Clinical Research


Our diverse research programs have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years

Departmental research interests run a wide gamut including uncovering the causes of and cures for psychiatric illnesses, clinical treatments, and health services research. The department aims to advance research on the biomedical basis of mental illness, to develop novel therapeutic approaches for patients, and to provide innovative adjustment strategies for patients, families, and others dealing with mental illness.

Addiction, Mental Health, Prevention, and Treatment

Utilizing digital technologies to reach young adults and veterans to help mitigate substance use behaviors, sexual violence, and other mental health outcomes.

Eric Pedersen, PhD

Adolescent Traumatic Stress

Evaluating and treating complex trauma effects, including substance use and self-injury, in multi-traumatized, socially marginalized adolescents.

Randye Semple, PhD

Cheryl Lanktree, PhD

Addiction, Mental Health, Prevention, and Treatment

Utilizing digital technologies to reach young adults and veterans to help mitigate substance use behaviors, sexual violence, and other mental health outcomes.

Bradley Peterson, MD

Christopher Snowdy, MD

Clinical and Translational Science

Addressing gaps in access to depression care due to life circumstances and community factors in Latinx populations.

Robert Featherstone, PhD

Culturally-Matched, Embedded Counseling

Developing a culturally-matched, embedded counseling service to increase mental health access, engagement, and wellbeing among Black identified college students.

Dakari Quimby, PhD

Edden Agonafer, PsyD, MA

Michelle Dexter, PhD

Broderick Leaks, PhD, MAT

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Investigating clinical trials in dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, late-life depression, geriatric neuropsychopharmacology, and clinical research treatments.

Lon Schneider, MD, MS

Sonia Pawluczyk, MD

Eating and Weight Disorders

Examining the role of emotion regulation and cognitive functioning contributing to eating psychopathology and obesity. Utilizing multi-method assessment approaches, including real-time data collection to elucidate biobehavioral mechanisms that contribute to disordered eating behaviors.

Stuart Murray, PhD

Kathryn Smith, PhD

Forensic Psychiatry

Interrelating the fields of behavioral science, law, and public policy to initiate legislative change in the area of mental health law.

Bruce Gross, MBA, JD, PhD

Matthew Motley, MD

HIV/AIDS Psychiatry

Studying the psychiatric aspects of individuals with HIV or AIDS.

Suad Kapetanovic, MD

Mindfulness Therapy

Studying the effects of long-term mindfulness therapies on perception, attention, and brain activity.

Rael Cahn, PhD

Neuromodulation Treatments

Applying neuromodulation treatments (electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, ketamine infusion, vagal nerve stimulation, and deep brain stimulation) in a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Carlos Figueroa, MD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Focusing on treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including cognitive behavioral therapy, family accommodation therapy, and the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation for OCD.

Adam Frank, MD, PhD

Barbara Van Noppen, PhD, LCSW

Reproductive Mental Health

Dr. Dossett’s research interests converge at the intersections of reproductive mental health, access to health care, and the ethics of reproductive decision-making for perinatal people with serious mental illness. Through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation, her published works examine novel ways to improve community-based mental health care for pregnant and parenting people.

Dr. Dossett’s current initiatives spotlight potential areas of integration between reproductive decision-making and mental health care service delivery. Examples include investigating the role of reproductive goals counseling in outpatient mental health clinics; the development of psychiatric advance directives for perinatal people; and the creation of standardized emergency room guidelines for treating perinatal people in psychiatric crises. Dr. Dossett also regularly mentors medical students, residents, and fellows from both psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology in research and quality improvement projects.

Emily Dossett, MD

Stimulant Use Treatment in Communities of Color

Treating stimulant use in communities of color, counteracting health inequity by bridging the gap of health care disparities for historically underserved and economically disadvantaged groups.

Siddarth Puri, MD

Violence Prevention for LGBTQ+ Students

Developing culturally sensitive, trauma-informed coordinated campus services and enhanced prevention efforts to eradicate and mitigate gender-based violence in the LGBTQ+ campus community.

Brenda Ingram, EdD, MSW, LCSW