Stephanie Van Riper earned her PhD in Exercise Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Stephanie’s doctoral training involved examining how exercise influences the brain structure and function in individuals with Gulf War Illness, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; chronic multi-symptom illnesses that are significantly heterogeneous, though frequently have overlapping symptoms of pain, fatigue, and emotional dysregulation. Through her work applying diffusion tensor imaging, she examined how cerebral white matter structure may be disrupted in these individuals, as well as how exercise may interact with these mechanisms. Stephanie recently completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University examining how exercise influences brain activity and cognitive function in adolescents with ADHD using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Stephanie’s work at the Center for Healthy Minds with the STRENGTHEN project involves using advanced neuroimaging methods to examine how brain structure and function may change with a combined meditation and sleep intervention. Stephanie hopes to improve our understanding of how meditation and other health behaviors may interact with disease symptoms and underlying mechanisms to advance treatments for a variety of mental health conditions.