Lab Members

Principal Investigator


Frances Chen received her A.B. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Freiburg, Germany. She joined the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 2013. Her research investigates how people establish, negotiate, and sustain social relationships. Frances’s work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The Globe and Mail, Forbes, Time, NPR, Slate, and The Washington Post. You can find her CV here.

Graduate Students


Bita is a clinical psychology graduate student at UBC. She received her Pharm.D degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and her B.A in psychology from UBC. She is interested in investigating the cognitive, social and biological factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of depression. She is specifically interested in the role of reward processing, stress, and sex hormones in development of anhedonia and other depressive symptoms in adolescents and young adults.


Charlotte is a health psychology PhD student. She completed a MA in health psychology at UBC, and a bachelor’s degree in honours psychology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research focuses on the bidirectional relationships between human social behaviour, emotions, and physiology. She is currently conducting research on the influence of social relationships, loneliness, and stress on heart rate variability, blood pressure, and immune function.


Julia is a health psychology graduate student at UBC. She received her B.S. in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is interested in understanding how prosocial behaviours (e.g., volunteering, informal helping) are associated with health and well-being outcomes, integrating theories and perspectives from health psychology, epidemiology/biostatistics, and translational science.



Elizabeth graduated from UBC with a B.A. in Psychology in 2022. She is interested in social, health, and cultural psychology, and the intersections between these disciplines. In the Social Health Lab, she has been involved in research about LGBTQ+ social integration as well as the relationship between loneliness and the heart.


Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Social Work from UBC. She is passionate about improving the health and well-being of marginalized individuals, specifically for persons with disabilities and those with complex health conditions. When Sarah is not working or exploring new coffee shops, she volunteers her time with various non-profit organizations, such as Cure SMA Canada and Disability Alliance BC.

Senior Research Assistants


Nicholas is an undergraduate psychology student at UBC. He is a current coordinator for two ongoing projects in the lab, investigating both the social and biological factors that may contribute to the development and maintenance of depression. This year he will further assess the relationship between facial emotion recognition and depression in adolescents. Outside of the lab, he volunteers with the Vancouver Crisis Centre and the AMS peer support services.


Rosha completed her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education from UBC in 2023. Her research interests primarily focus on understanding the various factors that contribute to psychological well-being as well as behaviours related to health. Rosha has been a part of different projects in the lab, with her most recent involvement in a study exploring the relationship between oral contraceptive use and long-term mental health outcomes. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her dog.


Jason is currently an undergraduate psychology student at UBC. He has a particular interest in counselling psychology with a focus on depression and existential therapy, and hopes to pursue working in the field of psychotherapy. Outside of his lab activities Jason enjoys working with children in sports and recreation.


Sofie completed her B.A. in Psychology from UBC in May 2023. Her research interests centre around implementing prevention and intervention programs for anxiety disorders and depression in adolescents, particularly those in marginalized communities and/or with limited access to care. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology to help meet the mental health needs of underserved populations.


Linda graduated recently from UBC with a BA in psychology and statistics. She is currently working on the HRV Light project, investigating how near-infrared lighting may affect mood, cognitive ability, and heart rate variability.


Bessie is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience. She is interested in knowledge translation and finding ways to make research more accessible to people. In the Social Health Lab, she has been involved in research about the effects of prosocial behaviours on loneliness and wellbeing. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, painting, and crafting.


Marisa completed her B.A. in Psychology at UBC and has been working with the Social Health Lab for the past year and a half. During her time with the lab, she has been involved in work on prosociality, social connection, and hormones & health. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, solving puzzles, and getting coffee (or bubble tea!) with friends.


Shan-Li is graduating in Spring 2024 with a BA in psychology and a minor in the multidisciplinary health and society program. In the lab, she has been involved in research on the effect of near-infrared lighting on factors such as cognitive performance and heart rate variability, as well as a scoping review investigating acute stress recovery as indicated by heart rate variability. In the future she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in public health, with a focus on health initiatives for children and adolescents.

Research Assistants

Ahmed Makhlouf

Albie Gong

Alice Erchov

Alison Leroux

Angel Ying

Logan Isfeld

Dayton Se

Jiayi Li

Karen Johal

Samir Midha

Marcus Hager

Sebastián Ponce

Nicolas Zhu

Benjamin Giang

Sarvenaz Oloomi

Malika Kahlon

Ishita Ralli

Taarini Mittal

Ishdeep Grewal

Matthew Mosher

Raquel Yang

Angus Barwick

Anushka Gulani

Dora Zhou

Erika Delorme

Francesca Berthiaume

Gabrielle Foo

Jennifer Hamilton

Katherine Hong

Linda You

Mateo Hernandez

Lynn Zhang

Serif Sav

Shani Avrahami Saraf

Tessa McDermid