Meet the Team

The Serenity Study Team

Principal Investigator: Dr. David Fresco is a Professor of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. His clinical research focuses on the study of anxiety and mood disorders. His research explores metacognitive factors, psychophysiology, neuroscience, and electrophysiology. Much of Dr. Fresco’s work focuses on the development of treatments such as, stress reduction techniques.


Co-Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey Greeson is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His primary research interest is the connection between stress and biobehavioral mechanisms implicated in cardiovascular disease. He is especially interested in the potential of stress management in preventing stress related disease, including hypertension and cardiovascular disease.


Co-Investigator: Dr. Joel Hughes is an Associate Professor at Kent State University. His research interests are in clinical health psychology. He specializes in cardiovascular psychophysiology. His research focuses on understanding how psychosocial factors such as depression and traumatic stress increase cardiovascular risk. Another interest is the role of psychosocial factors such as cognitive impairment, depression, and social support in patient self-management of cardiovascular conditions.

fancoise_adanCo-Investigator: Dr. Francoise Adan is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the Medical Director at the Connor Integrative Medicine Network at University Hospitals. In more than 25 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Adan has always practiced mind/body medicine, encouraging clients and patients to understand the connection between the mind, the body and the spirit.


Clinical Research Coordinator: Vanessa Anyanso is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Site. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University in 2017, where she earned her BA in Psychology. Her main research interests encompass an integration of topics from social and clinical psychology, and she eventually intends to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Until that time, she is focusing on developing her skills as a young researcher and gaining perspective and experience in running clinical trials.

soccergameClinical Research Coordinator: Megan Strowger is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the Cleveland site. She is interested in the mechanisms of interoception and the role it plays in dispositional mindfulness and emotion processing.  Her Master’s Thesis utilized an interoceptive sound manipulation to see if exteroceptive exposure to interoceptive sounds would elicit demonstrable changes in emotional theory of mind and emotion recognition.

Clinical Research Coordinator: Rosa Heryak is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the Cleveland Site. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Catholic University of America. She has been interested in mindfulness since her junior year at CUA and looks forward to continuing to learn about mindfulness during her time on The Serenity Study.

Clinical Research Assistant: Jonathan Reda is a full-time research assistant and class coordinator for the Serenity Study at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology from Drexel University (Class of 2017).  He started working for the lab when he was an undergraduate student as part of the Drexel’s co-op system and then rejoined the lab after he graduated.  He is interested in a wide range of subjects within Clinical Psychology and intends to pursue a graduate degree after his time with the lab.  He hopes to further cultivate his skills as a clinical research assistant and apply these skills to graduate school and his future career in psychology.

Stress Management Instructors:

Suzanne Rusnak, MEd, MSSA
Kasia Hrecka, PhD
Morris Ervin
Joy Whitlow
Jodi English

Holly Barilla