DR. JULIA HEIMAN
Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Senior Research Fellow, Kinsey Institute
Dr. Heiman completed her doctoral degree and clinical residency at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to joining Indiana University, she was a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and founder and Director of the Reproductive and Sexual Medicine Clinic at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She served as the Director of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University from 2004 to 2013. Currently, Dr. Heiman is a Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Clinical Psychiatry Program at Indiana University.
Working with colleagues and students, Dr. Heiman has devoted her career to achieving a better understanding of the physiological, emotional, and cognitive dimensions of sexuality. Her research is also concerned with developing successful interventions to help people overcome sexual problems. "From the beginning," she explains, "our interest has been in understanding the factors that contribute to how sexuality changes, either through developmental processes or with external effort. Along with that focus has been the challenge, still ongoing, of how do we come up with more precise ways to measure different aspects of sexuality and detect change?"
These questions organize the approach to a wide range of topics, including the impact of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse on adult relationships, the quality of sexual experience in the wake of treatment for cancer, sexual risk-taking when under the influence of alcohol, and systemic sex therapy for couples. "I'm interested in how sex interacts with other aspects of a person's life, instead of it as separate from the other ways people function, think, or feel."
More recently, Dr. Heiman and colleagues have examined neuroendocrine changes during important transitional life stages, examining women with and without postpartum depression and the influence of oxytocin on neural processing of emotional stimuli.
Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Science and Neuroscience
Claire obtained her B.A. from the University of Chicago with honors in psychology and English, during which time she conducted research at the Institute for Mind and Biology. After graduation, she worked as a writer within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. At IU since 2015, her research uses functional MRI and online surveys to investigate reward processing, sexual psychophysiology, and trauma. Claire is also receiving training in evidence-based psychotherapies for mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, insomnia, and gender dysphoria.
Affiliated Ph.D. Student in Clinical Science / Social Psychology minor
Amani completed her B.A. with honors in psychology and a minor in Spanish from Spelman College. She was the Salutatorian of the class of 2018. She is currently in her third year at IU under the primary mentorship of Dr. Anne Krendl in the Neuroscience of Mind and Behavior Lab. Broadly, Amani’s research interests include racial/ethnic identity, trauma responses and recovery, victim blaming, stigma, stereotypes/prejudice, and sexual assault.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Fourth-year Psychology major / human sexuality minor
Hannah joined the lab in 2018 to work on the Sex, Relationships, and Maternal Stress study, helping new mothers and children in the lab. She has since contributed to literature review and online data analysis for multiple other projects. She was on the 2018 and 2019 Orientation Teams and has a radio show on WIUX B-Side. After IU, Hannah hopes to continue her education in graduate or law school.
Fourth-year Psychology major / Spanish minor
Margaret joined the lab in 2019 to contribute to project development and online data analysis. Outside of the lab, she holds a job in the community. She has also volunteered with dating violence prevention initiatives and shadowed OBGYN surgeries. She hopes to eventually obtain a doctorate degree in psychology, though she is also exploring interests in forensics and sex education.