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

Elisabeth Balistreri
Research Assistant

I grew up in Wisconsin with my 4 older siblings. I just graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where I was a Psychology Major and Poverty and Human Capabilities Studies Minor.  Now I am the Mackner Lab Research Assistant, and I run the research side of our mentoring program; I handle recruitment, data collection, and data analysis—among other things. After my time at NCH, I plan on completing a Ph.D. in Community Psychology. I am very interested in the field of developmental psychopathology in general and more specifically in any research investigating risk and resilience in children. I hope to be a part of using this research to inform and influence policy decisions.

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.