Lab Staff

Mackner Lab

Laura Mackner
Principal Investigator

Laura Mackner, PhD, is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health, Psychologist in the Division of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her research focuses on improving the lives of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease.

Mackner Lab

Ann Marie Morgan
Program Coordinator

I am the Program Coordinator for the Mackner Lab. I am excited to work with clients and volunteers for the mentoring program. Prior to coming to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio for 18 years. I have enjoyed helping volunteers, children, and parents navigate through the mentoring relationship. Seeing the match relationships grow and mature has been a joy. I have a Bachelor’s from Kent State University. While in high school, I worked in research for Children’s Hospital. I am happy to combine my mentoring experience, past research, and love for children and families with the Crohn’s and Colitis Connect Mentoring Program.

Mackner Lab

Megan Puritz
Research Assistant

I received my B.S. in Psychology from Denison University in May of 2017. This past year, I worked at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan at their Institute for Behavioral Health researching childhood obesity and food insecurity. I joined the Mackner Lab in July, 2018 and work on the research side of our IBD mentoring program. Within the lab, I primarily focus on participant recruitment and data collection. I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and would like to perform research on improving the assessment and treatment of childhood mood disorders. I am hoping to use this research to improve outcomes for children struggling with mental illness.

Mackner Lab Staff

Abigail Leslein
Research Assistant

I recently graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University. While at OSU, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant and discovered my passion for pediatric research. I joined the Mackner Lab as a Research Assistant in April of 2019. My primary role is running the research side of our IBD peer mentoring program. This includes participant recruitment, data collections, and data analysis—among other things. During my time at NCH, I hope to gain valuable research experience and improve outcomes for children. In the future, I plan to pursue an Advanced Practice Nursing degree and eventually a Doctorate degree.