Dr. Mathews is the Brooke Professor and the Vice Chair for Strategic Development in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida. Dr. Mathews completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University and her medical training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She subsequently did an internship and psychiatric residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), followed by research fellowships in biological psychiatry and clinical research methods. She spent 15 years as a clinician and research scientist at UCSD and UCSF before moving to the University of Florida in 2015.
Her research and clinical interests center around identifying the causes and neural underpinnings of obsessive compulsive and anxiety spectrum disorders, including OCD, hoarding disorder, tic disorders, and grooming disorders. She is actively engaged in studying the genetic causes of Tourette Syndrome (TS) and OC spectrum disorders, as well as examining how individuals with these disorders process information using standard neuropsychological assessments, electrophysiological methods such as EEG, and neuroimaging. She is also the principal investigator of a large study comparing community-based behavioral treatment for hoarding disorder to the current standard of care, group treatment by psychologists. She hopes that ultimately, this information will help to refine diagnosis, prevention, and intervention for these disorders. She serves on several advisory boards for non-profit organizations, including the Tourette Association of America, the International OCD Foundation, and the MHASF Task Force on Hoarding and Cluttering. She is also the chair of the TS/OCD Workgroup of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC).
Joseph McNamara, PhD, completed doctoral degrees in counseling and developmental psychology. He has completed an internship in clinical and health psychology and a psychology residency at the University of Florida.
Dr. McNamara has professional experience in counseling centers, psychiatric outpatient facilities and hospitals. He has treated patients of all ages, from children to seniors. He has extensive training in exposure-response therapy, or CBT, and the treatment of insomnia. He specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He is qualified to teach CBT, therapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders, therapeutic treatment of depression, psychotherapy, assessment, diagnosis, supervision and developmental psychology.
He conducts clinical research with patients as part of daily, biweekly and weekly outpatient CBT for obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and other anxiety-related disorders. Currently, Dr. McNamara’s research team includes four graduate and more than 20 undergraduate students working on seven different research projects.
Herbert Ward, M.D. received a Masters in neuropharmacology before attending medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed a combined residency training program in internal medicine and psychiatry from West Virginia University which lead to board certification in both specialties. His training in a med/psych clinical environment serves as a background for his current appointment as the vice chair for clinical services and chief of adult clinics and clinical services. He is an expert in internal medicine and psychiatry and their area of overlap. Areas of special interest include diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in the outpatient , medical, and primary care settings.
Currently, Herbert Ward, M.D. is on the Shands at UF Executive Committee and continues to be both a role model for medical psychiatry but also actively involved in bringing evidence-based practices to UF College of Medicine, clinics and inpatient psychiatric settings.
Dr. Bradley received her doctorate in Experimental (Cognitive) Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently a research professor and the associate director for NIMH Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention. Research interests focus on studying the neural and physiological mechanisms involved in affective and attentional processing in people with and without diagnosable anxiety disorders. Drawing on an animal model of motivation, our lab is mapping the subcortical and cortical neural circuits involved in emotional perception and imagery. In addition to investigating neural processes using fMRI and dense-sensor EEG, we measure autonomic and somatic indices of affective and attentional mobilization, including cardiovascular, electrodermal, electromyographic, eye movement, and other physiological measures. How emotion and attention affect later memory performance, measured in both the brain and body, is another active research area.
Dr. Bussing, board certified in general psychiatry and in child and adolescent psychiatry, is the chair for the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. She also is a professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UF. Dr. Bussing completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of Florida and obtained a Masters degree at the UCLA School of Public Health.
Dr. Bussing received a career development award in Mental Health Services Research Training through the UCLA Faculty Scholar Program, and subsequently obtained research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health for her work on access to and quality care for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Schlosser Lewis Award for best published paper on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Academy’s journal in 1997.
Kimberlee is a decorated U.S. Army war veteran with over 15 years of professional service in health promotion programming. Focused in chronic disease management and social and emotional health conditions. She has accomplished her work through developing program design, marketing and sales strategies, operations management and evaluation of effective service delivery. Kimberlee’s ability to develop and facilitate training and development opportunities, coach and consult executives, staff, community leaders and volunteers has supported her ability to further business goals. Her professional experience has taken her to various settings including managed care, clinical, government, non-profit, and education. Linking experience with the performing arts and with her work duties has allowed her to excel in public speaking, teaching, coaching and sharpening her entrepreneurial mindset. Kimberlee holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Temple University. Served in the U.S. Army as a Mental Health Specialist supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2001-2005). Masters in Public Health from Florida International University. Her professional coach credentialing is from the International Coach Federation trained at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Kimberlee recently completed the Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship program at Warrington College of Business. Class of 2017.
Dr. Carson joined the Department of Occupational Therapy in 2014. Her research interests include sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has published multiple papers and given presentations at international conferences on her research. She has ongoing projects aimed at improving evidence-based practice of treating the sensory features of ASD. Dr. Carson also practices Occupational Therapy at UF Health Rehab Center for Kids at Magnolia Parke. She is also passionate about community services and is the Co-Founder and Vice President of All Kidz Inc., a not for profit charity that provides resources and opportunities to children with physical challenges to enable their participation in the community, school, and home.
Dr. Erez earned his Ph.D. and M. S. at the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he earned his B. A. in Business Administration and Philosophy and an M. A. in Philosophy. His research focuses on how positive moods and positive personality, influence individuals thought processes, motivation, and work behaviors. Dr. Erez also investigates how negative work behaviors such as rudeness and disrespect affect individuals’ performance and cognition. He has published this research in scholarly journals including Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, Human Performance, and Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Dr. Keil obtained his PhD in Psychology in 2000. He is a current faculty member in NIMH Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention. He studies the way the human brain and body adapt to environmental challenges over time, on the scale of milliseconds, minutes, hours, days, and across the lifespan. Understanding these changes is now considered a hallmark in the behavioral and neural sciences and it holds promises for answering fundamental science questions as well as clinical applications. Dr. Keil’s research program combines basic human neuroscience research with clinical and translational questions, identifying specific mechanisms of Psychiatric and Neurological disorders. Keil has been particularly interested in changing the way electrophysiological data (for example EEG brain waves) in humans are recorded, analyzed, and interpreted.
Darlene Kertes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and is affiliated with the University of Florida Genetics Institute. Dr. Kertes focuses on the antecedents and consequences of stress in health and development. Her research examines the role of life experiences and epigenetic processes on activity of a stress-sensitive neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system. Dr. Kertes further studies the genetic and gene-environment interaction effects on stress-related emotional and health outcomes from childhood through adulthood. Dr. Kertes completed a Ph.D. in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota and an NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Dr. Kertes has received several nationally competitive awards to pursue her work, including awards from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kertes also served at the National Institutes of Health as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), where she was involved in launching the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative.
Dr. Lamb is an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Florida and a Health Research Scientist at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center at the Malcom Randall VAMC in Gainesville, FL. He is interested in the complex interaction of autonomics, emotional function and cognition. His undergraduate training was at the University of Maryland in Computer Engineering and Mathematics. He then earned a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and his PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University, where he focused on biophysical computational modeling of autonomic neuronal networks. He conducts clinical-translational research and education in human neuroimaging of psychiatric and related disorders.
Dr. Lang directs the UF Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, undertaking a broad range of experiments, studying brain (using EEG, fMRI) and bodily reactions (autonomic and somatic reflexes) in emotion as they are modulated in attention, perception, and memory imagery. Translational research is dedicated to adapting promising new knowledge to advance diagnosis and treatment of anxiety spectrum and mood disorders. Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), a major public health concern and a significant rehabilitation problem for returning veterans, is the focus of a current project.
Dr. Levy is professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida. She obtained her DVM for the University of California at Davis and her PhD at North Carolina State University. She completed a clinical internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, followed by a residency in small animal internal medicine at North Carolina State University, which culminated in board certification in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Levy’s research and clinical interests center on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, and humane alternatives for cat population control. She has performed long-term studies of contraceptive vaccines for cats. Dr. Levy co-founded Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, an educational and discovery initiative with a global impact on the care of homeless animals. She is the founder of Operation Catnip, a nonprofit university-based community cat spay/neuter program that has sterilized more than 45,000 cats in Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Lewis obtained his doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Lewis studies behavioral and neurobiological studies of the development and expression of abnormal repetitive behavior in deer mice and inbred mouse strains. His research are involves Animal Models of Restricted Repetitive Behavior in Autism. He is the executive director for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and also a professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Psychology.
Irene A. Malaty, M.D., studied microbiology and psychology at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She attended Indiana University School of Medicine on the Notre Dame campus and in Indianapolis, IN. After completing a transitional year of medicine at St. Vincent’s hospital in Indianapolis, she moved to Gainesville for neurology residency and served as chief resident. She completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the University of Florida Gainesville, and joined the faculty thereafter. She cares for patients with a variety of movement disorders, but has a specialty interest in Tourette syndrome and runs the interdisciplinary clinic for Tourette and tic disorders. Additionally, Irene is the PI for the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at UF.
Amber Muehlmann completed her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University in 2002, majoring in Psychology. She then attended the University of Florida for graduate studies. She received a M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2011) in Behavioral Neuroscience under the mentorship of Darragh Devine studying psychostimulant-induced repetitive behaviors, including self-injurious behavior. Her graduate work was funded by a research grant from the American Psychological Association and by fellowships from the National Alliance for Autism Research and the National Institutes of Health.
She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Mark Lewis, PhD at the University of Florida in 2013 with the support of another National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. During this training she integrated her experience in psychopharmacology with molecular techniques to investigate basal ganglia pathology and targeted treatments for repetitive behavior in outbred and inbred strains of mice. At this time she also completed a M.S. (2013) in Clinical and Translational Science. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and her work continues to focus on the role of basal ganglia circuitry dysfunction as it relates to maladaptive behaviors that are phenotypic for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Michael S. Okun, MD, is currently Administrative Director and Co-director of the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration which is part of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, the McKnight Brain Institute, and the University of Florida College of Medicine. The center is unique in that it is comprised of over 45 interdisciplinary faculty members from diverse areas of campus, all of whom are dedicated to care, outreach, education and research. Dr. Okun has been dedicated to this interdisciplinary care concept, and since his appointment as the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2006, he has worked with the 43 international NPF centers of excellence to help foster the best possible environments for care, research and outreach in Parkinson disease, dystonia, Tourette, and movement disorders.
Dr. Okun was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration and its completely patient-centric approach to care. He and his wife support many charities and he is currently the Medical Advisor for Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure, and also the Co-Medical Director for the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA).
Dr. Olsen completed his doctoral degree in the clinical psychology program at the University of Cincinnati. He came to the University of Florida to complete his internship in the department of Clinical and Health Psychology. During his clinical training, Dr. Olsen specialized in working with patients with chronic medical conditions and their families across a variety of settings including pediatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, and schools. He then continued his training as a Psychology Resident and Postdoctoral Associate for the Division of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UF Health where gained specialty training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Dr. Olsen’s primary research focus is geared toward understanding how individual, peer, and familial perceptions impact children’s coping strategies and treatment adherence. Dr. Olsen is currently conducting research assessing the impact of parenting styles and online health information seeking on health outcomes among children with Type I Diabetes.
Dr. Perlstein’s research interests include Cognitive Neuroscience, Experimental Psychopathology, Emotion Neuroscience, Anxiety Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Psychophysiology, Functional Neuroimaging.
Jeffrey Pufahl is a full time faculty member in the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida. Jeffrey holds an MFA in Theater Performance (University of Cincinnati) and an MFA in Theater Directing (University of Victoria) and has 25 years of professional experience in film and theatre in Canada, the US, and the UK. His work at the UF is focused on creating inter-campus and community partnerships to develop theatre-based programming that addresses social issues and community health. His research focuses on innovative applications of theatre and video to health, social, and educational content in order to engage the public in critical dialogue.
Jeffrey is a Creative Campus Scholar in Residence in the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and is co-developing a critical oral history performance for social justice program. His collaborative play Voices from the March documents the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and Trump Inauguration through the eyes of the students who attended.
A faculty affiliate in the Center for STEM Translational Communication, Jeffrey has partnered with health researchers to create several patient education videos translating research through drama. His most recent project helps families transition into the NICU.
Dr. Roussos-Ross joined the faculty of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in January 2012 as an Assistant Professor, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Roussos-Ross is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine. Her areas of focus include high-risk obstetric patients with co-morbid psychiatric and substance use disorders. Dr. Roussos-Ross’s clinical practice also includes general obstetrics, gynecology and surgical gynecology. In July 2013, Dr. Roussos-Ross was named as Director of Women’s Health at the Shands Medical Plaza. She is also the Medical Director of the Maternal-Infant Care Project, Healthy Families Florida Program, and Healthy Start Psychosocial Program at UF Health.
Heather graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following her Bachelor’s degree, Heather received a Master’s in Occupational Therapy, in 2009, from the University of Florida. Heather is currently in the final semesters of earning her transitional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) with expected graduation in fall of 2017.Since completion of graduate school, she has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient neurology, inpatient rehab and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation. In 2014, Heather transitioned to the UF Health Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration to work with both the pediatric and adult populations affected with movement disorders.
Dr. Krishna Vaddiparti is a Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. He joined the Department of Epidemiology in March 2012 as a Post Doctoral Research Associate. Dr. Vaddiparti completed MPhil and PhD both in Psychiatric Social Work from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore in India. He received a Master in Psychiatric Epidemiology(MPE) from Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a former Fogarty Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Vaddiparti has training in community based epidemiological research and has involved in epidemiological research studies both in India and the US. Dr. Vaddiparti is specifically interested in conducting cross cultural research with hard to reach and vulnerable populations as well as in designing adaptive interventions to enhance physical and mental health of individuals. His research interests include domestic partner violence, community violence, addiction, HIV risk behaviors and adverse health outcomes, especially among women. Dr. Vaddiparti also coordinates the Fogarty International Center Indo-US Training Program on Chronic Non-Communicable Disorders, partnering with the NIMHANS and two areas of Northeast region of India: Assam and Sikkim.
Neuroscience has always fascinated Dr. Williamson. As an undergraduate, he volunteered in two psychology research laboratories, one animal neuroscience, and one human psychology. These experiences lead him to pursue education in neuropsychology, where he could blend basic and applied science to understand brain and behavior relationships. At first,he was quite focused on healthy people, but then he completed an internship at The University of Chicago in their psychiatry department, and neurological underpinnings of emotional disorders strongly sparked his interest. The idea that emotional and cognitive dispositions, could change dramatically with neurological injury (e.g., in the context of frontal lobe injury from traumatic brain injury) was intriguing.
Since then, Dr. Williamson has worked to both understand mechanism of brain dysfunction in disorders such as PTSD and cerebrovascular disease, and to develop applied solutions to the problems that most impact quality of life in individuals that struggle with these issues.
Clinically, Dr. Williamson focuses on adult populations that have questions of neurological contributions to cognitive impairment. This includes patients with cerebrovascular disease (e.g., stroke) and suspected vascular cognitive impairment, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease).
Dr. Williamson is interested in the role of central and peripheral autonomic nervous system interactions in modifying or regulating brain states and behavioral output. He has current funding in NIH funding to understand the role of cardiac output modification in changing cognitive outcomes and brain health in patients with heart failure. He also has VA funding to understand the mechanistic contribution of white matter injuries in key central autonomic inputs from traumatic brain injury and manifestation of symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.