Child OCD & Anxiety Disorders Program

RESEARCH TEAM

Principal Investigator

Kate Fitzgerald, M.D. : Phil F. Jenkins Research Professor of Depression

Kate Fitzgerald, M.D.

Phil F. Jenkins Research Professor of Depression

krd@umich.edu

Dr. Fitzgerald studies how healthy brains help children try new things, while also examining what goes awry when fear gets in the way.   Read more...

She seeks to develop new ways to overcome fear and believes that when kids engage in this kind of "brain training," it can help them to grow happier and healthier lives (and brains!).

Collaborators

Christopher Monk, Ph.D. :

Christopher Monk, Ph.D.

Christopher Monk received his Ph.D. in Child Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota and then spent 5 years as a fellow at the NIMH Intramural Research Program. Read more...

Chris uses behavioral and neuroimaging methods to examine affective-cognitive processing during adolescent development. In particular, his research focuses on how behavioral and brain-based responses vary with age in normally developing youth as well as those with or at risk for psychopathology.

Adolescence is a period of exceptional mental capacities relative to earlier ages, but it is also an age of increased risk for emotion-based mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety. The ultimate goal of this research program is to better understand why some adolescents effectively navigate their emotionally-charged surroundings, while others struggle and a subset experience the first onset of long-term mental disorders. Through a better understanding of the behavioral and neural events that underlie the emergence of these pathways, it may be possible to design better diagnostic tests, implement novel treatments that more precisely target underlying pathophysiology, and potentially prevent initial onset through early intervention.

Dr. Monk's TaDLab Website

Emily Bilek, Ph.D. : Clincial Assistant Professor

Emily Bilek, Ph.D.

Clincial Assistant Professor

ealaird@umich.edu

Dr. Bilek provides training and supervision to therapists for COAP studies. Her expertise lies in training, treating, and researching best practice for treating youth anxiety. Read more...

She has given presentations (to trainees, students, and community members) on a range of topics related to youth anxiety, and is always looking for more opportunities to disseminate relevant information.

Postdoctoral Fellows & Graduate Students

Hans Schroder, Ph.D. : Clinical Lecturer; Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hans Schroder, Ph.D.

Clinical Lecturer; Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Hans completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University in 2018 and clinical internship at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Read more...

 He stayed at McLean for two years as a postdoctoral fellow conducting research at the Center for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Research and treating patients at the hospital and in private practice before coming to the University of Michigan in 2020. At Michigan, Hans is a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, a postdoctoral fellow in Psychiatry and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine. Hans’s research examines broader narratives and beliefs about mental health problems among patients and treatment providers, and how these impact hope, motivation, attention to emotions, and decision-making related to treatment. He is also interested in understanding how these beliefs impact cognitive control, and uses several methodologies (EEG/ERP, behavioral measures, and self-report) to understand these processes. In his free time, Hans enjoys writing rap songs about science, watching episodes of Columbo, and hanging out with this kitten, Luna.

 

Natalie Rodriguez-Quintana, Ph.D., MPH : Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Study Therapist

Natalie Rodriguez-Quintana, Ph.D., MPH

Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Study Therapist

Natalie Rodriguez-Quintana is a postdoctoral research fellow at TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students), a University of Michigan program within the Department of Psychiatry. Read more...

In addition to her work with TRAILS, she is a study therapist on the CBT for Anxiety research team, providing therapy to children and adolescents. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Science from Indiana University Bloomington, a MPH in Biostatistics from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Her interests include dissemination and implementation science, youth mental health, and measurement of treatment fidelity. Natalie also enjoys playing with her pets, cooking, and hiking.

Stefanie Russman Block, Ph.D. : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stefanie Russman Block, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stefanie Russman Block received her B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Connecticut College. Read more...

  Prior to graduate school, she worked as a research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital studying endophenotypes of anxiety disorders using behavioral genetics and developmental neuroimaging techniques. She then came to University of Michigan, where she received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  Following this, she returned to the east coast to complete her predoctoral clinical internship at Brown University, where she received specialized training in the treatment of anxiety, OCD, hoarding, PTSD, and substance use.  Before joining Dr. Fitzgerald’s lab, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University, studying the link between anxiety and cognition from a women’s health perspective.  Broadly speaking, she is interested in how anxiety and stress impact the brain, as well as the biological mechanisms of psychotherapy. She is also dedicated to communicating science to the public.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 1-year-old son, writing, and being outdoors.

Hannah Becker : Clinical Science Graduate Student

Hannah Becker

Clinical Science Graduate Student

Hannah is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Science Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan. Read more...

 She received a BA in Philosophy-Neuroscience- Psychology (PNP) from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. For two years following graduation, Hannah worked as a Research Assistant in the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University under Dr. Randy Buckner. In graduate school, Hannah plans to use neuroimaging to study the interaction and function of large-scale brain networks in youth anxiety disorders and specifically how the behavior of these networks may change with treatment. She is also interested in the role of cognitive control and emotion regulation processes in pediatric anxiety. In her free time, Hannah loves to bake, exercise outdoors, listen to podcasts, and spend time with friends and family.

Clinical Staff

Molly Hudson, LMSW : Clinical Social Worker; Project Manager

Molly Hudson, LMSW

Clinical Social Worker; Project Manager

Molly Hudson received her Master of Social Work from Simmons University in Boston, MA and then practiced in Portland, OR for years prior to joining the University of Michigan in 2016. Read more...

She has additional experience working in community health clinics, school based health centers, and psychiatric inpatient units. She is passionate about integrating research with clinical practice and increasing access to mental health care. In her free time, Molly enjoys hiking and biking with her family, practicing yoga, and cooking.

 

Laura Stchur, MSW : Clinical Evaluator

Laura Stchur, MSW

Clinical Evaluator

Laura Stchur, MSW, is the clinical research program manager for Dr. Steve Taylor, MD, in the Department of Psychiatry. Read more...

Laura has worked on numerous National Institutes of Health clinical trials for bipolar, depression, and psychosis spectrum disorders. Recently, her focus has been on the study of anxiety disorders, specifically obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Laura is currently part of a clinical trial led by Dr. Kate Fitzgerald, MD, investigating the treatment effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on OCD in children and adolescents.

Research Staff

Chelsea Benedict : Clinical Research Coordinator

Chelsea Benedict

Clinical Research Coordinator

Chelsea Benedict works as the study coordinator for the CBT for Anxiety study. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Kalamazoo College where she studied neuroscience. Read more...

  She joined the Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry in October 2019, pursuing her research interests of understanding the role different parts of the brain play in pediatric and adolescent anxiety disorders. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys baking and reading books about Greek and Roman mythology.

Melissa Hall : Clinical Research Coordinator

Melissa Hall

Clinical Research Coordinator

Melissa is a study coordinator for the Kid Power Study. She began working at Michigan Medicine in May 2019 after graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Psychology. Read more...

During her time at UofM, Melissa was a member of the Conceptual Development lab conducting research on children’s language and thought and was an undergraduate clinical intern at the University Center for Child and Family. Melissa’s research interests include understanding the risk factors for internalizing disorders in children and creating parent-child interventions to counteract negative outcomes. In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking, baking, and traveling.

Katherine Raguckas : Clinical Research Coordinator

Katherine Raguckas

Clinical Research Coordinator

Katherine works as the study coordinator for the Kid Power study. She began working at Michigan Medicine in Spring 2021 after graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Psychology. Read more...

As an undergraduate student, Katherine spent 2 years assisting Dr. Fitzgerald's team with multiple studies, including Kid Power. Over those two years, she developed research interests in pediatric psychopathology, specifically the effects of childhood on the development of internalizing disorders in adolescence and young adulthood. Katherine hopes to further her clinical and research interests by eventually attending medical school or graduate school in clinical psychology. When she's not working in the COAP lab, you can find Katherine exploring new coffee shops, taking walks around Ann Arbor, and spending time with friends and family.

Meryl Rueppel : Clinical Research Coordinator

Meryl Rueppel

Clinical Research Coordinator

Meryl Rueppel works as the Study Coordinator for the CBT for OCD study. Originally from Boston, Meryl graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2020 with a degree in Cognitive Science. Read more...

As an undergraduate student, she explored several research topics, working on projects with focuses ranging from developmental cognition, to neuroscience of consciousness, to autism interventions, to adolescent risk behavior. Most recently, she found an especially strong interest in pediatric psychopathology, with hopes to further explore the neurobiological pathways that give rise to anxiety and OCD. In her free time, Meryl enjoys running, yoga, painting, and finding new music!

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