Name: Janine Cerutti

Role: Clinical Research Coordinator

Education: Psychology, B.S. from Union College with a Minor in Mathematics (2016)

Hometown: Tampa, Florida


1.     What are you working on in the lab?

I joined the lab in August 2018, and am looking forward to helping with efforts to find better biomarkers of past stress exposure and future mental health risk. I am also excited to help out with various ongoing research studies seeking to identify exactly when, postnatally, are the developmental periods of greatest vulnerability to depression following exposure to adversity. Lastly, I am now learning to code in R and perform statistical analyses in SAS, and I look forward to eventually helping with data management and analysis. 


2.     What are 3 big questions you are interested in answering?

Three questions I am interested in answering include:

1.     Which individuals are most susceptible to depression following adversity and why?

2.     What are the biological mechanisms underlying risk for depression?

3.     How can this knowledge help guide interventions to prevent the onset of depression and promote mental health?


3.     Of your most recent accomplishments, which one are you most proud of?

Joining the Dunn Lab is my most recent accomplishment, which I am most proud of. One reason is because I joined a phenomenal team—not only are the credentials of the Dunn Lab members impressive, but their values are as well. There is a true sense of teamwork and collaboration present in the lab. Everyone is more than willing to help and answer any questions. A second reason is because, by pursuing this new role, I took a leap of faith into an entirely different career path. Before I joined the Dunn Lab, I was working at a law firm in a business development and marketing-related role. It is challenging to reset back into an academic mindset after being out of college for two years; however, I believe I have the resources and support to succeed and look forward to the challenges ahead.  


4.     Which super power would you like to have?

I would definitely like to fly, but only if my sinuses would cooperate at high altitudes. If I had this super power, I would never have to worry about a morning commute and could travel the world (for free!). 


5.     How do you define success?

I define success by my ability to try again after making a mistake, to follow my gut, to treat others the way I would like to be treated (even if they are impolite) and, on a personal level, to have a life filled with people I respect, trust and love.  

6.     What is your advice to others looking to get involved in research?

My advice to others looking to get involved in research is to start by asking yourself what areas of research you are interested in and then find labs that are in the same ballpark. I think enthusiasm and genuine interest can go a long way in the interview process. It is also helpful to scan some research papers that catch your eye and then look-up the authors to see if they are hiring. Once you find a lab that you are excited about, send your resume in. Even if no available positions are posted online, there is still potential opportunity to get involved. Do not be afraid to apply to multiple labs and do not get discouraged by rejection—it is all part of the process.