Dr. Sharp trained as a clinical psychologist (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) from 1994-1997, after which she completed a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge University, UK, 1997-2000. In 2001, she obtained full licensure as a clinical psychologist in the UK. From 2001-2004 she was appointed as a Research Post-doctoral Fellow in Developmental Psychopathology, Cambridge University. In 2004, she moved to the United States to take up an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. She obtained provisional licensure as Clinical Psychologist in Texas in 2008. In 2009, she was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston.
Her published work reflects her interests in social-cognitive, affective and reward processing as it relates to childhood disorder (most notably antisocial behavior and emerging personality disorder), as well as her interest in psychometrics. She has co-authored two books: An edited volume with Oxford University Press titled Social cognition and developmental psychopathology and a book with MIT Press titled Midbrain mutiny: Behavioral economics and neuroeconomics of gambling addiction as basic reward system disorder.
Assistant Lab Director
Amanda Venta is in her fourth year of the Child and Family track of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She serves as Assistant Lab Manager and Project Leader for a study exploring early markers of suicidal behaviors among adolescents at the Harris County Psychiatric Center. Her primary academic interests are the protective effects of parenting and attachment security, but she has secondary interests in numerous aspects of developmental psychopathology, including personality disorder and suicide. Her master's thesis, entitled "Attachment style as a risk factor for suicide-related behaviors in youth," focused on these content areas and was completed Summer 2012. Amanda graduated cum laude from Rice University in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and Religious Studies and subsequently served as a research assistant for the Adolescent Treatment Program at the Menninger Clinic. She is the recipient of the University of Houston's Presidential Ehrhardt and Frontier Fiesta Scholarships.
Tessa Long is a senior at the University of Houston pursuing a B. S. in Psychology and minors in Chinese Studies, Philosophy, and Phronesis. She joined the Developmental Psychopathology Lab in December 2012 as a volunteer research assistant on the Adolescent Treatment Program (ATP) study and began working as the lab manager in April 2013. She was a member of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) 2013 and conducted research on adolescent inpatient self-injury. She started working at the Menninger Clinic as a volunteer research assistant for ATP in September 2013. After graduation, Tessa hopes to continue research in psychology and ultimately pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Tessa is currently honing in on her research interests, which broadly include adolescent suicidality, self-injury, executive function, social cognition, and childhood depression and ADHD.
Clinical Psychology Graduate Students
Carolyn is in her fourth year of the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Houston, with a focus in the child and family track. She has recently been awarded with the National Research Service Award from the NIMH for her predoctoral training. Her current research interests are broadly in the areas of developmental psychopathology with a specific focus on social cognition, emerging borderline personality disorder, and externalizing problems in youths. She also has an interest in treatment outcome, measure development, and the use of functional neuroimaging (fMRI) in psychological research. Carolyn's dissertation will focus on the effects of intranasal oxytocin on social cognition in adolescents with and without BPD. Her current external practicum rotation is at DePelchin Children’s Center.
Tyson Reuter is a fourth-year clinical graduate student in the child-family track working in Dr. Sharp's developmental psychopathology lab. He graduated summa cum laude with honors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, receiving his B.A. in psychology and philosophy. He was previously project leader for the NARSAD study and is currently serving as project co-coordinator for the HCPC project. His previous external practicum was the Menninger Clinic, and his current placement is working at a local private practice. His master's thesis examined the relation between borderline features and teen dating violence, and his broad interests include developmental psychopathology, specifically issues related to aggression, borderline personality disorder, teen dating violence, and sexual orientation.
Allison Kalpakci is in her second year in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, she began serving as the research coordinator for the DSM-5 Field Trials at The Menninger Clinic. As a graduate student she continues her work at The Clinic through data collection for the treatment outcomes study on the Adolescent Treatment Program. Her primary interests are social cognition and Borderline Personality Disorder. She is also interested in the role of shame in the development and maintenance of this disorder.
Will is a second-year doctoral graduate student in the Developmental Psychopathology lab. He completed his undergraduate studies at Syracuse University and received a second bachelor's from Portland State University. His primary research interests lie in social cognition and depression, with an emphasis on neuroeconomics. He is the recipient of the Duncan Fellowship for 2013-2014 at the Adolescent Treatment Program for the Menninger Clinic, and is collecting data for his master's thesis on trust in adolescent depression. Will is a recipient of the University of Houston's Lynn P. Rehm Graduate Student Scholarship and Presidential Graduate Fellowship.
Charles is a first year doctoral student in clinical psychology working in both the Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory and the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory and Substance Use Treatment Clinic at the University of Houston. His work with both labs is part of a training collaboration with Drs. Sharp and Michael Zvolensky. In his research, Charles is interested in exploring the positive and negative reinforcement processes that govern high-risk sexual behavior and its co-occurrence with other psychiatric and medical populations. As an incoming student, he has received the University Presidential Graduate Fellowship. Currently, he is a clinical research assistant at the Legacy Community Health Clinic in Houston, Texas.
Claire is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Program at UH. Coming from the University of Delaware, Claire previously worked as a research assistant for Dr. Roger Kobak; during this time, she investigated attachment and suicidality in a larger clinical trial at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
As a graduate student, Claire will be assisting with research at both the Menninger Clinic and Harris County Psychiatric Center. She is primarily interested in self injury and suicidality, and more specifically, the precipitants and experiences which maintain these behaviors. Claire has received the First Year CLASS Graduate Assistantship and University of Houston Recruitment Award.
Students on Internship
Liz Ross, M.A.
Robert Seals, Ph.D.
Heather Pane, Ph.D.
Kelly Green, Ph.D.
Stephanie Kovacs, Ph.D.
Teona Amble, Ph.D.
Haley is in her third year of undergraduate study at the University of Houston, Honors College. She is majoring in Communication Science and Disorders, with a minor in Medicine and Society. Currently, Haley interns at a neuropsychologist’s private practice, and has just begun work at the Developmental Psychopathology Lab under the direction of Dr. Carla Sharp. Her primary interests lie in developmental neuropsychology and psychopathology, with emphasis in ADHD, personality disorder, and adolescent depression. She is also interested in the use of neuroimaging for psychological research. After graduation this upcoming May, Haley wants to pursue her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
Haina completed her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in biology at the University of Houston in December of 2012. She is interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology and her research interests are catered towards the behavioral neurosciences. She recently joined Dr. Sharp’s lab, where she is working as a research assistant for the ATP and Oxytocin projects. She is also working as an assistant in Dr. Tackett’s Personality Across Development lab, and hopes to continue her education through research.
Darcey Philipp is a post-baccalaureate Research Assistant with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. She joined Dr. Sharp's lab in May of 2013 and is currently assisting with the Adolescent Treatment Program conducted in coordination with The Menninger Clinic. She joined Dr. Tackett’s Personality Across Development Lab in August of 2012 where she is currently serving as Project Coordinator of Project FAD – Friends and Adolescent Decision-making. Darcey is a member of Psi Chi - The International Honor Society in Psychology. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and her research interests include the interaction of biological and social factors related to the development of personality disorders.
Roya Zamani is a junior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry. She joined Dr. Sharp's Developmental Psychopathology Lab in May 2012 as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) through the UH Office of Undergraduate Research. Roya is currently involved in a pilot study focusing on analyzing nonverbal cues in the context of a social interactive game. The ultimate aim of this study is to better understand the nonverbal behavior of individuals with borderline personality disorder. Following graduation, Roya hopes to enter medical school to pursue a career in pediatric neurology as her main interests lie in social cognition and cognitive neurology.