Association recognizes two psychology students for quality research

The Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) has named Katherine Lopez and Megan Maxwell recipients of Research Excellence Awards. Both are students in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.


Lopez, a PhD student, received the Doctoral Dissertation Research Excellence Award for her dissertation, titled “Cognitive, personality and neural signatures of impulsivity in childhood suicide.” Lopez is scheduled to graduate in June.

“Kat’s dissertation epitomizes outstanding clinical science research — work that capitalizes on insights from our understanding of cognition brain function and organization to help us understand risk for suicidal ideation and behavior,” said Deanna Barch, chair of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences and the Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry and professor of radiology​ at the School of Medicine.

Barch was Lopez’s dissertation adviser as well as Maxwell’s honors adviser.


Maxwell earned the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award for her research, titled “Evidence that neighborhood threat and brain volume mediate the relationship between neighborhood poverty and children’s psychopathy.”

“Megan did an outstanding job with this project, showcasing her ability to do complex analyses to address questions of major importance to society,” Barch said.

The FABBS Research Excellence Awards are given to acknowledge and honor student scientists and investigators who have completed research “of superior quality and with broader societal impact.”

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