCA ZUCKERMAN, MD

2014-2018

Ob/Gyn Resident, University of Vermont

AVISEK DATTA

2017-

PhD candidate, University of Illinois

JULIA KANE MORLOCK

2013-2016

Educational Psychologist

CAROLYN KUHN, MD

2015-

Ob/Gyn Resident, University of Chicago

INSIYYAH PATANWALA, MD

2013-2015

Assistant Professor, Indiana University

KELLY POLNAZSEK, PHD

2015-

PhD candidate Loyola University Chicago, Dept. of Psychology

NITA PADAVIL, MD

2013-2015

Psychiatry Resident Northwestern Memorial

ADAM GAFNI-KANE, MD

2012-2014

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

NATHAN SHLOBIN

2014-

MD candidate, Northwestern University

SAANIYA FARHAN

2014

MD candidate, Thomas Jefferson University

ALICE HAN, MD

2012-2013

MD Candidate, University of Illinois

CHRISTINE KANG

2013

MD candidate, University of Illinois Chicago

ALLYSON WESTLING, MD

2011-2012

Resident Physician, University of Colorado

PETER YU, MD

2010-2012

Resident Physician, Ohio State University

JAKE CARROW, PHD

2010-2011

Postdoctoral Researcher at Northwestern University