People

Program Director

Zachary Stowe

Credentials: MD

Position title: Principal Investigator

Email: zstowe@wisc.edu

Zachary N. Stowe, MD, is the Director of the Women’s Mental Health Program within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He collaborates with colleagues across departments within the UW and across the country at multiple research universities. The goal of his research is understand the course and impact of maternal mental illness, substance abuse, or trauma histories during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  Through his research, he has contributed to the development of treatment guidelines for mental illness for expecting and new mothers. Current studies include examining the impact of maternal stress during the perinatal period and risk to the offspring as well as interactions of genetics and exposures on determining the developmental trajectory. In addition to his research activities, he maintains an active clinical practice focusing on women’s mental health and the perinatal period, and is highly dedicated to the mentorship of students, residents, and faculty.

Dr. Stowe earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, completed his residency in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center followed by a fellowship in Psychopharmacology at Emory University. Dr. Stowe is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has received numerous awards for both research, teaching, and mentoring – including: ‘Red Sash Teach Award’, Educational Achievement Award, and the Distinguished Mentor Award for his teaching/mentoring efforts. He received the Dean’s Award at Emory, the Gerald Klerman Investigator Award, and has directed two center grants from the National Institute of Health. He has served on the mentoring committee for seven K-Awards for faculty research development. He is a reviewer for over 10 peer reviewed journals and he lectures regularly at national and international meetings.

Affiliated Faculty

Josh Cisler

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Affiliated Faculty

Email: josh.cisler@austin.utexas.edu

Dr. Josh Cisler received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in 2010. His research at that time focused on emotional and cognitive mechanisms that mediate anxiety disorders. He completed a clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina through the National Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center, where his research focused on understanding risk factors for psychopathology following trauma, with a particular focus on assaultive events (e.g., physical and sexual assault). He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Brain Imaging Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he received training in fMRI methodology and advanced computational approaches to imaging analysis. He was on the faculty of the Brain Imaging Research Center from 2012-2016, and recently joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2016. Most importantly, Josh is the proud owner of two golden retrievers.

Research Team

Rachel Williams

Credentials: B.S. Biology, B.S. Psychology

Position title: Clinical Research Coordinator II

Email: rmwilliams5@wisc.edu

Rachel Williams received a dual Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2021. During that time, she worked as a research assistant for a child development lab which investigated the relationship between maternal psychopathology and infant language development. Rachel wishes to expand on this knowledge to better understand the neural circuitry changes that may occur as a consequence of transgenerational trauma. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and playing with her two cats, Bisky and Plum.

Natalie Ingold

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: ningold@wisc.edu

Natalie is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is pursuing a Psychology major as well as a certificate in Gender Women Studies and Global Health. She is very interested in mental health and women’s health research. Some of Natalie’s hobbies include running and going on long walks, watching random movies on Netflix, and socializing with friends!

Olivia Larson

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: oelarson@wisc.edu

Olivia Larson is a third year Neurobiology major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently work as a phlebotomist and hopes to go to Physician Assistant school post-grad to become a Psychiatry PA. She loves hiking, reading outside, and hanging out by the lake.

Alyssa Mendelowitz

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: amendelowitz@wisc.edu

Alyssa is an undergraduate at UW-Madison pursuing a Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and Neurobiology on the Pre-Medical School track. She is very interested in pursing a career in psychiatry and providing help to those with mental illnesses. Alyssa finds it important to do her part to contribute to the normalization of mental health awareness and is looking forward to doing this more in her future profession. Some of her hobbies include exercising, singing, and hanging out with friends.

Joe Nolan

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: jvnolan@wisc.edu

Joe is an undergraduate at UW-Madison pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, with hopes of attending graduate school and pursuing mental health research in the future. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and watching college football!

Sarah Schubbe

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: sjschubbe@wisc.edu

Sarah is an undergraduate at UW-Madison pursuing majors in Biology and Spanish. She is passionate about mental health and is very interested in mental health research, especially in women. Some of Sarah’s hobbies include traveling, exercising, and socializing with friends!

Makayla Thomas

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: mthomas36@wisc.edu

Makayla is a senior at University of Wisconsin Madison studying biology and psychology. She is interested in pursuing a career in psychiatry and her research interests include women’s health and addiction. Some of Makayla’s hobbies include traveling, true crime, and cooking.