June 25, 2015


Jarred Younger, PhD

Jarred YoungerDirector and Associate Professor

Jarred Younger received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychophysiology in 2003 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships at Arizona State University and the Stanford University School of Medicine before taking an assistant professor position at Stanford. In 2014, he joined the faculty at the University of Alabama Birmingham, with a primary appointment in the Department of Psychology and secondary appointments in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Rheumatology. Prof. Younger’s goal is to end the chronic pain and fatigue that is caused by inflammation in the brain. He is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and several non-profit agencies to develop techniques for diagnosing and treating neuroinflammation, pain, and fatigue.

Lisa Smoot

lisa-smootLab Manager

Lisa graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from UAB. She has over 18 years of experience working in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. During that time, she has served as a research lab manager, and is also highly experienced in wet lab procedures.

Kate Wesson-Sides

kate-wesson-sidesProject Coordinator II

Kate Wesson-Sides obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UAB. She has several years of experience as a clinical research study coordinator, mentoring local area high school and UAB college students. Kate’s primary research interest is at the intersection of psychological and physiological factors in the pain experience.  She served for two years as a research assistant and project coordinator in UAB’s Bio-behavioral Pain Lab where she completed and defended an honors thesis which examined the relationship between emotional regulation, pain sensitivity with sleep quality as a mediator. Kate joined the Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Lab in January 2015 as a program coordinator, where she oversees an NIH R01 funded project and other research studies

Emily Donovan

emily-donovanProject Manager I

Emily Donovan graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology. Prior to coming to UAB, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in a Neurology clinic specializing in Multiple Sclerosis, where she coordinated over 20 clinical trials. While working in the Neurology clinic, she became interested in health psychology, specifically the co-occurrence of psychological disorders with chronic illnesses. Emily joined the Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Lab in January 2016 as a program manager, where she directs recruitment efforts for multiple studies in addition to coordinating the botanicals clinical trial in Gulf War Illness.  After this, she hopes to pursue her research interests further by entering a PhD program in Clinical Psychology.

Luke Parkitny, PhD

Luke Parkitny, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Luke Parkitny’s primary research goal is to gain a better understanding of how the immune system is involved in creating and maintaining chronic pain. He is particularly interested in developing research that may identify the key mechanisms of pain conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and fibromyalgia. Having a better grasp of the immune system’s role in these conditions may help the future development of better-targeted therapies for pain. Luke completed an advanced clinical degree in pain management in 2006, however he decided to hang up his clinical hat after becoming increasingly fascinated by the problem of pain. In 2013, he completed his Ph.D. through the School of Medicine at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His doctoral research concerned the potential role of inflammation in the development of CRPS. In 2014, Luke joined the Younger’s lab at Stanford University and is continuing his work at UAB under an International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) fellowship. Luke also holds a self-granted advanced certificate in yeast cultivation (read: bread making) and is a keen dabbler in multiple hobbies.

Joanne Lin, PhD

Joanne LinPostdoctoral Fellow

Joanne graduated from the University of Auckland in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Pharmacy with First Class Honors in 2008. After practicing as a registered pharmacist, she completed her Ph.D. in 2013. Her doctoral research investigated the effects of methamphetamine addiction on the human brain with a focus on magnetic resonance imaging and pharmacotherapies for addiction. Joanne joined Younger’s lab in December 2013 and is working on several projects with Prof. Younger, including measuring the neural effects of chronic opioid exposure in the treatment of various pain conditions and investigating pain pathways with MRI. Her primary research interests involve neuroimaging, pain, and the effects of prescription/recreational drug use.


Christina Mueller

Graduate Student (Medical Clinical Psychology Program)




Kelsey Campbell

Graduate Student (Medical Clinical Psychology Program)




Rebecca Massey

Undergraduate Student Research assistant



Altamish Daredia

Undergraduate Student Research assistant




Cooper Bailey

Undergraduate Student Research assistant




Meredith Schertzinger

Undergraduate Student Research assistant



Skyler McMahan

Skylar McMahan

Undergraduate Student Research assistant



Raymond Moosavi

Undergraduate Student Research assistant




Xiola Harris

Undergraduate Student Research assistant