Dr. Anka Vujanovic, Ph.D.
Dr. Vujanovic is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Trauma and Stress Studies Center and Trauma Recovery Clinic. Dr. Vujanovic received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont in 2009, upon completing the pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship program at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Vujanovic’s research program is focused on two inter-related lines of inquiry: (1) investigation of risk and maintenance processes for PTSD and/or related conditions among trauma-exposed populations; and (2) examination of biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the comorbidity of PTSD and substance use disorders. The overarching aim of this program is to expand upon our understanding of the etiology, course, and phenomenology of PTSD/subclinical posttraumatic stress and related conditions so as to improve extant treatment approaches and develop novel intervention strategies.
Graduate and Undergraduate Students
The TaSSC is actively recruiting creative and energetic graduate students, undergraduate students, and post-baccalaureate research assistants to join the team. For more information, please visit the Join Our Team page.
Tannah E. Chase, Ph.D.
Tannah is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Houston, where she is working with Drs. Gallagher and Vujanovic as Assistant Clinical Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Clinic of Houston (TrACH). She received an M.A. in clinical psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Houston. Tannah worked with Dr. Peter Norton as a predoctoral-level clinician and researcher in the Anxiety Disorder Clinic at the University of Houston from 2012 to 2014. Since 2014, she has worked with Dr. Ellen Teng as a practicum student, research assistant, and now psychology intern at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her interests are in transdiagnostic interventions for anxiety-and trauma-related disorders, and through her research and clinical pursuits, she is devoted to improving the effectiveness and access to empirically-supported care.
Faith Nomamiukor is Program Manager in the TaSSC. She is an undergraduate psychology major in the Honors College at the University of Houston, and she is minoring in African American Studies. Faith plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She is interested in conducting research on sexual trauma, human trafficking, and racial/ethnic differences in PTSD. Faith is currently writing an undergraduate honors thesis, under the guidance of Dr. Vujanovic, that examines the moderating role of mindfulness in the association between sexual trauma and PTSD symptoms in psychiatric inpatients. CV
Brooke Bartlett, M.A.
Brooke is a second-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program and a graduate research assistant in the TaSSC at the University of Houston. She received a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 2011, and a M.A. in psychology from Boston University in 2013. Since 2013, Brooke worked with Dr. Karen Mitchell as a Psychology Research Technician in the National Center for PTSD - Women's Health Sciences Division, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine. With Dr. Mitchell's guidance, she explored multiple research questions surrounding etiology and risk factors for the development of eating disorders and PTSD, with a focus on intimate partner violence, among veterans and active duty military members. Her current research interests focus on the etiology and treatment of trauma-related pathology, with a focus on risk and resilience factors. CV
Lia Smith, B.A.
Lia is a second-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program and a graduate research assistant in the TaSSC at the University of Houston. She received a B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College in 2013. While there, she also earned a certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources for her research with trauma-exposed women and children in Huánuco, Peru. Most recently, Lia studied biopsychosocial mechanisms related to alcohol and nicotine dependence with Dr. Andrea King at the University of Chicago. She also was a behavioral health intern with Dr. Karla Torres at Lawndale Christian Health Center, an inner city primary care clinic on Chicago's west side. Her current research interests focus on the risk and resilience processes at the intersection of addictions, trauma, and health disparities. CV
Affiliated Graduate Students
Kendall Pfeffer, B.A.
Kendall is a Research Assistant and Web-Site Coordinator in the TaSSC. She is a second-year master’s student in the counseling psychology program at the University of Houston. Kendall is working on a collaborative initiative with the Houston Fire Department. She received a B.A. in English from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 2011. For the past few years, Kendall has been working as an executive function coach for students with ADHD and individuals recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Kendall’s research interests include Complex PTSD, the transgenerational effects of trauma and PTSD, and the risk and resilience factors for PTSD. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. CV
Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistants
Alicia Lopez, B.S.
Alicia Lopez is a Research Assistant in TaSSC. She graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S in psychology and a minor in sociology. Alicia is also a research assistant in the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory. Her research interests include anxiety, PTSD, and mood disorders. Alicia plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. CV
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Marina Bassana is a Research Assistant in the TaSSC. She is a senior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in psychology with a minor in health. Marina’s research interests include clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and humanistic psychology. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. CV
Zaineb Brown is a Research Assistant in the TaSSC. She is pursuing a B.A. in psychology at the University of Houston, with a minor in LGBT Studies. Zaineb’s research interests include schizophrenia and other related disorders, family relations, and socio-economic mobility. Following the receipt of her Bachelor’s degree, Zaineb plans on to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. CV
Anna Galan is a Research Assistant in the TaSSC. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in sociology with a minor in psychology at the University of Houston. Anna’s research interests include child development, education, school psychology, and clinical psychology. She plans to pursue a Masters degree in school psychology and aspires to work with students in schools from underprivileged communities. CV
Layla Kratovic is a Research Assistant in the TaSSC. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in psychology and a minor in human resource management at the University of Houston. Layla is also a research assistant in the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston. Her research interests include trauma, substance abuse, and treatment development for depression and anxiety disorders. She is also interested in research regarding the maximization of efficiency within professional settings. Layla plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. CV