About Us




Kimberly S. Chiew, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Dr. Chiew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She is a member of DU Psychology’s Affect-Social-Cognitive area and affiliated with the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience program.

Dr. Chiew is interested in how motivation and affect — what we want and how we feel — shape the way we allocate attention, control task performance, and learn new information; ultimately, supporting adaptive behavior.

CV | Email | Google Scholar | Department Profile


Sloan Ferron
Lab Manager / Research Assistant

Sloan is the lab manager for the MAC Lab and also collaborates with the Social Detection Lab in the Psychology Department at the University of Denver. She graduated with a major in Neuroscience from the University of Delaware. She plans on pursuing a PhD in social psychology or cognitive neuroscience. When not in the lab Sloan enjoys backpacking, cooking and creating art!




Lyneé Herrera
Graduate Student & NSF Graduate Fellow

Lyneé is a third-year graduate student in the ASC area from San Antonio, Texas. After graduating with degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Texas A&M University, Lyneé spent two years as a lab manager in the Saxe Lab at MIT researching early social and cognitive development and Theory of Mind. She is interested in brain mechanisms and individual differences that support emotion regulation and motivated memory, and how these process contribute to well-being. As a first-generation Indigenous student, Lyneé is committed to mentoring students from all backgrounds who are interested in the brain, emotions, or diversity in science. Outside of the lab, Lyneé enjoys eating good food, reading, and traveling with her dog, Murdy.

CV | Email



Chad Kashiwa
Undergraduate Student

Chad is a Denver native and junior at the University of Denver. He is majoring in biology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience and minoring in chemistry and psychology. When finished with this degree, he aims to pursue graduate school and a career in neuroscience. He is broadly drawn to the science of the brain but especially interested in psychopharmacology and neuroethics. Chad likes playing guitar and piano in his free time and is a novice outdoorsman.



Maddie Leake
Undergraduate Student

Maddie is a second year undergraduate student originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Biology and Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. After college she plans to pursue medical school with a focus on neuroscience. She is interested in how neurochemical brain functions impact our emotions and behavior. In her free time Maddie likes to read, hike and scuba dive.



Romel Minassie
Undergraduate Student

Romel is a junior at the University of Denver from Denver, Colorado. He is majoring in Finance with a minor in Psychology and is broadly interested in Cognitive Neuroscience. In his free time, Romel enjoys playing soccer and reading.



Naomi Sellers
Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant

Naomi is a research assistant for the MAC Lab as well as for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab at CU Boulder. She graduated from Regis University with majors in Linguistics and English and a minor in Neuroscience. She is planning to pursue a graduate degree in cognitive neuroscience and psychology. When not working, Naomi can often be found running, reading, or working on creative projects.



Kyle Thurmann
Undergraduate Student

Kyle is from St. Louis, Missouri and is a second year undergraduate student at the University of Denver. His major is Psychology and plans to pursue medical school with a focus on the brain and behavior. His research interests include motivation and brain health. Outside of academics, Kyle enjoys hiking, trail running and going to the gym.



Lab Affiliate

Murdy is a third-year graduate student affiliate and cohort mascot in the ASC area at DU. His primary research interests are snacks and emotional support, and he is an active member of the Psychology department. When he’s not in the office, Murdy enjoys begging for food, barking at big dogs, taking naps, and long walks at Cheesman Park.



Lab Affiliate

Ouija is from Colorado and was adopted from Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue. His hobbies include appearing in Dr. Chiew’s video lectures, contributing to grants by walking on keyboards, checking the bowl to see if more food has magically appeared, and napping.



Could this be you?

We are looking for motivated and reliable undergraduate and graduate students to join the MAC Lab! Interested students should email Dr. Chiew to discuss potential research opportunities. We value the cultivation of a supportive and inclusive scientific training environment and particularly encourage individuals from groups underrepresented in science to get in touch.

Lab Alumni:
Alex Boisvert (2018)
Brynn Dominice (2017)
Madison Eitniear (2017-2019) — Honors Thesis student & Shaklee Trowill Award winner for outstanding DU undergrad psychology thesis, now Behavioral Specialist at Emerge Professionals in Autism, Behavior & Personal Growth
Avery Gholston (2018-2020) — Professional Science Master’s program in Biomedical Sciences, University of Denver
Bailey Harris (2017-2020) — Honors Thesis student & Trowill Award winner for meritorious work in psychology, now Research Assistant at Yale School of Medicine
Haley Paez (2019-2020)
Natalie Platt (2019)
Natalie Shaffer (2018-2019)
Kevin Summers (2018-2019) — former lab manager, now PhD student in Social Psychology at University of Denver
Addison Thomas (2018-2019)
Cory Vandenberg (2017-2020) — MA in International Security, Korbel School, University of Denver