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Colleen Stiles-Shields PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Dr. Colleen Stiles-Shields is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Her research is centered around harnessing digital mental health and telehealth as delivery mechanisms to reach and improve behavioral health targets for pediatric populations. Within this work, she specifically aims to design/adapt, evaluate, and disseminate technologies to better meet the needs of pediatric populations and their families, particularly those with socially complex needs (i.e., potentially overlapping experiences of adversities and minoritized identities).

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Erika L. Gustafson PhD

  • Clinical Psychologist and Instructor
  • Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR)
  • Department of Psychiatry
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Dr. Erika L. Gustafson is a Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Broadly, her research focuses on community-based interventions to support the mental health of families in marginalized communities impacted by poverty and structural inequities. She is particularly interested in how we can leverage paraprofessional workforces (i.e., community health workers (CHWs), lay providers, near peers) to expand access to contextually and culturally relevant mental health supports for communities that are underserved in standard models of mental healthcare. Her specific research interests include developing community-based, CHW-led mental health service models, and leveraging dissemination and implementation science to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the feasibility and sustainability of community-embedded services that use paraprofessional workforces. 

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Gabriella Bobadilla BA

  • Research Associate II

Gabriella Bobadilla is a Research Associate II working for the Institute for Juvenile Research. In spring of 2023, she graduated from Rutgers University– New Brunswick with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Public Health.

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Randy Boley BA

  • Senior Research Manager
Randy Boley is a Senior Research Manager in the Institute for Juvenile Research. He graduated from UIC in 2014 with a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences and majored in Psychology. Since then, he has been a part of several lab startups ranging from biorepositories to psychophysiological labs and supervised/managed multiple research teams focused on trauma interventions, substance use, youth homelessness, and the development of machine learning/natural language processing algorithms to utilize data from the EHR.

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Lily Caglianone BS

  • Research Specialist, Research Manager
Lily Caglianone is a Research Specialist working for the Institute for Juvenile Research. She currently manages the CURB-2 Clinical Trial studying the use of naltrexone in combination with buprenorphine for the cessation of cocaine cravings. Additionally, she is the Project Coordinator and Quality Assurance Specialist for the 102XR Clinical Trial, studying the implementation of MOUD in rural settings. She also contributes to several data-based and psychological studies. She graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in both Neuroscience and Psychology (including a minor in Cognitive Science) in 2020, in addition to obtaining a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Medical Neuroscience in 2022.

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Matt Lowther MSW, MPH, LSW

  • Senior Research Manager, Institute for Juvenile Research
  • Department of Psychiatry, UIC
Matt Lowther, MSW, MPH, LSW, has over 12 years of experience working in diverse areas of social services, healthcare, and research. He received masters degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of Michigan in 2014 and has since dedicated his career to addressing health disparities, primarily in sexual and behavioral health outcomes, facing LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities.

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Dillon Thorpe BA

  • Research Associate II

Niranjan S. Karnik MD, PhD

  • Professor of Psychiatry & Director, Institute for Juvenile Research
  • Co-Director of Institute for Research on Addictions
  • Interim Director of AI.Health4All Center for Health Equity using ML/AI
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Dr. Karnik is Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research, Co-Director of Institute for Research on Addictions, and Interim Director of AI.Health4All Center for Health Equity using ML/AI at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He serves as Director of the Great Lakes Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. His research focuses on data science, technology, and community-based interventions for vulnerable populations with psychiatric and substance use disorders. In the past, he has worked with refugee children on the Pakistan-Afghan border, street children in India, foster youth in Central Illinois, and incarcerated youth in California. He worked at a youth homeless shelter in San Francisco and is continuing work with youth experiencing homelessness youth in Chicago. He is presently a PI or Co-PI on grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Geri Donenberg PhD

  • Associate Dean of Research, School of Public Health
  • Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry

Dr. Geri Donenberg received her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Political Science at the University of Michigan and her Master of Arts and Doctoral Degree in clinical psychology from UCLA. She completed her psychology internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and was a recently Fulbright Scholar in South Africa.

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Wrenetha A. Julion PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, CNL

  • Professor
  • Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing
  • College of Nursing, Rush University

Dr. Julion is a dynamic advocate for meaningful societal change that challenges health disparities, health inequity and social injustice. During the past 35 years, she focused her clinical practice on the care of women, children, families and critically ill neonates, before transitioning to research and academia.

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Tessa Kritikos PhD

  • Collaborator
Tessa Kritikos, Ph.D., is a clinical and pediatric psychologist. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Boston University; completed a pre-doctoral internship in child, adolescent, and pediatric psychology at Rush University Medical Center; and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Kritikos’s program of research focuses on understanding and improving the psychological health of young individuals and their parents experiencing stress as a result of trauma, medical conditions, or mental health concerns.

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Alex Psihogios PhD

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Medical Social Sciences
  • Northwestern University in the Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Co-Chair of the Society of Pediatric Psychology Digital Health Special Interest Group
Alex Psihogios, Ph.D. is clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University in the Feinberg School of Medicine. Prior to joining Northwestern, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and practicing psychologist in the Cancer Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As the PI on grants from the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation, Dr. Psihogios' research portfolio focuses on promoting disease self-management and adherence among adolescents and young adults with cancer.

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