Meet the Mood Challenge Mentors

Having recently returned from the Innovators’ Boot Camp, the semi-finalists in the Mood Challenge are now busy preparing for Semi-Finalist Presentations at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on September 7. During this Virtual Accelerator phase, a panel of industry-leading mentors will provide individualized advice and guidance to the semi-finalists as they refine and iterate their research proposals into designs for ResearchKit apps. The mentors represent a broad spectrum of expertise, spanning mental health, statistical research methods, app design, ResearchKit development, and data science.

We are thrilled to welcome our mentors among the many talented individuals taking part in the Mood Challenge. Let’s meet them!

Edward Cessna
Edward Cessna is a veteran software engineer and co-author of the Getting Started with ResearchKit book. He has managed the development effort for multiple ResearchKit-based applications for leading research institutions. In addition to ResearchKt, his background includes large systems and embedded cryptographic software.

Edward’s areas of expertise include ResearchKit; Software Engineering; iOS Development; and Software Security.

Dr. Matthew Goodwin
Dr. Matthew S. Goodwin is an interdisciplinary assistant professor at Northeastern University with joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and College of Computer & Information Science, where he is a founding and key faculty member of a new doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics and Director of the Computational Behavioral Science Laboratory. He is also a visiting assistant professor and the former director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab. Goodwin serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Autism Research, is on the Scientific Advisory Board for Autism Speaks, and has adjunct associate research scientist appointments at Brown University.

Matthew’s areas of expertise include Personal Health Informatics; Ambulatory Psychophysiology; Digital Signal Processing; Machine Learning; and Modeling Interpersonal Time Series Data.

Patrick Grennan
Patrick is a Data Scientist at One Medical Group, where he leads their data science R&D. His work covers all points of the business, from clinical data to operations data, to marketing data. His current interests include time series forecasting, epidemiology, and clinical search & discovery.

Patrick’s areas of expertise include Machine Learning (Recommendation Engines; Time Series Forecasting); Clinical NLP; and High throughput data pipelines.

Dr. Eli Leibowitz
At Yale, Eli’s lab studies behavioral and neurobiological systems relevant to the etiology, course, and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. They employ a range of methodologies to identify and research key biomarkers in clinical populations. They focus on markers of childhood disorders and on biomarkers of relevant parental and maternal behaviors.

Eli’s areas of expertise include Treatment of Child and Adolescent Anxiety; Clinical Trials; Neurobiology of Anxiety and Related Disorders; Technological Innovation for Study and Treatment of Mental Health Problems; and Parenting and Caregiving.

Matt Luedke
Originally from the Chicago area, Matt Luedke develops on iOS and Android at Exygy, a B-corp agency in San Francisco designing and building apps and websites for purpose-driven clients in civic, educational, and health technology. He is a writer and editor at and is always writing something new on his personal blog at

Matt’s areas of expertise include Native iOS in Swift and Objective-C; Native Android; Location-aware apps; Mobile software design patterns; and Tutorial writing.

Tamar Nachmany
Tamar Nachmany is a software engineer and iOS app builder. She is thrilled to bring her experience in iOS engineering, her background in bioethics, and her passion for socially impactful mobile apps to the 2016 Mood Challenge. As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, Tamar studied the potential for technology to support self-care and health education and published a paper on the way Tumblr is used as a women’s health education tool in the Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Research Journal in 2013. She later participated in the 2013 Blueprint Health Accelerator as an intern for a genomics startup. She currently works on starting conversations between friends and strangers on the Messaging team at Tumblr where she works as an iOS engineer. She lives in New York City.

Tamar’s areas of expertise include iOS engineering; iOS user experience design; Bioethics; Community building; and Social media.

Dr. Mashfiqui Rabbi
Mashfiqui Rabbi is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan, working with Professor Susan Murphy, Ambuj Tewari and Predrag Klasnja. He is developing mobile health interventions that are just in time, adaptive and actionable. He recently received a PhD from the Information Science department at Cornell University. His PhD advisor was Professor Tanzeem Choudhury. In his PhD, Mashfiqui developed MyBehavior, which is the first mobile application to provide personalized health recommendations by understanding user behavior from sensor data collected in a mobile phone.

Mash’s areas of expertise include Mobile sensing; Behavior change; and Machine learning.

Dr. Michele Tugade
Michele M. Tugade, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Vassar College, where she directs the Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. Her research focuses on the function of positive emotions in the coping process; the mechanisms that promote resilience in the face of stress and adversity; and emotion-related processes associated with health and well-being. She has served on research grant panels for NASA, NSF, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Tugade received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health and is an elected member of the International Society for Research on Emotions.  Her research has been funded by NIMH and NSF.  She has recently published the Handbook of Positive Emotions (Guilford Publications).

Michele’s areas of expertise include Ecological Momentary Assessments; Behavioral analyses; and Psychophysiological measurement procedures.