I am a Professor of Psychiatry with adjunct appointments in Psychology and Anatomy & Cell Biology, the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and the Graduate Education in Medical Sciences Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Our Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program (MADRP) bridges UIC and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and interfaces with the Mood and Anxiety Clinical Program and the Center on Depression & Resilience. I studied and trained at the University of Michigan (BS ’95, MD ’98, Psychiatry Residency and Research Track Fellowship ’03). My research approach is multi-disciplinary, collaborative and patient-oriented, and integrates cognitive and affective neuroscience, neuropsychopharmacology, and intervention clinical trials (involving pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, neuromodulation).
I am an Assistant Professor and Director of the Social Anxiety Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I received my MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Georgia in Athens and completed an APA-accredited internship at the North FL/South GA Veterans Health System in Gainesville and an APA-accredited Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. My broad interest is to understand brain pathophysiology in anxiety and depression in the context of attention, emotion, and cognitive processes for clinical translation. Therefore, I use fMRI and psychophysiological techniques to delineate treatment-related mechanisms of change and translate innovations from neuroscience for clinical application. The overarching objective is to increase therapeutic response with available treatment and develop more individually-tailored interventions.
I am a Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and a clinical psychologist affiliated with UIC’s Recovery Clinic. I completed both my doctoral degree and clinical psychology internship here at UIC. My broad interests lie in the intersection of addiction and anxiety and how symptoms of both disorders develop, impact one another and precipitate and maintain psychopathology. Towards this end, I use a combination of psychophysiological (e.g., startle eyeblink) and neuroscience (e.g., fMRI) tools to identify behavioral-brain targets for prevention and intervention. For example, much of my research to date has been focused on threat and reward reactivity and how biobehavioral individual differences in response to uncertain, motivationally salient outcomes contribute to anxiety and alcohol abuse. With regard to the clinic, I aim to use research to inform clinical practice and assist in the management, supervision and implementation of empirically-based psychotherapeutic interventions for addiction and co-occurring psychopathology. Across all of my endeavors, I hope to better understand who is vulnerable to addiction and anxiety, and why/how, to ultimately develop more accurate and effective clinical tools and treatments.
Stephanie Gorka, PhD
I am the Program Manager of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Research Program. I received my BS and MSW at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and am currently in the MBA program here at UIC. I started working in clinical research during my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. My role in MADRP includes planning the delivery of the overall program and its activities and ensuring that all program activities operate within and comply with all policies and standards. I also manage the staff within the program which includes selecting and supervising all program staff.
Amy Kennedy, LCSW
I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology from Binghamton University (SUNY) and completed my Clinical Internship at UIC. My research combines behavioral, psychophysiological and neural measures to identify cognitive-emotional processing styles that contribute to the development, maintenance, and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. I am also very interested in using multiple levels of analysis to identify cognitive-affective processing styles involved in the intergenerational transmission of internalizing disorders. To this end, my research utilizes behavioral measures, EEG, eye-tracking, and fMRI.
Katie Burkhouse, PhD
I received my PhD in Clinical-Community psychology from DePaul University where my work focused on trauma, PTSD, and substance use. Prior to joining MADRP, I completed my internship as a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School where I also trained at the National Center for PTSD. I am very interested in how chronic stress and trauma affect the neurobiology of underserved communities and am excited to currently be a postdoctoral fellow examining the neural underpinnings of PTSD.
Julia DiGangi, PhD
I am a cognitive neuroscientist. I use behavioral and neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI and EEG) techniques to study the interaction of emotion (e.g. threat, anxiety; reward) and cognition (perception, attention, executive function).
Frank Hu, PhD
I graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2015 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. My passion is the brain! I want to know how the brain works and how Psychological disorders affect our minds. I decided to approach my passion from three different angles: Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience. I read Philosophy on daily basis, and my goal is to get my PhD in clinical Psychology with a focus on Behavioral Neuroscience. Currently, I am working as a research assistant in this lab. I analyze EEG and EEG/fMRI simultaneous data, perform EEG experiments and help to maintain and organize data to be used in different experiments.
Kaveh Afshar, BA
I received my Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialty in Addictions from the University of Detroit Mercy, and my Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. My clinical experience includes counseling in inpatient psychiatric settings with a focus on chemical dependency and comorbid disorders. My previous research work and focus has been on addiction, substance use disorders, eating disorders, food dependence, and psychopharmacology education. My role in MADRP includes recruiting and screening potential participants for study eligibility, along with coordination of data management and research protocols.
Alyssa Frederick, MA
I received my Master of Arts in Medical Sciences from Loyola University and my BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to working in the MADRP lab as a research assistant, I worked as a project manager in a health IT firm. Ultimately, my interests led me to the world of neuroscience -- I am currently interested in the psychopharmacological mechanisms by which SSRI's and similar drugs influence behavior and cognition in depressed/anxious individuals.
Bobby Hosseini, MA
I received my BA in Applied Psychology from The University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College in 2016. As an undergraduate, I conducted research on barriers that delay the assessment and treatment of children with ADHD. Additionally, I practiced as a telephone crisis counseling paraprofessional. I currently screen potential study participants, conduct intake appointments, perform EEG experiments, and maintain and organize data at MADRP. I plan to pursue a PhD in counseling psychology with a focus on mood disorders.
Shannon Karich, BA
I have degrees in Clinical Psychology and Social Psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and University of Washington, respectively. Throughout my career, I have worked on projects ranging from a randomized controlled trial of a social-emotional learning program to a clinical trial for a medication to treat obstructive sleep apnea. I am currently working on the “Brain and Mental Health RECOVERY” project, a 3-year longitudinal study measuring mental health outcomes, behavior, and brain functioning of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn veterans.
Chris Schroth, MS
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a MS in Bioengineering. My research interests are computational neural engineering, neural network connectomics analysis and network data analysis. During my master years, I worked on EEG based connectivity analysis for healthy participants and anxiety patients in an emotion regulation task. My current work is mainly focused on applying machine learning and other data analysis methods on EEG and fMRI data.
Maggie Xing, MS
I am currently a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My research interests center on uncovering risk and resilience factors for PTSD within the Veteran population and, specifically, investigating brain circuitry involved in affect dysregulation. To do so, I use both neuroimaging and EEG recordings to correlate neuronal activity with social and psychological factors in an effort to understand more about what influences PTSD trajectory.
Jacklynn Fitzgerald, MA
I am currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program. My research focus is on investigating the basic nature of anxiety disorders, as well as the mechanisms behind treatments for anxiety disorders. I am particularly interested in studying the cognitive and neural correlates of emotional processing in anxiety.
Kerry Kinney, BA