Faculty Research Interests


  • Adult Division

    Sierra Bainter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, 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

    Daniel Bradford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (effective Spring 2020), takes a multi-measure experimental psychopathology approach to better understand the role of stress reactivity in mental health with a current focus on the psychological processes at the interface of affect and addiction.
    • How and under what circumstances commonly used drugs reduce reactivity to stressors
    • Probing for evidence for neuroadaptations in stress circuits
    • Empirically based improvement of  psychophysiology and psychological science

    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, 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

    Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, 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. 

    Michael McCullough, Ph.D., Professor, is an experimental psychologist concerned primarily with the evolutionary and cognitive foundations of human sociality. 
    • Revenge and Forgiveness
    • Religion and Morality
    • Prosocial Behavior

    Kiara Timpano, Ph.D., Associate Professor, 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, 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)
    • Developmental and neural correlates of cognitive vs. emotional flexibility (e.g., task-switching, set-shifting, response inhibition)
    • Translational neuroscience research (e.g., attention bias modification)

    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., 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

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

    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

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

    Amanda Jensen-Doss, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Child Divison, 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., 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, Ed.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 interaction to better understand healthy and disturbed development.

    • Emotional, social, and language development
    • Impact of autism, autism risk, deafness, poverty, and related factors
    • Big behavioral data: automated measurement and computational models

    Lynn K. Perry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, 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

    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 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., 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 Division

    Jennifer C. Britton, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Child Division, 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)
    • Developmental and neural correlates of emotional flexibility (e.g., task-switching, set-shifting, response inhibition)
    • Translational neuroscience research (e.g., attention bias modification)
    Ekaterina Ninova, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, 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., Assistant Professor, Adult Division, 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., Associate Professor, 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
    Elizabeth Reynolds Losin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, examines explores the relationships among cultural beliefs, brain functions, and health practices. Work touches on social learning, intergroup relations, person perception, health disparities, and pain and emotion, and utilizes fMRI, psychophysiological, behavioral, and survey methods.
    • Psychological and neural mechanisms underlying health disparities in pain and pain treatment
    • Psychological and neural mechanisms underlying cultural acquisition
    • How differential cultural experience shapes the brain in different social, cognitive and affective domains

    Roger C. McIntosh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health Division, 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.  
    Jason Nomi, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, studies large scale functional and structural neural networks in typical and atypical individuals across development using functional and diffusion MRI approaches. 
    • Focus on atypical populations such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Characterize time-varying dynamic brain processes using fMRI analyses
    • Characterize major white matter fiber bundles using diffusion MRI analyses

    Lucina Q. Uddin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, examines the relationship between brain connectivity and cognition in typical and atypical development. Her lab focuses on understanding dynamic brain network interactions underlying executive function in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

    • network neuroscience and human connectomics
    • lifespan brain development
    • clinical and translational neuroscience

  • Health Division

    Michael H. Antoni, Ph.D., Professor, 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., Assistant Professor, 

    Marc D. Gellman, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, conducts multi-center, epidemiologic research with Hispanic/Latino populations to assess the role of acculturation in the prevalence and development of disease, and to identify factors playing a protective or harmful role in their health.

    • Examines health disparities and lifestyles, focusing their effect of cardiovascular health.
    • Diet quality and Its association with cardiometabolic risk factors 
    • Association of acculturation with physical activity and sedentary behavior    

    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, 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, 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., Assistant Professor, 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

    • 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, 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, studies mental health, substance use, and related variables associated with behavioral and biobehavioral HIV prevention and treatment both domestically and globally, as well as similar factors in other medical illnesses. 

    • 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 cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing techniques to improve both mental health and 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, 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.

    Ray W. Winters, Ph.D., Professor, examines CNS control of cardiovascular reactivity, stress and stress management.