MIRECC Summer 2023 BBQ!
Michael F. Green, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. He is Director of the Veterans Administration (VA) Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) on Enhancing Community Integration for Homeless Veterans, and is Director of the Treatment Unit of the VA VISN 22 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). Dr. Green obtained his BA at Oberlin College, his PhD at Cornell University, and his postdoctoral training in neuropsychology at UCLA. He is an associate editor for Schizophrenia Bulletin, and has authored over 300 journal articles. He has received numerous grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the VA.
Dr. Green directs the Green Lab (greenlab.dgsom.ucla.edu) that has explored the relationship between cognitive and social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia and activities of daily living, the neural mechanisms of cognitive and social cognitive dysfunction, and community integration in homelessness. Dr. Green is a Fellow in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), a member of the work group for Psychotic Disorders for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), and past-president of the Society for Research in Psychopathology. He received the 2013-2014 Clinical/Community Science Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS), the 2015 Outstanding Research Mentor Award from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and the 2016 Lieber Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
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Lauren Catalano, Ph.D., joined the Green Lab in 2018 with the support of the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she studied under Dr. David Penn. She earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park under the mentorship of Dr. Jim Gold and Dr. Jack Blanchard, after completing a clinical internship at the Baltimore VA/UMD. Her graduate research focused on negative symptoms and social reward processing in schizophrenia using EEG/ERP and behavioral methods. Her postdoctoral work will expand upon this line of research to examine factors that reduce social motivation in schizophrenia. Lauren has co-authored manuscripts published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and Schizophrenia Research. She is a member of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Walter Dunn is a staff psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. His clinical activities include treating patients with psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mood disorders. He is the director of the Neuromodulation clinic at the VAGLAHS, and co-director of the Trauma Recovery Services clinic which treats PTSD. In addition to his work at the VA, he serves as the psychiatrist for the UCLA Operation Mend program which provides treatment for returning veterans and their families. His research interests include developing novel neuromodulation treatments for psychiatric illnesses. Walter graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular biology and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC Berkeley. He attended UC Davis School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the UCLA Semel Institute. After residency, he completed a two year MIRECC research fellowship before becoming a full time staff psychiatrist and faculty member..
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Dr. Jimenez joined the Green Lab in 2013 with the support of the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, after completing a clinical internship at the West LA VA Medical Center. Her graduate research utilized functional neuroimaging to investigate neurocognitive changes and affective disturbances associated with genetic liability to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. During her three-year postdoctoral fellowship, she expanded on this line of research to examine neural networks underlying other aspects of social and non-social cognitive deficits in major mental illness. Amy has authored manuscripts published in Frontiers in Psychology and Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging and has several co-authored publications. She has also written several book chapters. Dr. Jimenez is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California, and a member of the American Psychological Association and Society for Neuroscience.
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Robert S. Kern, Ph.D. is a Research Psychologist at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and the Department of Veterans Affairs VISN 22 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). He serves as Co-Director of the MIRECC psychology postdoctoral fellowship program, Associate Director for the Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) on Enhancing Community Integration among Homeless Veterans, and clinical assessment supervisor for the UCLA Psychology Clinic. Dr. Kern attained his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and then completed two 2-year post-doctoral fellowships at UCLA in neuropsychology and schizophrenia research. Currently, Dr. Kern is actively involved in psychopathology research with emphases in neurocognition, cognitive rehabilitation, and social cognition in persons with schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders and has received extramural funding from NIMH, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Stanley Medical Research Institute. He has authored or co-authored several seminal review papers and more than 90 research articles and book chapters. Dr. Kern is consulting editor for the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, and is a licensed psychologist in the state of California.
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Amanda McCleery, Ph.D. joined the Green Lab in July 2012 with the support of a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Biology from the University of Toronto. She completed her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Kent State University, and her predoctoral clinical internship at UCLA Semel Institute. For her graduate research, Amanda examined the relationships between social and non-social cognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia spectrum conditions. Her postdoctoral project extends her previous work by utilizing EEG techniques in conjunction with behavioral measures to better understand the nature of the relationships between perceptual processing, and social and non-social cognition, in recent-onset and chronic phase schizophrenia. For her current projects, Amanda is using EEG and behavioral methods to examine neuroplasticity, cognitive abilities, including learning, memory, and social cognition, and functional outcome across phase of illness in schizophrenia. Amanda’s research is currently supported by a National Institute of Mental Health K-23 career development award and a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award. Her work has been published in Biological Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Schizophrenia Research, and Psychiatry Research. Dr. McCleery is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa.
Contact Dr. McCleery at Amccleery@mednet.ucla.edu
Dr. Derek Novacek joined the Green Lab in 2019 through the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame. He earned his PhD in clinical psychology from Emory University and completed his APA clinical psychology internship at the UCLA Semel Institute. His postdoctoral research with the Green Lab investigated racial differences in community integration in homeless and recently housed Veterans. Dr. Novacek’s research is currently supported by a Career Development Award from the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development service to examine stress, inflammation, and resilience as predictors of social integration in Black and White recently housed Veterans. He is also a staff psychologist with the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (HPACT) program and provides mental health services to Veterans experiencing homelessness. Dr. Novacek has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Psychiatry Research, and Psychological Trauma. Dr. Novacek is a member of the Schizophrenia International Research Society, Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race, and the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Dr. Reavis joined the Green Lab in September, 2014. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University, then completed a one-year research training program in David Leopold's lab at the National Institute of Mental Health. After that, he earned a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College, where he was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and advised by Peter Tse. His graduate research investigated the nature, mechanisms, and neural correlates of learning in visual perception using behavioral psychophysics and MRI. Eric's recent research in the Green lab has investigated neural correlates of abnormal perception in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using functional and structural MRI, EEG, and other methods. He is currently supported by an individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. Eric has published papers in Cerebral Cortex, Human Brain Mapping, NeuroImage, and other journals.
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Felice Reddy, Ph.D., joined the Green Lab in 2012 with the support of the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina. She received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska, after completing a clinical internship at the West Haven VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Her doctoral research focused on social cognitive treatments for schizophrenia. Her postdoctoral research focused on the development of new paradigms to study motivation and effort in the context of negative symptoms. She currently has a NARSAD Young Investigator award to examine the cognitive consequences of social exclusion, and a Career Development Award to test the efficacy of a new intervention for motivational negative symptoms. Felice is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Jonathan Wynn earned his Bachelors of Arts in Psychobiology from Occidental College and his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Southern California in 2002. He subsequently studied electrophysiology and social cognition in schizophrenia during a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA in Dr. Michael Green’s lab, where he has since remained. His research interests focus on early sensory processing, neuroplasticity, and social cognition in people with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and, more recently, in homeless Veterans with and without psychosis. He utilizes electrophysiology (EEG, ERP), neuroimaging (fMRI), and psychophysiology (startle, HR) methodologies in his work. Dr. Wynn has received funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs, NARSAD (now the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation), and the Stanley Medical Research Institute. He has authored articles in journals such as The American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, and Schizophrenia Bulletin. Dr. Wynn is a member of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Dr. Wynn's Research Gate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jonathan_Wynn2
Yvonne Yang, M.D., Ph.D., joined the Green Lab in 2014 with the support of the VA's Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. She earned her Bachelor's degree as a double major in Music and Molecular Biology from Yale University, before receiving her MD and PhD degrees from Yale School of Medicine. During her PhD, she investigated the pathophysiology of amotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) in a mouse model for ALS, using in vivo neuronal tracing, protein biochemistry, genetic manipulation, stem cell transplant, and behavior and survival studies. She completed her psychiatry residency at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in 2014, serving as chief resident in her fourth year, and completed the MIRECC Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the West Los Angeles VA in June 2016. She joined the faculty at UCLA and the VA, dividing her time between directing the Psychosis Clinic at the VA, teaching residents and medical students, and continuing her research. Largely due to her clinical experiences, Yvonne has shifted her research goals to addressing questions about schizophrenia and its underlying neurochemical deficits, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. She is currently principal investigator of a study utilizing N-acetylcysteine to reduce neuroinflammation in patients with schizophrenia. Yvonne has co-authored manuscripts published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Genome Biology, Biotechniques, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and has co-authored two book chapters. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the Southern California Psychiatric Society, the American Medical Association and is a past member of the Society for Neuroscience.
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Dr. Peter Clayson joined the Green lab in 2017 with the support of the VA's Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University, where he was advised by Dr. Michael J. Larson. He earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He was mentored by Drs. Gregory A. Miller and Cindy M. Yee-Bradbury at UCLA, and his graduate research focused on using electrophysiology (event-related potentials) to understand adaptive control functioning in healthy and clinical populations. Peter plans on continuing this line of research in the Green lab by investigating the impact of reward processing and motivation on adaptive control in schizophrenia. He has co-authored manuscripts in Psychophysiology, the International Journal of Psychophysiology, and Biological Psychology and is a member of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Peter has recently moved to the University of South Florida and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology.
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William P. Horan, Ph.D., is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, and Chief, Psychosis Section at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Dr. Horan received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of New Mexico, completed a clinical internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA, and completed a post-doctoral clinical research fellowship at UCLA. His research investigates emotional, social cognitive, and neurocognitive processes in schizophrenia, and how disturbances in these areas impact functional outcome. This research aims to identify treatment targets for psychosocial interventions that enhance social functioning in people with schizophrenia. Dr. Horan is currently the Vice President of Clinical Science at Verasci.
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Dr. Junghee Lee is an associate research psychologist in the Green lab. She joined the Green lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2005. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Psychology from Seoul National University in Korea, and her Doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. The goal of her research is to better understand cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia and other major mental illness, their biological mechanisms, and their functional implications. To pursue these research interests, she has employed both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Her recent projects have focused on neurobiological mechanisms of social preference system and social cognitive processes in schizophrenia. Dr. Lee has recently moved to the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.
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Yuri Rassovsky, Ph.D., is a Research Psychologist at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Rassovsky has earned his undergraduate degrees in psychology and philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and subsequently attained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Minnesota. He then completed post-doctoral fellowships in neuropsychology and neuroimaging at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, funded by the NIMH Training Grant. He is a past recipient of the International Congress for Schizophrenia Research Young Investigator Award and the Society of Biological Psychiatry Eli Lilly Travel Fellowship. Dr. Rassovsky is actively involved in psychopathology research focusing on neurocognition, social cognition, and functional outcome in schizophrenia, as well as cognitive rehabilitation through electrical brain stimulation and physical activity. His research has been funded by a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the NARSAD Independent Investigator Award, and NIMH. Dr. Rassovsky is a licensed psychologist in the state of California and is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Rassovsky currently divides his time between UCLA and Bar Ilan University. You can visit Dr. Rassovsky's lab website using this link.
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Sam Abplanalp obtained a B.A. in psychology from Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis and a Ph.D. in rehabilitation sciences from Boston University. He joined the Green Lab in 2021 through the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment. Sam’s primary research focuses on measuring and assessing motivational facets and psychosocial functioning in people with psychosis and schizophrenia. He uses digital phenotyping, network psychometrics, and latent variable modeling to accomplish this goal. Secondary, Sam is also interested in the taxonomy of psychotic symptoms. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Psychological Assessment, Schizophrenia Research, Journal of Psychiatric Research, and Journal of Mental Health. Additionally, he is a member of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Thanh Le, Ph.D., joined the Green Lab in 2021 through the support of a T32 grant, which is funded through the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (co-mentors: Dr. Michael Green and Dr. Keith Nuechterlein). He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and subsequently was hired as a research assistant at the VA San Diego Healthcare System under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Granholm. He earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Louisiana State University where he was mentored by Dr. Alex Cohen. He completed his clinical internship at the UCLA Semel Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Nuechterlein. His graduate research focused on using innovative assessment (digital phenotyping, biobehavioral tools) with serious mental illness (SMI) and at-risk populations to investigate the dynamic predictors of social dysfunction and related psychopathological risk states. Thanh plans on continuing this line of research in the Green Lab by investigating the influence of social motivation on community integration among Veterans who experience homelessness and SMI using digital phenotyping methods. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including World Psychiatry, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Schizophrenia Research, and Journal of Psychiatric Research. Additionally, he is a member of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
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Jade received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Sociology at California State University, Long Beach in 2020 and her Master of Arts in Psychology at San Diego State University in 2022. During her Master's, she was the Project Coordinator for the PersIn laboratory based at the University of San Diego which was developing a personalized version of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. She also was a Teacher Assistant for the course, Statistical Methods in Psychology, volunteered as a Psychology Graduate Ambassador and Psychology Student Mentor, and was rewarded the Master's Research Scholarship. Finally, her thesis was "Examining Caregiver Strain in Relationship to Reports of Youth Symptomatology and Parent-Youth Agreement on Treatment Goals." Jade joined the Green Laboratory in 2022 and is the research recruiter.
Julio earned his Bachelor's degree in 1998 from Universidad Dr. Jose Matias Delgado, El Salvador, as well as a BA in Psychology from California State University- Los Angeles in 2015. Julio also obtained in 2004 an additional Associate's degree from the University of Maryland European Division while serving in the U.S. Army. As a part of his continuing education he received licensure as a Psychologist Technician from the U.S. Air Force School of Nursing in 2008. Julio began involvement in research in 2006, working with the UCLA Division of Geriatrics. During his military service, Julio volunteer for the Department of Defense in data collection from clients with PTSD. Julio is currently working in the Green Lab; he is a study coordinator and the phlebotomist for the Research team.
Alyssa received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2019. Her undergraduate research focused on multicultural psychology and racial/ethnic identity among college students. Upon graduating, Alyssa worked as a research assistant at a clinical research lab working on clinical trials in Long Beach, Ca. At the Green Lab, Alyssa is currently a psychological tester for all lab protocols.
Mark earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in 1995 from California Lutheran University. He began his involvement with the Green lab as a student volunteer in 1993 working with inpatients at Camarillo State Hospital. After graduation, he spent several years as a neuropsych tester on various projects, as well as the administrative coordinator of the Diagnostic & Psychopathology Unit. Since 1995, Mark has worked on many studies. He is the lab supervisor and a study coordinator for several projects in the lab. Additional activities include diagnostic assessment, staff training, and personnel staffing.
Ana Ceci received her Bachelor's degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University in 2004, and her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University (CLU) in 2007. After graduating she began working with the Integrated Substance Abuse Program (ISAP) at UCLA in November of 2007. At ISAP she was responsible for report writing, grant preparation, and data analysis. She is currently the primary fMRI imaging coordinator for all studies using neuroimaging as well as a study coordinator for several projects.
Megan Olsen received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Northwestern University in 2015 and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago in 2018. Megan has worked as a case manager and psychotherapist for adolescents and adults and has experience in a variety of settings, including residential treatment, primary care, and community-based treatment. Megan joined the Green Lab in 2020, and serves as a recruiter, interviewer, and intervention leader.
Amber received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1999 from UCLA, and subsequently, her Master's in Clinical Psychology in 2001, at Cal State Dominguez Hills. She came to the lab in 2000 as a clinical interviewer and study recruiter and has served many roles since. Currently, Amber works closely with Dr. Green on all grant, budget, and IRB submissions.