Research Team


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.

Assistant Lab Director

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.

Lab Manager

Julia Najm

Julia Najm

Julia is a third year psychology major with a minor in history. She previously transferred from the University of Texas at Dallas where she was a part of a personality/relationship lab. She also assists at the Sleep and Anxiety Lab of Houston. Her interests include prevention of suicide in adolescents, depressive/anxiety disorders in children and genetic predispositions to personality. Also, she hopes to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology after obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree.

Clinical Psychology Graduate Students

Will Mellick

Will Mellick

Will is a fourth-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 in adolescent depression. He is particularly interested in applying experimental methodologies 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 will be investigating neural response to social rejection among depressed adolescents. Will was a recipient of the University of Houston's Lynn P. Rehm Graduate Student Scholarship and Presidential Graduate Fellowship. His external practicum placement is at Texas Children’s Hospital-The Center for Children and Women.

Claire Hatkevich

Claire Hatkevich

Claire is a third-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, she is primarily interested 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. Her upcoming practicum placement is at Harris County Psychiatric Center.

Charles Jardin


Charles is a third-year student the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Houston, in Houston, Texas, and as a graduate research assistant with both the Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory and the Anxiety and Health Laboratory / Substance Use Treatment Clinic, under the supervision of Drs. Carla Sharp and Michael Zvolensky, respectively. His research interests focus on risk behavior across the transition from adolescence to adulthood, including substance use and sexual HIV-risk behavior. Informed by a developmental psychopathology framework, his present research efforts are exploring risk and protective factors that influence decision-making across development, with an emphasis on attachment and trauma; investigating transdiagnostic mediators and moderators of risk behavior, such as positive/negative reinforcement and emotion processes; and examining risk behavior dimensionally and categorically to better understand the transition from normative to pathological risk-taking. As an incoming student, he received the University Presidential Graduate Fellowship. Currently, he is a clinical research assistant at the Harris County Psychiatric Center and the Thomas Street Health Center. Prior to beginning the UH doctoral program, Charles completed the Master of Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, and served as a congregational pastor in Durham and a clinical hospital chaplain in Houston.

Salome Vanwoerden


Salome is a second-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. For her master’s thesis, she is currently investigating the intersection between person perception and theory of mind using a novel task in an inpatient sample of adolescents. Salome is a recipient of the Presidential Graduate Fellowship. Currently, she is a clinical research assistant at The Menninger Clinic, Adolescent Treatment Program.

Kristin Korycinski

Kristen Korycinski

Kristin is a second-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.

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

Carolyn Ha

Carolyn Ha

Carolyn is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston, in the child and family track. She was the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship through the National Institute of Mental Health. Her current research interests are broadly in the areas of developmental psychopathology with a specific focus on social cognition, emerging borderline personality disorder (BPD), and externalizing problems in youth. Carolyn's dissertation research investigates the effects of intranasal oxytocin on social cognitive functioning in adolescents with and without BPD. She will be completing her clinical internship at Baylor College of Medicine with DePelchin Children's Center.

DPL Alumni

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

Tanveer Otal

Tanveer Otal

Tanveer is currently a senior at the University of Houston. She will complete her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Health Education in the Summer of 2014. Upon graduation Tanveer plans on continuing her education through research in psychology and pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Tanveer started working at the Developmental Psychopathology Lab in May 2014 as the Lab Manager. She joined at Dr. Tackett’s Personality Across Development Lab in January 2014, where she works as a Project Coordinator for the Texas Twin Project. Tanveer also works at Dr. Zvolensky’s Anxiety and Health Research Lab-Substance Abuse Treatment Clinic as a research assistant. Tanveer has a wide range of research interests, which include substance abuse and addictive behaviors, juvenile perpetrators and victims of child abuse, emotional self-regulation, and borderline personality disorder.

Robyn Douglas


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 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 is a junior in the Honors College at U of H pursuing a BA in psychology with a minor in Communication Disorders. I just started in Dr.Sharp's lab in May. I'm mainly interested in psychopathology, both adult and adolescent. Specifically mood and personality disorders, and schizophrenia. After I receive my BA I would like to pursue my doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. 

Kaitlin Pham


Kaitlin graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in psychology in May 2015. She joined the developmental psychopathology lab in June 2014 as a research assistant on the Adolescent Treatment Program. In April of 2015, she was promoted to Lab Manager and is the current lead, research assistant on the EMA and MBT study. For clinical experience, she also works on the Harris County Psychiatric Center study which focuses on adolescents and suicidal behaviors. Her research interests include high-risk sexual behavior in congruence with borderline personality disorder, non-suicidal self-harm and trauma/PTSD following sexual and physical abuse. She hopes to continue research before ultimately, pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Lucie Haney

Lucy Haney

Lucie earned her B.A. degree from the University of Houston in May 2015, with a double major in psychology and philosophy. She recently joined Dr. Sharp’s lab as a research assistant and will be joining Dr. Tackett’s Personality Across Development Lab in June 2015. Her interests lie in psychopathology and moral psychology/philosophy including moral development and moral decision making. In addition to the above, she is interested in addiction and the development of addictive behaviors. Lucie plans to broaden her education through research, continue exploring her interests and attend graduate school in the future.

Vanessa Rathway

Vanessa Rathway

Vanessa is a junior at the University of Houston currently pursuing a BS in Psychology, with a minor in History. She recently joined Dr. Sharp’s lab as a research assistant for the Adolescent Treatment Program in June 2015. Vanessa plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on children and adolescents. Her research interests include abnormal child and adolescent psychology, and social influences on child and adolescent development.