Program Director

Zachary Stowe

Credentials: MD

Position title: Principal Investigator


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


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

Marisa Muhonen

Credentials: MA, Psychological Science

Position title: Clinical Research Coordinator II


Marisa Muhonen received an MA in Psychology, Psychological Science from the University of Colorado in 2022. During that time, she worked as a research assistant for an evolutionary psychology lab as well as conducted research focusing on olfaction and cognitive functioning. Her specialties include data methodology and analysis. Marisa is excited to be able to work at the Women’s Mental Health Program and expand her knowledge on transgenerational trauma.

Michael Jaeb

Credentials: Nursing, BSN

Position title: Clinical Research Coordinator II


Michael earned his nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and provides clinical care in other departments within UW Health. Currently, he is a Candidate in the PhD Nursing Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on shame in patient-clinician interactions in the context of chronic condition management, including relevant concepts, such as trauma and stigma. He has been with the Department of Psychiatry since 2022.

Joe Nolan

Position title: Research Assistant


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