Faculty Research Interests


 = Faculty who engage in basic psychological research
 = Faculty who engage in clinical research

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  • Adult Division

     

    Sierra Bainter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Applied Quantitative LaB, is a quantitative psychologist whose research is focused on improving areas where available quantitative methods may not be adequate for real psychological data, or where a research question may not be addressed using standard analysis techniques. 

    • Bayesian estimation to improve stability and small-sample properties of structural equation models
    • Bayesian variable selection and applications to psychological outcomes
    • Longitudinal structural equation modeling, specifically modeling reciprocal influences within persons over time

      

    Aaron Heller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, MANATEE Lab, uses ethological, personally meaningful events, coupled with experimental designs to model how emotion unfolds over time and which characteristics of emotion are linked to transdiagnostic risk for internalizing disorders. 

    • Applying computational models to real-world behavior using geolocation and ecological momentary assessment to identify behaviors linked to psychopathology risk and resilience
    • Using Functional MRI to delineate the network dynamics linked to worry and rumination

     

    Simon Howard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, PRIDE Lab, uses experimental methods drawn from cognitive, perceptual, and social investigations research to understand the underlying psychological processes of racism.

    •  The relationship between racial conceptualizations of God/religious deities and ideologies that maintain social hierarchy (e.g., racism/sexism).
    • Interpersonal and contextual factors that influence historically advantaged (e.g., White people) and disadvantaged group members’ (e.g., Black people) perception, attitudes, judgments, and behavior
    • The relationship between vicarious experience of racism and mental and physical health for members of racially stigmatized groups




       

    Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Evolution, Cognition, and Behavior Program, applies principles of evolutionary biology to cognitive science to study the computational architecture of kinship, emotions, and morality. 

    • Identification of the cues humans use to categorize others as kin
    • Modeling and empirical testing of programs using kinship estimates to regulate cooperation and sexual attraction
    • Identification of information regulating decisions to cooperate versus exploit
    • Application of evolutionary analysis of behavior to legal practice. 

     

    Kiara Timpano, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Adult Division, PASO Lab, investigates factors that play a role in the etiology, comorbidity, and maintenance of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.

    • Transdiagnostic risk factors for OCD, hoarding, and anxiety disorders
    • Clinical and experimental research within a translational research framework, including cognitive, biological and environmental components
    • Application of vulnerability-focused research to the clinical arena, via the development and evaluation of empirically-informed treatment or prevention protocols

     

    Amy Weisman de Mamani, Ph.D., Professor, has primary areas of investigation that include the examination of cultural and family factors that relate to the course and outcome of psychopathology. Current Projects examine: 

    • A Culturally Informed Therapy that uses cognitive behavioral and religious approaches to treat serious mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) and more normative illnesses (e.g. depression, anxiety) in religious (e.g. church, mosques) and secular (e.g. community clinics) settings.
    • How language of assessment affects the manifestation of psychopathology in bilingual (English-Spanish) individuals with schizophrenia.
    • Factors (e.g., stigma, discrimination) that affect the mental health of Muslim and other Middle Eastern Americans and barriers that prevent these populations from seeking professional mental health services.

  • Child Division

     


    Michael Alessandri, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, is Executive Director of the UM Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD).

    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Early autism screening and intervention
    • School-based interventions
    • Family adaptation and coping

     


     

    Jennifer C. Britton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Brain Group, is a neuroscientist whose work focuses on understanding the intersection of anxiety, development and treatment.

    • Anxiety and depression (e.g., approach-avoidance, threat processing, fear and extinction learning, emotion regulation, executive function)
    • Behavioral, physiological and neural correlates of cognitive and emotional flexibility (e.g., task-switching, set-shifting, generating alternatives)
    • Developmental, affective and translational neuroscience (e.g., attention bias modification) research

     

    Christine E. Delgado, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Children's Registry and Information System, studies risk factors associated with adverse developmental outcomes 

    • Identification of early risk factors for developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders, speech impairment, language impairment, and developmental delay
    • Integration and analysis of large datasets to identify risk and reliance at individual, neighborhood, and population levels
    • Evaluation of health and lifestyle factors that influence reproductive health, pregnancy, and child development

     

    Brian D. Doss, Ph.D., Professor, Couples Lab, conducts research on romantic relationships, with a focus on developing and testing interventions to improve those relationships.

    • Web-based interventions for distressed couples (see www.OurRelationship.com)
    • Predictors and mechanisms of in-person and online relationship interventions
    • Understanding the help-seeking process to increase the reach of relationship interventions

     

    Jennifer Durocher, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Clinical Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)


       

    Jill Ehrenreich-May, Ph.D., Professor, CAMAT Lab, studies the efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for youth emotional disorders and related mental health conditions, with an emphasis on child anxiety disorders.

    • Development and evaluation of transdiagnostic and personalized treatments for youth emotional disorders
    • Evaluation of the mechanisms and effectiveness of transdiagnostic and personalized interventions for youth emotional disorders and related conditions in community practice
    • Optimization of clinician training and consultation processes in the implementation of evidence-based interventions for youth

     

    Spencer Evans, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, conducts research on the development, assessment, and treatment of behavioral and emotional dysregulation in children and adolescents.

    • Developmental psychopathology of irritability and aggression.
    • Assessment, diagnosis, and classification in youth mental health.
    • Evidence-based and transdiagnostic approaches to intervention.

     

    Daryl B. Greenfield, Ph.D., Professor, conducts collaborative research to better understand the development of scientific thinking in early childhood, focusing on low-income minority children.

    • Development of scientific thinking in early childhood
    • STEM as foundational focus for school readiness
    • Technology in early childhood assessment

     

    Anibal Gutierrez, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor

    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Early behavioral intervention
    • Factors that influence treatment effectiveness in behavioral acquisition programs
    • The use of technology to bring about behavior change

     

    Melissa Hale, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)


     

    Amanda Jensen-Doss, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Child Divison, CIELO Lab, studies the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for youth mental health.

    • Mechanisms and outcomes of measurement-based care
    • Effectiveness of evidence-based practices when tested in “as usual” clinical practice settings
    • Patterns and predictors of assessment and treatment practices utilized in “as usual” clinical practice settings

     

    Annette M. La Greca, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics, conducts research on key risk and resilience factors that play a role in children’s and adolescents’ physical health and mental health, as well as interventions to reduce risk and improve adjustment.

    • Impact of natural disasters and associated risk factors on the development of posttraumatic stress and health problems in youth
    • Contributions of peer victimization (especially cyber victimization) to adolescent social anxiety and depression, as well as interventions to reduce mental health impacts
    • Impact of school transition stress on adolescents’ physical and mental health

     

    Yanerys Leon, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, UM Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD), Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program.

    • Assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders
    • Token and conditioned reinforcement 
    • Technological advances in common behavioral treatments

     

    Kristin M. Lindahl, Ph.D., Associate Professor, studies family systems dynamics and how they are related to child and adolescent functioning.

    • Interaction between marital and family interaction patterns
    • Mediating and moderating roles of ethnicity
    • Family interaction patterns and implications for mental health and relationship functioning in young adults, including heterosexual as well as LGB youth

     

    Daniel Messinger, Ph.D., Professor, Early Play and Development Lab, investigates interaction to better understand healthy and disturbed development.

    • Emotional, social, and language development
    • Impact of autism, deafness, poverty, and related factors
    • Big behavioral data: automated measurement of movement, facial expressions, and speech.

     

    Lynn K. Perry, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Miami OWL Lab, investigates language, categorization, and social interaction in children and adults from typical and atypical populations in the laboratory, home, and preschool

    • Automated measurement of language and movement
    • Communication disorders (hearing loss, late talkers, autism)
    • Language and thought

     

    Meaghan Parladé, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Co-Director of the Autism Spectrum Assessment Clinic, and Division Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities is a psychologist who conducts clinical research on the early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as parent-mediated interventions to improve behavior and social communication in individuals with ASD. 

    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Early autism screening and intervention
    • Parent-mediated interventions
    • Social communication skills
    • Disruptive behavior disorders


    Taking Research Assistants for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 

    Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Early Childhood Social Emotional Readiness Lab, conducts partnership-based research with early childhood programs to promote social-emotional skills, early learning, and school readiness for children from ethnic, racial minority and low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities.

    • Development and validation of contextually and developmentally relevant measures of preschool socioemotional adjustment within the classroom context.
    • Dynamic and longitudinal examination of malleable factors within the school (peer interactions, teacher-child interactions) and family (family engagement) associated with early school success for low-income children.
    • Development and testing of effectiveness of classroom-based interventions delivered by early childhood educators, to promote social emotional competence for children.

     

    Elizabeth A. Simpson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Social Cognition Lab, studies infant social cognitive development by examining individual differences in social perception in humans and nonhuman primates.

    • Evolutionary developmental psychology
    • Face perception & imitation
    • Eye-tracking

    Affiliated Faculty

    Alan Delamater, Ph.D., ABPP., Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology (Mailman Center for Child Development, Department of Pediatrics), conducts research on obesity and diabetes in children and adolescents, including:

    • Psychosocial and behavioral factors related to risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes
    • Interventions to reduce risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes
    • Psychosocial and behavioral factors related to management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
    • Interventions to improve health outcomes and quality of life

  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Division

     

    Jennifer C. Britton, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Child Division, BRAIN Group, is a neuroscientist whose work focuses on understanding the intersection of anxiety, development and treatment.

    • Anxiety and depression (e.g., approach-avoidance, threat processing, fear and extinction learning, emotion regulation, executive function)
    • Behavioral, physiological and neural correlates of cognitive and emotional flexibility (e.g., task-switching, set-shifting, generating alternatives)
    • Developmental, affective and translational neuroscience (e.g., attention bias modification) research 

    Mingbo Cai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Division, Cai Lab, uses neural imaging, machine learning, computational modeling and behavioral approach to study the dynamics of spontaneous thoughts, the computational principles of decision making and learning, and brain-inspired AI. 

    • Applying functional MRI imaging and machine learning to study the contents and dynamics of spontaneous thoughts, with the ultimate goal of understanding rumination in mental disorder.
    • Developing cognitive tasks and computational models to study how humans build internal models of the environment, make decisions and learn from feedback, and how these processes relate to mental health.
    • Building deep networks that learn basic constructs of human cognition such as concepts of objects, with similar constraints faced by infants.
    • In collaboration with developmental researchers, using eye movements data of infants to understand their learning, exploration, and attention.

    Ekaterina Denkova, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Jha Lab, uses neuroimaging and behavioral methods to study affect-laden autobiographical memories and the impact of mindfulness training on affective and cognitive processes.

    • Neural mechanisms of emotional personal memories and mind wandering
    • Emotion regulation strategies to cope with emotional past
    • Mindfulness training intervention in various cohorts

      

    Aaron Heller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Adult Division, MANATEE Lab, uses ethological, personally meaningful events, coupled with experimental designs to model how emotion unfolds over time and which characteristics of emotion are linked to transdiagnostic risk for internalizing disorders. 

    • Applying computational models to real-world behavior using geolocation and ecological momentary assessment to identify behaviors linked to psychopathology risk and resilience
    • Using Functional MRI to delineate the network dynamics linked to worry and rumination

     

    Amishi Jha, Ph.D., Professor, Jha Lab, aims to understand how the brain pays attention, what makes attention vulnerable to lapses and failure, and if attention can be trained and strengthened. 

    • Mindfulness training to promote cognitive resilience
    • The neural bases and performance consequences of Mind Wandering 
    • Attention and Working memory in high stress/high performance contexts

     

    Roger C. McIntosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Health Division, BREATH Lab, examines the neural correlates of cognitive aging, stress reactivity and cardio-autonomic regulation in healthy older adults the context of chronic disease, i.e., Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hypertension (HTN). 

    • Psychoneuroimmunology of mental stress reactivity in the context of chronic HIV disease.
    • Neural correlates of cardio-autonomic regulation in HIV+ individuals at elevated risk for HTN. 
    • Role of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in the manifestation of cognitive decline amongst older adults.  

     

     

  • Health Division

     

    Michael H. Antoni, Ph.D., Professor, Antoni Lab, studies the effects of stress factors, and stress management interventions on psychological adaptation, biobehavioral processes, and health outcomes in chronic diseases (breast cancer, prostate cancer and HIV/AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS)

    • Utilize group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) to improve psychological adaptation (negative and positive affect, social disruption, sleep and fatigue) and modulate biobehavioral processes (neuroendocrine and inflammatory)
    • Testing ways to increase the reach of stress management interventions to specific populations specific stress management components in briefer formats, cultural adaptations, and use of remote delivery platforms (tele-health, web-based)
    • Improve longer term clinical outcomes (depression, quality of life, overall survival and disease-free interval)

     

    Sannisha Dale, Ph.D., Associate Professor, SHINE Lab, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, who studies health disparities such as HIV at the intersection of mental health, physical health outcomes, and psychosocial and structural factors.

    • Enhancing our understanding of the relationships between resilience, trauma, and health outcomes among individuals with HIV and those at risk for HIV
    • Investigating psychosocial (e.g., microaggressions, discrimination) and structural factors (e.g., poverty) that relate to HIV health disparities
    • Developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote resilience and good health outcomes amongst survivors of trauma and individuals with or at risk for HIV, especially members of racial minority (e.g., Blacks/African Americans) and gender and sexual minority groups who are heavily burdened by the HIV epidemic
    • Engaging community members and stakeholders in collaborative health disparities research

     

    Barry Hurwitz, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology & Medicine, investigates the early interactions of behavioral factors (i.e., stress, anxiety, hostility, depression, vitality, sleep, diet & nutrition) with cardiovascular, immunological and metabolic functions that promote disease and disease progression in adults.  Interests include metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS.

    • Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes Risk 
    • Stress-Induced Overeating
    • Endothelial Stem Cell Progenitors & Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction in HIV/AIDS, Type 2 Diabetes & Heart Failure
    • Epidemiologic Determinants of Cardiovascular Disease & Health Disparities Among Hispanics

     

    Gail H. Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, examines psychoneuroimmunology, AIDS, Psycho-oncology, Stress Management Interventions, Stress and Coping, Cardiovascular Disease, Post Traumatic Stress (Director of Trauma Treatment Program), Measurement and Statistics.


     

    Youngmee Kim, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Director of Health Division, FAMILY Lab, examines the effects of stress and psychosocial and bio-behavioral mechanisms of quality of life outcomes (psychosocial, physical, behavioral, and spiritual) among adult cancer patients/survivors and their family caregivers across the illness trajectory.

    • Identification of the demographic and socio-cultural correlates of better or worse adjustment to cancer
    • Investigation of the psychosocial and biobehavioral mechanisms of dyadic impact of a physical illness between adult patients and their family members
    • Development and evaluation of psychosocial and biobehavioral interventions for adult cancer patients and their family members

     

    Maria M. Llabre, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology and Director of Biobehavioral Statistics, Behavioral Medicine Research Center, Applied Quantitative LaB, is interested in latent variable modeling and uses them in applications to issues of measurement, mechanisms, and change processes in cardiovascular behavioral medicine research.  

    • The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL;  N. Schneiderman, PI) 
    • The role of the Spanish language in the Hispanic Paradox (Que Pasa U?; M. Llabre, PI)  
    • Multilevel risk and resilience factors related to hurricane exposures (UCope; K. Timpano, PI)   
    • The practice of asking questions as a mechanism for promoting interest in STEM (UQuest; P. Saab, PI)

     

    Philip M. McCabe, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, examines neural, hormonal and behavioral factors in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, neurobiology of emotional behavior and neural/hormonal regulation of inflammation.

    • Assessment of sympathetic nervous system remodeling and its role in the progression of atherosclerosis in animal models of disease
    • Evaluation of the role of the neuropeptide, oxytocin, as a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant in cardiovascular disease and cancer
    • In vitro and in vivo approaches to understanding the role of oxytocin pancreatic glycemic regulation and cell protection related to diabetes

     

    Roger C. McIntosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor, BREATH Lab, examines the neural correlates of cognitive aging, stress reactivity and cardio-autonomic regulation in healthy older adults the context of chronic disease, i.e., Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hypertension (HTN). 

    • Psychoneuroimmunology of mental stress reactivity in the context of chronic HIV disease.
    • Neural correlates of cardio-autonomic regulation in HIV+ individuals at elevated risk for HTN. 
    • Role of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in the manifestation of cognitive decline amongst older adults.  

     

    Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., Sylvester Professor and Associate Director of Cancer Survivorship and Translational Behavioral Sciences, Lab website: Biopsychosocial Mechanisms & Health Outcomes Lab (BMHO).

    • Cancer survivorship, symptom and toxicities monitoring/management, care delivery and chronic disease management 
    • Multilevel determinants (sociocultural, biobehavioral, psychosocial) of disease onset, progression, management and outcomes 
    • e-Health/m-Health interventions; precision behavioral medicine; health equity in specific populations (e.g., Hispanics, LGBT) 

     

    Patrice G. Saab, Ph.D., Professor, UQuest Lab, studies prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine reactivity to stress, health disparities, and behavior change strategies.

    • Promoting health knowledge and health behaviors in youth
    • Addressing mechanisms underlying health disparities
    • Obesity prevention

      

    Steven A. Safren, Ph.D., ABPP., Professor, HPAC Lab, studies mental health, substance use, and related variables associated with behavioral and biobehavioral HIV prevention and treatment both domestically and globally, with a particular focus mental health treatments in the context of HIV and on sexual and gender minority populations in the context of health promotion and care.

    • Enhancing HIV prevention in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men through behavioral methods and biobehavioral methods such as uptake and adherence to biobehavioral prevention products such as PrEP and antiretroviral therapy
    • Combining treatment of psychosocial problems with cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing with health promotion interventions to improve behavioral self-care in HIV and other chronic illnesses.
    • Working, as Director of the Center for HIV and Research in Mental Health (CHARM) at the University of Miami, to increase the research on the implementation of locally relevant, evidenced-based interventions to prevent and treat HIV in the Greater Miami area, which is a domestic epicenter for HIV in the U.S.

     

    Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., James L. Knight Professor and Director, Health Division, Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos, conducts behavioral medicine research in cardiovascular disease; diabetes and metabolic processes; neuroscience aspects of cognitive decline; Hispanic/Lation Health; and health disparities. 


     

    Angela, Szeto, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, studies the role of social/emotional factors on the progression of atherosclerosis and Type 2 Diabetes in cell culture models (in vitro) and animal models (in vivo).

    • Conducting experiments elucidating the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of oxytocin in obesity, glucose metabolism, and Type 2 diabetes in vitro and in vivo. 
    • Conducting experiments examining mechanisms on the progression of atherosclerosis using biochemical (e.g., protein expression including Western blotting, ELISAs, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, etc.) and molecular (e.g., gene expression including quantitative real-time PCR) approaches and examining these effects in animal models of disease.
    • Conducting experiments measuring levels of oxytocin in tissue culture media or plasma in basal or stimulated conditions.

  • In Memorium

    Professor Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., passed away on October 6, 2023 at the age of 86.  Neil was the James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Public Health Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering.  Within the Psychology Department, he founded the Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology Program and served as its director since the program’s inception in 1986.  From 2007 until the present, Neil was the principal investigator (PI) of the Miami Field Center of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, which is the most comprehensive long-term study of health and disease in Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S.

    Neil joined the Faculty of the University of Miami (UM) in 1965 and proudly served in this role for the next 58 years.  He was a major figure in the history of the UM Psychology Department and helped to shape its direction for the past half-century.  Neil was continuously funded as the PI of NIH and/or National Science Foundation research grants since 1966, totaling more than $125 million in extramural support. He led NIH Program Project grants and clinical trials involving behavioral management of coronary heart disease and HIV, population-based epidemiological studies as well as basic research on psychosocial/behavioral contributions of stressors to cardiovascular risk and biological disease processes. In addition, he was the PI on an NIH Training Grant that has been continuously funded since 1979.

    For more about Professor Schneiderman.


    Charles S. Carver (Chuck)  received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University (1969), and his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin (1974). He had a long and illustrious career at the University of Miami (1975 to 2019), where he was a Distinguished Professor of Psychology, and Director of the Adult Division of the Psychology Department.

    Links to Dr. Carver's Available Self-Report Measures can be found here

    CARVER, CHARLES S., PhD, 71, died on June 22, 2019 in Miami, FL. He was born on August 19, 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Robert and Mildred Carver. He grew up in Huron, Ohio, where he played football and was captain of the high school wrestling team.