Chair, Department of Psychology at Florida International University (FIU) | Professor of Psychology | Director, REMEDY Research Group at Center for Children and Families at FIU | Psychologist (PY9454) and Researcher at Nicklaus Children's Health System
I am currently serving as Chair of the Department of Psychology at Florida International University (FIU) where I am also a Professor affiliated with the Center for Children and Families, the Child Adolescent Clinical Science program and the Cognitive Neuroscience program. I hold a secondary appointment at the Brain Institute and Psychology Department at Nicklaus Children's Health System where I conduct research and provide services as a licensed clinical psychologist (PY 9454).
I completed doctoral and post-doctoral training at the University of Denver, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience, and the University of Pittsburgh, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). I founded the REMEDY Research Group in 2010 as Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and then relocated to FIU in 2016. My goal in starting REMEDY was to establish a team that could leverage new insights about brain development to improve how we understand and treat mental health concerns that rise steeply in adolescence (e.g., anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors). Accordingly, my work moves between multi-method experimental designs that characterize symptom dimensions of interest, to clinical or quasi-clinical trials that examine the use of targeted strategies to impact these dimensions during sensitive periods of development. My professional roles at both FIU and Nicklaus Children’s Health System allows my work in developmental neuroscience and clinical intervention to be mutually informative, while simultaneously serving the community of Miami.
Currently, a major focus of my work is on sleep and emotional health. I see tremendous opportunity for translational interventions that optimize sleep health and/or capitalize on sleep-related learning and plasticity to improve mental health trajectories in adolescence.