• Department of

    Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences

  • About

    THINK Lab stands for Trauma History Investigation of Neurodevelopment in Kids. We study the impact of stress and trauma during childhood on brain development in children and adolescents, as well as, pediatric anxiety disorders, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our research uses several neuroscientific techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).

    Wayne State University

    School of Medicine

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

  • People

    Meet the minds of the THINK Lab

    Hilary Marusak, Ph.D.

    Principal Investigator

    Dr. Marusak is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development, a Scientific Member of the Karmanos Cancer Institute, and a Science Advisor for the nonprofit organization Kids Kicking Cancer.

    Breanna Borg

    Research Coordinator

    Breanna is currently a graduate student at Wayne State University School of Medicine working to earn her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University, majoring in neuroscience. Her previous research was done with the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where she focused on trauma (firearm injuries, sink-bathing burns, circumstances surrounding dog bites).

    Austin Morales

    Research Technologist

    Austin is a graduate student at Wayne State University studying for his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. He also earned a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Physics at Wayne State. Austin is interested in structural and functional changes of developing minds subjected to traumatic experiences. Other research interests include procedural memory, long-term potentiation, and fMRI biophysics.

    Aneesh Hehr

    Research Volunteer

    Aneesh is a medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed his bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at Wayne State University. He is interested in pursuing a career in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and/or Neuropsychiatry.

    Shreya Desai

    Research Volunteer

    Shreya is currently an undergraduate student at Wayne State University, working toward a major in neuroscience and a minor in psychology. She is interested in exploring brain development in children who have experienced trauma and she is also interested in researching the effects of mindfulness on children.

    Saurav Singh

    Research Volunteer

    Saurav is currently a fourth year political science and neuroscience double major at Wayne State. Saurav's interest in neuroscience comes from his own personal experience with epilepsy. Through working in research, he hopes to know more about neuroscience to help others with his condition.

    Christopher Mishreky

    Research Volunteer

    Christopher is currently a senior undergraduate student at Wayne State University, working toward a major in Public Health Honors and a minor in Business Administration. He is interested in how trauma may affect the neural development of children as well as discovering avenues to promote healthy psychological development.


    For a list of the THINK lab's published research, click here

    Participate in paid research studies!

    Click on this link or scan the QR code to complete a form to be contacted about research opportunities!

    Wayne State ABCD study

    Parents of 10-17 yr olds living in Detroit or the surrounding areas: Take a brief online survey and have your child complete a brief survey and earn a $20 e-gift card for your participation!


    Help Wayne State researchers understand the things that children & teens experience. Your child may also be eligible for a larger study that compensates $180. To learn more, click below:

    PATH Study

    The Peer Adjustment and Teen Health (PATH) study is an online survey study to learn about teen health. If you are a parent of a 10-14 year old and live in Detroit or the Detroit Metro area, you may be eligible to participate in brief online surveys and earn up to $20 for your participation. To get started:

    DRYVE Study

    The Detroit Research on Youth Violence Exposure (DYRVE) study is an online survey study to learn more about local Detroit neighborhoods and community violence in teens. Teenagers between the ages of 14-18 yrs (and one parent/guardian) living in Detroit may be eligible to participate. More information coming soon!

    CBD Study


    This study is to examine the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on anxiety and behavioral problems among children with epilepsy. In partnership with Dr. Aimee Luat, MD (Children's Hospital of Michigan).



    Research Funding

    We are thankful for research support from various funders. Our current research is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.

    THINK lab members sweep The Science Coalition’s Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge


  • Affiliated Groups

    Collaborators & community partners

    Kids Kicking Cancer

    International nonprofit organization

    Detroit Trauma Project

    PI: Tanja Jovanovic, Ph.D.

    TNP2 Lab

    PI: Christine Rabinak, Ph.D.

    MR Research Facility

    Wayne State Core Facility

    The Drug Lab

    Drs. Mark Greenwald & Leslie Lundahl

    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

    Division Chief: Jeffrey Taub, M.D., F.A.A.P.

    Behavioral and Field Research Core

    Scientific Director: Felicity Harper, Ph.D.

    Adolescent Relationships in Context Lab

    PI: Hannah Schacter, Ph.D.

    Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program

    Medical Director: Aimee Luat, M.D.

    Wayne Pediatrics

    Chief Medical Officer: Christopher Youngman, M.D.

  • Contact Us!

    You're awesome. Let's talk.






    Tolan Park Medical Building 3901 Chrysler Service Drive, Suite 2B
    Detroit, MI 48201