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Palermo Lab

Current Lab Members

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Tonya Palermo, PhD

Tonya Palermo PhD square  

Professor of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry

Dr. Tonya Palermo is a professor of anesthesiology, pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and for the Clinical Journal of Pain. Palermo serves on the executive boards of Division 54 of the American Psychological Association and of the American Pain Society. She serves as the program director of the T32 Anesthesiology Postdoctoral Research Training Program and as director of the Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Pain Research.

Palermo’s research, conducted through the Palermo lab, focuses on pediatric chronic and recurrent pain and behavioral sleep medicine. She is particularly interested in the psychosocial and family factors that affect pain perception, daily functioning, sleep and quality of life in children and adolescents. She is an NIH-funded investigator who is currently developing and testing psychological and family interventions for youth with chronic pain.

Contact Dr. Palermo.

Maggie Bromberg, PhD

Maggie Bromberg  

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Maggie Bromberg is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Palermo lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina in 2013, and completed a pre-doctoral internship in pediatric psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her research largely focuses on biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying and maintaining pediatric chronic pain. Within this area, she has developed a research program on temporal associations between pain, sleep, affective processes and functional disability; and the role of family factors in pediatric chronic pain. Bromberg is experienced in the use of mobile health applications and plans to develop and test optimal approaches for incorporating sleep-focused treatments into clinical and electronic pediatric pain interventions during her fellowship in the Palermo lab.

Elise Cho, BS

Elise Cho  

Clinical Research Associate I

Elise Cho is a Clinical Research Associate I in the Palermo lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and provides study coordination for multiple projects. She received her BS in psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2012. Her previous areas of research include development of emotional self-regulation in preschool children and how stress and family factors contribute to children’s development of executive function, social competence and adjustment problems.

Bonnie Essner, PhD

Essner  

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Bonnie Essner is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Palermo lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2012, and completed a pre-doctoral internship in pediatric psychology at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Her research interests include family-based approaches to pediatric chronic pain interventions, functional outcomes among adolescents with chronic pain and qualitative evaluation of family function in families affected by pediatric chronic pain.

Jessica Fales, PhD

Fales  

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Jessica Fales is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Palermo lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Maine in 2012, and completed her pre-doctoral internship in pediatric psychology at Oregon Health and Science University. Her research interests include psychosocial risk and protective factors for youth with chronic pain, individual and family-based cognitive-behavioral interventions for pain and the impact of persistent pain on social development and functioning in adolescence.

Cornelius (Neels) Groenewald, MB ChB

Groenewald  

Acting Instructor

Dr. Cornelius (Neels) Groenewald is an attending anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an acting instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2002. He completed his anesthesiology residency at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, and his pediatric anesthesiology and pain medicine fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. His research interests include pain, quality of life and activity limitations after major surgery and critical illness in children.

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick, BS

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick 2  

Clinical Research Associate III

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick is a Clinical Research Associate III in the Palermo lab and provides study coordination for multiple projects. In 2006, she received her BS in psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. She joined Seattle Children’s Research Institute in 2008. Her previous areas of research include quality of pediatric healthcare, chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis and pediatric obesity intervention.

Emily Law, PhD

Emily Law 2  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Emily Law is an acting assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a pediatric psychologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2010, and completed her pre-doctoral internship in pediatric/child clinical psychology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Law completed her post-doctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Palermo at Seattle Children's Research Institute. Her research interests include mechanisms of behavioral interventions for youth with chronic pain, the interrelation between pain and sleep and the impact of chronic pain on child and family functioning.

Amy Lewandowski, PhD

Amy Lewandowski PhD  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Amy Lewandowski is an acting assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine with an appointment in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received a PhD in clinical child/pediatric psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2009, and went on to complete her predoctoral internship at Children’s Hospital Boston. Lewandowski completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University under the mentorship of Dr. Palermo. Her research interests include functional outcomes in children and adolescents with chronic pain and treatment of chronic pain in primary care.

Melanie Noel, PhD

Noel  

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Melanie Noel is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Palermo lab at Seattle Children's Research Institute and holds a three-year fellowship awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She was previously mentored in research by Dr. Palermo during her one-year pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology (child track), which she completed at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in 2013. Melanie's research expertise is in the area of anxiety and pain memories as cognitive-affective mechanisms underlying trajectories of pediatric pain. During her fellowship in the Palermo lab, Melanie will expand her program of research by examining these mechanisms among various clinical samples of children and adolescents with pain. She is also committed to applying a developmental framework to her research and examining the broader sociocultural influences that are unique to pain in childhood.

Jennifer Rabbitts, MB ChB

Jennifer Rabbitts MB ChB  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jennifer Rabbitts is an acting assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an attending anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received her medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2002. She completed her anesthesia residency, pediatric anesthesia fellowship and research fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Her research interests include pain, activity and sleep disturbances in children and adolescents after surgery.

Gaby Ghafari Tai, MPH

Gaby Ghafari Tai MPH  

Clinical Research Associate III

Gaby Ghafari Tai is a Clinical Research Associate III in the Palermo lab. She provides study coordination for multiple projects. She received her BA in psychology from Boston College in 2004 and her MPH from Boston University in 2008 with a focus on maternal and child health. In 2009 she joined Seattle Children’s Research Institute and has worked on projects focused on treatment of pediatric obesity as well as chronic pain.

See Wan Tham, MB BS

See Wan Tham 2  

Research Fellow

Dr. See Wan Tham received her MB BS from University of Sydney, Australia in 2001. She completed her anesthesiology residency at the Upstate Medical University of State University New York. She completed further training in pediatric anesthesiology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and is now an acting instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, training in the Palermo lab as a T32 funded research fellow. Her research interests include pain and sleep disturbances in pediatric populations.

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