Faculty Research Interests

Adult Division Research

Sierra Bainter, Ph.D., Assistant professor  Dr. Bainter’s research focus is in quantitative psychology, specifically 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. She is particularly interested in Bayesian estimation as a tool to help overcome estimation difficulties in structural equation models. She is also focused on improving the match between statistical models and psychological theory, because mismatch between model and theory can obscure our understanding of psychological processes and influences.

Charles S. Carver, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Adult Division  Dr. Carver's research has several focuses.  He studies several aspects of personality (including the dimension of optimism-pessimism), often in the context of stressful life experiences such as major illness.  Not surprisingly, he also studies the nature of coping.  He has collaborated for many years in research on how cancer patients adjust to their diagnosis and treatment.  Another view of personality that has drawn Dr. Carver's interest is one that emphasizes approach and avoidance processes as influences on personality.  Yet another topic of interest is the bases and consequences of affective experience.  In recent years this has led to work on genetic and other biological influences on personality and emotion.  The broad interest that underlies all of this research concerns the structure of the self-regulation of behavior.  See Dr. Carver's research interests for greater detail.

Aaron Heller, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dr. Heller is interested in better understanding the temporal dynamics of positive emotion (ie., how we sustain or don't sustain positive emotion) in depressed and healthy individuals. Using an emotion regulation framework to study these processes, Dr. Heller  uses a variety of methods including brain imaging (fMRI), psychophysiological (facial EMG, skin conductance) and experience sampling (using smart phones) techniques to better understand emotion, emotion regulation and the pathophysiology of health, well-being and psychopathology. Another line of research in which Dr. Heller engages is in developing better methods to simultaneously acquire fMRI with objective measures of emotion like facial EMG.

Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., Associate Professor  Dr. Lieberman's research has two major focuses.  The first relates to human kin detection.  Over evolutionary history, it was beneficial to know which individuals were close genetic relatives for the purpose of avoiding them as sexual partners (inbreeding avoidance) and for allocating assistance to them according to the principles of inclusive fitness theory.  But how do humans figure out who counts as a close genetic relative? Dr. Lieberman's research investigates the ecologically valid cues that might serve as indicators of relatedness.  Currently, she is researching the cues to siblingship and has found that the mind uses two separate cues to identify younger versus older siblings.  Regardless of actual genetic relatedness, these cues predict the intensity of disgust felt towards engaging in sexual behaviors with one's siblings, the moral wrongness of third party sibling incest, and levels of sibling directed altruism.  A second focus of Dr. Lieberman's research is on the emotion disgust.  She has been investigating the different types of disgust and the possibility that each type of disgust is neurally, behaviorally, and physiologically dissociable.  Additional research interests include social categorization, biological underpinnings of morality, and application of evolutionary principles to clinical science, medicine, and law.  See Dr. Lieberman's web page for additional information.

Michael McCullough, Ph.D., Professor  Dr. McCullough's research focuses on religion and human social virtues.  He is interested in the proximal and ultimate causes for of such behaviors, and therefore moves between evolutionary theory and mid-range theories.  Currently, Dr. McCullough is studying the personality and environmental factors that influence religious development over the life course, is examining the effects of religious development on health and well-being as people age, and is working on a theory to explain how religions foster the development of self-control.  He is also studying the effects of forgiveness on physiological functioning and has developed a theory to explain the evolution of revenge and forgiveness in humans.  See Dr. McCullough's web page for additional information.

Kiara Timpano, Ph.D., Associate Professor  Dr. Timpano is focused on better understanding factors that play a role in the etiology, comorbidity, and maintenance of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Dr. Timpano’s research on this topic bridges various sub-disciplines of psychology within a translational research framework, and includes cognitive, biological, and environmental components. Dr. Timpano uses both experimental and applied approaches, including laboratory techniques (cognitive tasks, eye-tracking, psychophysiological measures) that examine biological and psychological factors in relation to risk for psychopathology. A secondary, yet interwoven domain is to apply 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., Associate Professor Dr. Weisman de Mamani's research focuses on cultural and family factors that predict the course of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and other age related dementias.  She is particularly interested in applying models developed in social psychology (e.g., attribution theory) to better understand family member's reactions to these disorders and how such reactions relate to patient functioning.  She has also developed a culturally sensitive family-focused psychosocial intervention for families with a schizophrenic member. Finally she is interested in the study of how language choice impacts the manifestation of psychopathology in bilingual individuals with schizophrenia.

Child Division Research

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, is a neuroscientist whose work focuses on understanding the intersection of anxiety, development and treatment.

  • Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders (e.g., approach-avoidance, threat processing)
  • Developmental and neural correlates of emotional flexibility
  • Translational neuroscience research (e.g., fear and extinction learning, attention bias modification)

Christine E. Delgado, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, is the Director of the Children's Registry and Information System.

  • Developmental disabilities
  • Early risk factors

Brian D. Doss, Ph.D., Associate Professor, 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

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

Amanda Jensen-Doss, Ph.D., Associate Professor, 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

Jill Ehrenreich-May, Ph.D.Associate Professor,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

Lynne F. Katz, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, is the Director of the University's Linda Ray Intervention Center for high risk children.

  • Prenatal drug exposure impact
  • Child maltreatment risks
  • Parenting interventions for high-risk families

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

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, investigates emotion and early interaction (e.g., attachment) to better understand healthy and disturbed (e.g., autistic) development.

  • Measuring and modeling emotional, social, and language development
  • Risk factors including poverty
  • Communication disorders, with a focus on autism

Lynn K. Perry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, investigates children’s word learning and categorization, and the impact of language on cognition.

  • Language development
  • Categorization and learning
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation 

Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, conducts partnership-based research with early childhood programs to promote social-emotional skills, early learning, and school readiness.

  • Preschool social-emotional adjustment
  • School readiness and early school achievement
  • Classroom interventions

Elizabeth A. Simpson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, 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 Research

Jennifer Britton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Child Division

Email
(305) 284-4943
BRAIN Group

Dr. Jennifer Britton and the BRAIN (Bridging Research on Anxiety, Innovations, and Neuroscience) Group investigate the neural correlates of anxiety across development.

Aaron S. Heller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Adult Division

Email
(305) 284-9498
MANATEE Lab

Dr. Aaron Heller and the MANATEE (Miami Affective Neuroscience and Translational Enterprise) Lab aim to understand the temporal dynamics of positive emotion in healthy individuals and individuals with mood disorders.

Amishi Jha, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Health Division

Email
(305) 284-1931
The Jha Lab

Dr. Amishi Jha and her laboratory study the brain systems of attention and working memory, as well as how these systems may be strengthened with mindfulness training.

Elizabeth Losin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Division

Email
(305) 284-8672
SCN Lab

Dr. Elizabeth Losin and the SCNL (Social and Cultural Neuroscience Laboratory) explore the relationships among cultural beliefs, brain functions, and health practices.

Roger C. McIntosh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Division

Email
(305) 284-6677
BREATH Lab

Dr. Roger McIntosh and the BREATH (Brain Respiration Embodiment Affect Translational Health) Lab examine the effects of aging and HIV disease on neurocognitive and cardio-autonomic dysfunction.

Lucina Uddin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Health Division
Director, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Email
(305) 284-3286
BCC Lab

Dr. Lucina Uddin and the BCCL (Brain Connectivity and Cognition Laboratory) use neuroimaging to study the relationship between brain connectivity and cognition in typical and atypical development.

Philip McCabe, Ph.D.
Professor
Chairman, Department of Psychology

Email
(305) 284-5507

Pradip Pattany, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor, Radiology
Director of Neuroimaging Facility

Email
(305) 243-5827

Health Division Research

Michael H. Antoni, Ph.D., Professor, Health DivisionUniversity of Miami, 1986 - Associate Editor, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine Psycho-oncology, AIDS and psychoneuroiminunology: coping styles, social support, life event stress, and health/disease.

Marc D. Gellman, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Health DivisionUniversity of Miami, 1984 - Associate Director, Health Division - Cardiovascular and neuroendocrine reactivity to stress, drug use in our society.

Barry E. Hurwitz Ph.D., Professor, Health DivisionUniversity of Florida, 1984 - Behavioral Medicine; heart disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome; stress, biobehavioral factors and mechanisms in disease progression.

Gail H. Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Health DivisionUniversity of Wisconsin, 1977; M.D. University of Miami School of Medicine, 1986; Residency Stanford University 1986-1990 - 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, Health DivisionUniversity of Rochester, 1998 - Psycho-Oncology, family caregivership, cancer survivorship, quality of life (psychosocial, physical, behavioral, and spiritual), effects of stress and coping, social support, gender, age, and sociocultural factors, and biological and behavioral mechanisms of health outcomes.

Maria M. Llabre, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Health DivisionUniversity of Florida, 1978 - Director of Statistics, Behavioral Medicine Research Center- applied statistics, latent growth modeling, structural modeling, generalizability theory.

Elizabeth Reynolds Losin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health DivisionUniversity of California, Los Angeles, 2012 - Psychological and neural underpinnings of cultural acquisition, cultural plasticity, and their applications to human health. Work touches on social learning, intergroup relations, person perception, health disparities, and pain and emotion, and utilizes fMRI and behavioral methods.

Philip M. McCabe, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Health DivisionUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982 - Neural, hormonal and behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease; Neurobiology of emotional behavior; Neural/hormonal regulation of inflammation.

Roger C. McIntosh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health DivisionFlorida Atlantic University, 2012 - Neural signature (e.g., EEG, MRI, EKG) of affect regulation, i.e., stress, feelings and emotions, and the bidirectional relationship with subclinical and clinical markers of HIV and cardiovascular disease progression.

Frank J. Penedo, PhD, Sylvester Professor and Associate Director of Cancer Survivorship and Translational Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Miami, 1999 - Chronic disease management interventions; Cancer survivorship, symptom and toxicities monitoring and care delivery; Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) research; multilevel determinants (sociocultural, biobehavioral, psychosocial) of disease onset, progression and outcomes; Hispanic health; e-Health/m-Health care delivery; precision behavioral medicine

Patrice G. Saab, Ph.D., Professor, Health DivisionOhio University, 1983 - Cardiovascular and neuroendocrine reactivity to stress, gender and ethnic differences, behavioral interventions.

Steven A. Safren, Ph.D., ABPP., Professor, Health DivisionUniversity at Albany, 1998.  Domestic and international studies related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment (biomedical and behavioral), behavioral medicine, coping with chronic illness, syndemics and resilience in gay / bisexual men (and other MSM) and other populations at risk for or living with HIV.

Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., James L. Knight Professor, Health DivisionIndiana University, 1964 - Director, Health Division Behavioral medicine research in cardiovascular disease, HIV and cancer, and CNS control of circulation and conditioning.

Lucina Q. Uddin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of PsychologyUCLA, 2006 - Relationship between brain connectivity and cognition in typical and atypical development. Focus on understanding dynamic network interactions underlying social information processing in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Ray W. Winters, Ph.D., Professor, Health DivisionMichigan State University, 1969 - CNS control of cardiovascular reactivity, stress and stress management.