Current Lab Members

Dr. Nathaniel Herr Lab Director

Nathaniel Herr is an Associate Professor of Psychology who joined the Psychology Department at American University in 2012. Dr. Herr received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received postdoctoral training and a faculty appointment at Duke University Medical Center. His research focuses on the etiology and effects of interpersonal dysfunction, emotion regulation difficulties, and identity disturbance particularly among adults or emerging adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Alexandra Long

Alexandra D. Long joined the PhD program in 2018 after first joining the Interpersonal Emotion Lab in 2016 for the MA in Psychology program at American University. She earned her BA in Cinema & Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2011. Her MA thesis examined how narcissistic traits moderate the effects of empathy priming on rape myth acceptance among heterosexual college males. Alex is primarily interested in how individual differences in personality and difficulties with emotion regulation impact romantic relationships and couple functioning. Additional research interests include: health equity among LGBTQ+ individuals, personality pathology, dialectical behavior therapy, and evidence-based couple/family therapies. Alex completed an externship at Georgetown University's Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). At the Washington DC VA Medical Center (DC VAMC), Alex has completed two clinical rotations in the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC), and a research rotation and assessment rotation in the Trauma Services Program (TSP). She is currently a health professions trainee in the Polytrauma Clinic at the DC VAMC. For her dissertation, Alex is examining the impacts of minority stress (e.g., binegativity, bi-erasure) on the psychological and romantic relationship functioning of partnered bisexual+ women, and whether the impacts are moderated by the partner's sexual identity. In the Spring 2023 semester, Alex will teach a course as an adjunct instructor at AU. Alex is currently on internship.

Ramya Ramadurai

Ramya Ramadurai, MA is a 4th year doctoral student in the Interpersonal Emotion Lab, interested in affective mechanisms in treatment as well as factors that enhance therapy outcomes — especially within digital mental health interventions.

After graduating from Boston University in 2016 Ramya worked at McLean Hospital, both as a research assistant in the Cognition and Affect Research and Education (CARE) Lab, and as a Community Residence Counselor for individuals with Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders. She is currently an extern at Childrens National Hospital, working with kids in a full model Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program as well as in the Anxiety Disorders clinic. Her research has focused on both understanding affective, identity, and relational difficulties in mood and borderline personality disorders, as well as understanding therapeutic processes in digital specialized treatments such as DBT. She is passionate about harnessing the adaptability and scalability of these interventions to deliver culturally responsive care.


Ramya Ramadurai Research Gate

Kelly Klein

Kelly Klein joined the lab as a PhD student in 2021 after completing her BS in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. At PSU, she assisted with research and clinical assessment through the Laboratory for Personality Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Research. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked as a counselor and clinical research assistant at a residential DBT program for adolescents at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. She provided skills coaching and led DBT groups, while also involving herself in the research of the coinciding research group investigating treatment outcomes, family dynamics, suicidal thoughts & behaviors, and BPD pathology.

Kelly's current research investigates the interaction of transdiagnostic mechanisms of BPD such as identity disturbance, emotion dysregulation, irritability, and NSSI, in predicting emotion and interpersonal functioning in young-adult populations. She is also interested in investigating daily life outcomes, the maintenance of close relationships, and physiological correlates with ambulatory methodology (i.e., EMA, daily diary, wearables, etc). Kelly recently completed the summer internship program (SIP) within the Emotion and Development branch at NIMH where she expanded her program of research to explore these transdiagnostic mechanisms further across mood and anxiety disorders. She received extensive training in longitudinal methods and analytic approaches as she managed the collection of EMA data as part of a longitudinal study for adolescents with depression and anxiety. She plans to continue this work throughout the upcoming year. Currently, Kelly is a clinical extern at the Wake Kendall Group and received foundational DBT training through behavioral tech.


Kelly Klein Research Gate

Paloma Zabala

Paloma Zabala joined the lab as a PhD student in 2023. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2021. While at UNC, Paloma worked in the Peer Relations Lab assisting with behavioral coding of qualitative social media data and connecting with Spanish-speaking participants and their families. After graduation, Paloma received the Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Fellowship and spent two years working in the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. She primarily worked on the Neurobiology of Suicide research protocol, collecting data, administering neuropsychological assessments, running magnetoencephalography (MEG) and fMRI scans, with participants on a continuum of suicide risk. Paloma is currently interested in interpersonal factors such as social rejection and social support, racial and ethnic identities and culture, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.


Paloma Zabala Research Gate

Ella Sudit

Ella Sudit, MA, joined the lab as a PhD student in 2022. She received her BA in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019. At WashU, Ella worked in the Emotion Regulation and Relationships lab where she completed her honors thesis and the Early Emotional Development Program (EEDP) at WashU Med School. After graduating, she continued working full time at the EEDP as a research coordinator, clinical interviewer, and brain-imaging technician, studying emotional development and disorders in early childhood. She engaged directly with participants on multiple research studies and collaborated with PIs on publications. In addition, Ella also volunteered at the Emotion and Mental Health Lab at WashU, collaborating on research and a subsequent paper about emotion differentiation and MDD using EMA technology. She volunteered at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute learning more about emotion processing in the context of cognition and neuroscience specifically related to non-suicidal self-injury. Ella also worked as a clinical operations associate at Marvin, a mental health technology company focused on providing mental health treatment to front-line healthcare workers. Ella is interested in how emotion processing ability impacts mental health trans-diagnostically across the lifespan. She is further interested in authentic methods of measurement (such as ambulatory assessment) and considering how indivdiual's identities and environments impact their mental health.


Ella Sudit Research Gate

Deirdre Salinsky

Deirdre Salinsky joined the lab in 2022 and is currently a 2nd year master’s student. She got her BS in Psychology at James Madison University in 2022. Her master’s thesis is on the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism, social rejection, and impulsive behavior. Her research interests are primarily on how interpersonal dysfunction can impact emotion regulation, risk taking behaviors, such as NSSI, as emotion regulation strategies, and borderline personality disorder.


Elizabeth Arlington

Elizabeth Arlington joined the lab in 2023 and is currently a 1st year master’s student.

Want to Participate?

For questions regarding undergraduate research assistant positions or research participation opportunities, contact Nate Herr.