2023 ISDP Dissertation Award Winner – Isabella (Isa) Stallworthy, PhD

Isabella (Isa) Stallworthy, PhD  
JSMF Postdoctoral Fellow 
Complex Systems Lab
University of Pennsylvania
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Twitter: @isaStallworthy


Mini Bio:

Isabella (Isa) Stallworthy is a James S. McDonnell Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Complex Systems Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, co-mentored by Drs. Dani Bassett and Victoria Leong (in collaboration with Dr. Marion van den Heuvel). Isa draws on developmental theory and dynamic systems frameworks to investigate the building blocks of social life across multiple human systems. She studies the dynamic processes through which brains, physiology, and behavior coordinate and specialize at multiple timescales to support social interaction, cognition, and learning in development. Taking a developmental psychopathology approach, she studies typically developing populations as well as those with elevated neurodevelopmental risk for lifelong challenges. During her PhD at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, she investigated core social cognitive processes –such as social motivation, social-visual exploration, joint attention, and social co-regulation –and the neurobiological and environmental factors influencing their development. In her postdoc, Isa is focused on the neurobiological underpinnings of social cognition and interaction. She is training in dynamic network neuroscience and “two-person” hyper-scanning techniques to ask innovative questions about the development of our core social capacities.

Dissertation Award Winners:

2022 Dissertation Award Winner: Lana Ruvolo Grasser, PhD (she/her/hers)
Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC Lab; starclab.org); Jovanovic Lab—Detroit Trauma Project (DTP; detroittraumaproject.com)
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, USA  @ScientificRuvvy

– Doctoral Mentorship: Drs. Arash Javanbakht and Tanja Jovanovic.


2021 Dissertation Award Winner: Kristie L. Poole, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, Social Development Lab, Department of Psychology @Poole_Kristie

– Postdoctoral Supervisor: Dr. Heather A. Henderson
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology; McMaster University, Child Emotion Lab, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour Dissertation: The origins and heterogeneity of shyness: A developmental, biological perspective, Supervisor: Dr. Louis A. Schmidt


2020 Dissertation Award Winner:Morgan Reiss Firestein, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Developmental Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY USA
– Postdoctoral Mentor: William Fifer, Columbia University in the City; Dissertation Mentor: Frances Champagne, Columbia University in the City


2019 Dissertation Award Winner: Virginia C. Salo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stress and Early Adversity Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Nashville, Research – Postdoctoral Mentor: Kathryn L. Humphreys, PhD, Ed.M.; Dissertation Mentor: Nathan Fox, PhD


2018 Dissertation Award Winner: Caitlin Cowan, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (formerly, Caitlin Cowan, APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Ireland) – Dissertation Mentor: Rick Richardson, University of New South Wales



2017 Dissertation Award Winner: Rosemarie Perry, Postdoctoral 

Research Scientist NYU, Neuroscience and Education Lab,