Sara Heyn

Credentials: BS, JD, PhD

Sara is a clinical and developmental neuroscientist and lawyer who is passionate about understanding brain-body mechanisms underlying links between early life trauma, structural and functional brain development, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. She is particularly interested in the relationship between trauma and delinquent behavior that leads to involvement in the juvenile criminal justice system, as well as the development of trauma-informed treatment interventions. Sara earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colorado State University in 2014 studying jury decision-making processes under Dr. Matthew Rhodes. Next, she graduated from the Neuroscience and Public Policy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a JD from the UW Law School in 2016, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Dr. Ryan Herringa. Sara currently works as a research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry where she utilizes structural and functional neuroimaging and in-depth clinical and trauma assessment tools to identify biomarkers of trauma sequalae and is in the development and implementation of mindfulness-based interventions in youth and families, virtual-reality biofeedback for emotion regulation skills, and neuroplastinogen-assisted psychotherapy in youth with PTSD.