MEET THE GYRL LAB
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”.
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.
DR. MATT KMIECIK
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Matt earned a BS in Psychology: Natural Sciences from Loyola University Chicago (2013) and a PhD in Cognition and Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Dallas (2019). As a postdoctoral research fellow, he studies mechanisms of menstrual pain using EEG and MRI related techniques. His goal is to optimally identify mechanistic pathways of neurocognitive pain sources to better identify, treat, and prevent maladaptive pain.
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.
Maddie graduated from DePaul University in 2022 with her B.S. in Cognitive and Behavior Neuroscience. Maddie has a strong background in youth chronic illnesses. Her research at DePaul analyzed the prevalence of pediatric chronic and mental conditions in the Chicagoland area. Maddie is interested in identifying the underlying mechanisms of chronic pain. Chronic pain represents a significant clinical problem that impacts quality of life. She hopes her research will be used to develop public policy and create targeted strategies to improve individual wellness.
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.
PhD candidate, Loyola University Chicago
Senior Research Specialist, UIC
Masters Student, UIC
Nursing Student, Rush University
Medical Student, University of Michigan
MD candidate, Pritzker School of Medicine
FOLABOMI OLADOSU, PHD
Medical Writer HealthVizion
Senior Research Coordinator SCL Health
OMAR NELSON, PHD
Research Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
RICHARD COCKRUM, MD
Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Gynecology, NorthShore
REBECCA ZUCKERMAN, MD
Ob/Gyn Resident, University of Vermont
PhD candidate, University of Illinois
JULIA KANE MORLOCK
CAROLYN KUHN, MD
Ob/Gyn Resident, University of Chicago
INSIYYAH PATANWALA, MD
Assistant Professor, Indiana University
KELLY POLNAZSEK, PHD
PhD candidate Loyola University Chicago, Dept. of Psychology
NITA PADAVIL, MD
Psychiatry Resident Northwestern Memorial
ADAM GAFNI-KANE, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
MD candidate, Northwestern University
MD candidate, Thomas Jefferson University
ALICE HAN, MD
MD Candidate, University of Illinois
MD candidate, University of Illinois Chicago
ALLYSON WESTLING, MD
Resident Physician, University of Colorado
PETER YU, MD
Resident Physician, Ohio State University
JAKE CARROW, PHD
Postdoctoral Researcher at Northwestern University