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Research Team

Director

Carla Sharp

Carla Sharp

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 includes over 100 publications reflecting her interests in the social-cognitive basis of psychiatric problems and problems of behavioral health, and the application of this work in developing diagnostic tools and interventions. She has co-authored three books: An edited volume with Springer titled The Handbook of Borderline Personality Disorder in Children and Adolescents, 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. She was promoted to the full professor rank in 2015.

Assistant Lab Director

Salome Vanwoerden

Salome Vanwoerden

Salome is a third-year doctoral graduate student in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and worked as a research coordinator at The Menninger Clinic for two years prior to graduate school. Her primary research interest is social cognition, involving both self and other processes. She is interested in exploring how attachment and family dynamics contribute to the development of social cognition. Her master’s thesis, which she defended at the end of her second year, was an investigation of the intersection between person perception and theory of mind using a novel task in an inpatient sample of adolescents. For her dissertation, she will be developing a real-time measure of parent-adolescent mentalizing. Salome is a recipient of the Presidential Graduate Fellowship and the James Leslie McCary Award. Currently, she is a research assistant for an R01 adapting and evaluating the feasibility of a mentalization-based intervention for HIV/AIDS orphans in South Africa.

Lab Manager

Jasmine Gaw

Jasmine Gaw

Jasmine is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a Chinese studies minor. She will graduate in December 2016. She joined Dr. Sharp's lab in Summer 2016 as the lab manager. Her research interests include depression in adolescents, gender dysphoria, and personality disorders. She wishes to explore further interests and attend graduate school in the future.

Clinical Psychology Graduate Students

Claire Hatkevich

Claire Hatkevich

Claire is a fourth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program and Developmental Psychopathology Lab. Claire completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware. During this time, she assisted with a clinical trial at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on family-based treatments for suicidal adolescents and their caregivers. As a graduate student, her primary research interests are in adolescent nonsuicidal self-injury and suicidality, and the interpersonal context for these behaviors. Claire is lead graduate coordinator for the research study, "Early Markers of Suicidal Behaviors" at the acute adolescent unit of Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC). Claire has been recipient of the First Year CLASS Graduate Assistantship and University of Houston Recruitment Award, and has co-authored research grants for the HCPC study. Her current clinical externship is at the DBT Center of Houston.

Kristin Korycinski

Kristen Korycinski

Kristin is a third-year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab. After graduating from Michigan State University with her B.S. in Psychology, she worked as a research coordinator for two laboratories with projects focusing on child and family psychopathology, personality assessment, and interpersonal theory. Broadly, she is interested in the influence that close relationships in early childhood and adolescence may have on the developmental course of interpersonally adaptive, and maladaptive, personality traits. She is also interested in the psychometric viability of personality assessment measures in adolescents, as well as factors within individuals that contribute to response bias in self- and informant-reports of behavior.

Francesca Penner

Francesca Penner

Francesca is a first-year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and her Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she worked for two years as a research assistant on a project testing a preventive intervention for families with a history of parental depression. Her main research interests are in parenting and social cognition, specifically in the roles of parenting and attachment in the development of social cognition and adolescent psychopathology more broadly.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Amanda Palo

Amanda Palo

Dr. Palo is a postdoctoral fellow who recently received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. She is serving as the clinic coordinator for the Center for Adolescent Diagnosis, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment (ADAPT) at UH, which is directed by Dr. Carla Sharp. She is also the clinic coordinator for the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston (SACH), which is directed by Dr. Candice Alfano. Her clinical training focuses on assessment and treatment with children and adolescents, and she plans to pursue licensure as a clinical psychologist.

Students Currently on Internship

Allison Kalpakci

Allison Kalpakci

Allison is in her fourth year in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Houston. She is primarily interested in interpersonal processes that relate to the development of Borderline Personality Disorder in adolescents. Allison's thesis utilized a multi-method approach to examine the relation between shame and borderline personality disorder in adolescents with BPD. For her dissertation, Allison will use ecological momentary assessment to study affective reactivity within an interpersonal context in adolescents with BPD. Her current external practicum placement is at the Dialectical Behavior Therapy center.

Will Mellick

Will Mellick

Will is a fifth-year doctoral 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 research interests broadly lie in the study of social cognition and reward in depression. He is particularly interested in applying behavioral tasks and neuroimaging methods to his work. Will’s thesis utilized a behavioral economic approach to examine the relation between adolescent depression and interpersonal trust. For his dissertation, he is investigating neural response to social reward among depressed adolescents. Will was a recipient of the University of Houston's Lynn P. Rehm Graduate Student Scholarship and Presidential Graduate Fellowship. He is currently completing his clinical internship at Charleston Consortium.

DPL Alumni

Carolyn Ha, Ph.D.

Tyson Reuter, Ph.D.

Amanda Venta, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Ross, Ph.D.

Robert Seals, Ph.D.

Heather Pane, Ph.D.

Kelly Green, Ph.D.

Stephanie Kovacs, Ph.D.

Teona Amble, Ph.D.

Ilya Yaroslavlsky, Ph.D.

Dan Mortenson, Ph.D.

Research Assistants

Robyn Douglas

Robyn

Robyn is currently a senior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S in Psychology with minors in Human Resources Management and Medicine & Society. She joined Dr. Sharp's lab in Spring 2014 as a research assistant for the Adolescent Treatment Program and Harris County Psychiatric Center studies. Upon graduation, she is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and ultimately becoming a practicing clinician for children and adolescents. Her research interests include trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidality, and self-injury.


Nicholas Crist

Nic Crist

Nic has recently graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in Biology. He joined the developmental psychopathology lab this summer as a research assistant on the ATP study. He helps run the Intranasal Oxytocin study and is also an RA at The Menninger Clinic working on the ATP study. His research interests include borderline personality disorder, risky sexual behavior and suicidality in adolescents and adults. He is currently studying for the GRE and aiming to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.


Kiana Wall

kiana

Kiana joined the Developmental Psychopathology Lab in May of 2014. She graduated from the University of Houston in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the near future. Her research interests include the interpersonal and cognitive basis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and the relationship between emotion dysregulation and impulsive behaviors in adolescence.


Jonathan Barker

Jonathan Barker

Jonathan is currently a junior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. He has recently joined the Developmental Psychopathology lab in September 2015. His research interests include neurodevelopmental disorders (such as Autism, dyslexia, and ADHD) and how they develop throughout the lifespan. He is still exploring his interests and is interested in pursuing graduate school in the future.


Rachel McCleary

Rachel McCleary

Rachel is a senior psychology student at the University of Houston. She also studies women's studies and plans to graduate in the spring. She has recently joined the psychopathology lab and is very interested in the causes of depression and how they affect our society today. She is interested in pursuing a Master's degree at the University of Houston Clear Lake.


Elizabeth Poulin

Elizabeth Poulin

Elizabeth joined the lab in September 2016. She recently graduated from the University of Houston with a BS in Psychology and is interested in attending graduate school for a Master's in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in marriage, family and sex therapy.


Jadsia Roopchand

Jadsia Roopchand

Jadsia is currently a Junior in the Honors College at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in English Literature. She has worked with the Self, Motivation, and Relationship Theories (SMaRT) Lab and joined Dr. Sharp’s Lab in January 2016. Her interests are focused in abnormal child and adolescent development as well as Personality Disorders in youth. She would like to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.


John Robert

John Robert

John Robert earned his B.A from the University of Kansas in May 2015 with a dual degree in psychology and Japanese. He joined Dr. Sharp’s lab in January 2016. His research interests include developmental psychopathology along with conduct disorder and ADHD. He is currently a graduate student getting his masters in forensic psychology at the University of Houston-Victoria. He plans on eventually pursing a PhD. in psychology.


Presley Lane

Presley Lane

Presley is currently a junior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. After graduation she plans on going on to graduate school for her Clinical Psychology degree. She has experience working with homeless children and recovering adolescents. As a professional she plans to focus on behavior and psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.


Lawrence Watkins

Lawrence Watkins

Lawrence is a fourth year student at the University of Houston where he currently studies psychology with a minor in biology. Lawrence transferred to the University of Houston after studying at Texas State University for two years. He wishes to continue his education and achieve his PhD in clinical psychology once he achieves his Bachelors in Science. His interest involve psychopathology in adults as well as the neurological contingencies in adults.