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


Yeeun is a health psychology graduate student. Before joining UBC, she received her M.A. in clinical psychology from Korea University. Broadly, her research aim is to gain deeper insights into the ways people pursue positive life outcomes (e.g., health and well-being) through prosociality and social connection. For instance, she is interested in examining the influence of prosocial (vs. non-prosocial) behaviors on health-related outcomes (e.g., stress reactivity, immune functioning, and sleep quality) and its psychological and physiological mechanisms, by employing a multi-method approach.


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.


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.


Kelly is a health psychology graduate student at UBC. She completed her B.S. in Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are focused on cultural differences in the link between social support and health outcomes. She is currently exploring MIDUS (Midlife in the United States) and MIDJA (Midlife in Japan) data to investigate support seeking and physiological and psychological outcomes.


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. In her spare time, Sarah volunteers as a Crisis Responder with Kids Help Phone and serves on the Board of Directors for Disability Alliance BC.

Senior Research Assistants


Christine will be going into her fifth year at UBC, majoring in behavioural neuroscience. She is currently involved in the heart rate variability study, which closely relates to her interests in studying how one’s psychological state and social, as well as built, environments can affect their physical well-being. Aside from being an RA for the SHL, Christine is also involved in the Psychology Students’ Association as the VP Communications and loves to spend her free time exploring new places!


Alex is a fourth year Behavioural Neuroscience student. He is interested in Clinical Psychology and wants to learn about how smartphone use can impact mental health. He is currently researching how the use of social networking apps can affect our wellbeing and sleep quality. He is also researching how this relationship is influenced by lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. In his free time, Alex loves playing sports and trying new things.


Bilal is a fourth year Psychology Honours student. He is interested in learning about the social determinants of health and its impact on populations. He is currently involved with research assessing the validity of online stress testing. He is also working on his 4th year thesis in the Coping with Neurological Symptoms Lab and hopes to pursue a future in public health. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing sports like basketball and cricket.


Chelsea is a fourth-year Psychology student with a minor in Interpersonal Development. She is interested in Clinical and Counselling Psychology which focuses on child and adolescent mental health and social factors impacting children’s psychological well-being. Currently, she is involved in one research investigating the association between 3-12-year-old children’s lifestyle behaviours, such as screen exposure or sleep quality, and their emotional and behavioural disturbances during and after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Mainland China. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys travelling, exercising, and creating embroidery arts.


Valerie is currently entering her fifth year of Psychology at UBC, with a minor in creative writing! After joining in Jan 2021 and working as a RA for the Simulated Online Interview study, she is currently doing a directed studies with the Social Health lab on a new project assessing reward system processing. Valerie hopes to pursue further higher education in psychology, and contribute to research regarding the impact of social media, negative diet culture, and other influential factors on a woman’s self-image! Outside of the lab, she loves to spend time with friends, go to the gym, and read.


Rachel is a UBC Psychology graduate. She is interested in improving people’s connection to others around them and has taken a special interest in the psychology of happiness. She has recently been working on a long-term project with her supervisor interested in improving community wellness among community and university residents. Rachel hopes to further her education in psychology and become a psychologist who has the opportunity to help people improve their daily lives. Outside the lab, she volunteers as a crisis responder at the Vancouver Crisis Centre, trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and reads with her cat.


Nina graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UBC in spring 2022 and joined the Social Health Lab in January 2021. She works as a study coordinator for the Simulated Online Interview study and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests vary but the intersection of Social, Cultural, and Clinical Psychology is what she gets most curious about. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking and reading.

Research Assistants

Linda Wang

Bessie Guo

Cynthia Cui

Gagan Hothi

Alice Erchov

Michelle Lin

Marisa Nelson

Cassidy Cardle

Shan-Li Barkovich

Muhan Yang

Keya Malhotra

Jason Chow

Isaaca Wang

Rosha Rashidi

Sarvenaz Oloomi

Joshua Costa

Jiayi Li

Luke Forrester

Marcus Hager

Nicholas Latimer

Zahra Fallah

Samir Midha

Sofie Jensen

Wenjing Cao

Miranda Tsuyuki

Karen Johal

Logan Isfeld

Angel Ying

Sebastián Ponce

Nicolas Zhu