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Mood & Development Lab

Who We Are

 

Current Lab Members

Nina Mikita

Nina Mikita

I am a PhD student supervised by Dr. Argyris Stringaris and Prof. Emily Simonoff, working on a project that investigates mood dysregulation in youth with autism spectrum disorders. I recently designed and conducted an Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL) neuroimaging study that investigated physiological markers of mood states in adolescents. I have a background in experimental psychology, having completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford. In the future I hope to combine research with clinical work.

Pablo
Vidal-Ribas

Pablo Vidal-Ribas

I am currently in the first year of a PhD supported by the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and Dementia Unit. My project focuses on measuring and modelling emotional reactivity and its predictive value in psychopathology. I will employ data from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS) to examine the reasons for variation in response to stress paradigms in very young children, before reviewing, extending and exploring the statistical models used to account for these variations. I will then examine emotional reactivity in a laboratory setting, using a newly-developed paradigm that will allow us to study emotional responses in healthy and depressed young people. This will employ both behavioural and neuroimaging techniques.

Selina Wolke

Selina Wolke

I am in the second year of a PhD funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), after having come top of the year in my MSc in Neuroimaging at the Institute of Psychiatry. I work in the Mood and Development Lab, supervised by Dr. Argyris Stringaris, Dr. Mitul Mehta and Prof. David Mataix-Cols. My PhD aims to further our understanding of how depressed and manic mood relates to changes in reward and emotion processing systems in the adolescent brain. I am particularly interested in how cognitive neuroscience research can be translated into clinical practice.

Simone Pisano

Simone Pisano

I am a child psychiatrist funded by the Second University of Naples and Campania Region, Italy, in a postdoctoral position. I completed my PhD at the Second University of Naples, during which time I spent some years at the IRCCS Stella Maris in Pisa working on a thesis on the psychopharmacological treatment of adolescent bipolar disorder and comorbid conditions. I am currently undertaking a six-month internship in Dr Stringaris’ Mood Lab, in order to work on the developmental mechanisms of depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Laia Villalta

Laia Villalta

I am a research fellow funded by the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation and I am currently involved in a study that looks at the mental health outcomes of adolescents who have been victims of a sexual assault. The main project is led by Dr. Sophie Khadr and, under Dr Stringaris’ supervision, I am investigating mood lability and complexity of symptoms after trauma. I am also a psychiatrist and recently completed a clinical and research fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Imperial College London and the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.


Alumni Lab Members


Liza Mavromara

Liza Mavromara

I completed an MSc in Mental Health studies with Dr Stringaris’ team in summer 2015. I worked as a research assistant on a neuroimaging project that aimed to examine reward and emotion brain mechanisms in order to improve the understanding of depression. I was also involved in clinical work, observing interviews carried out by the Mood Disorders team at the Michael Rutter Centre of the Maudsley Hospital.

Aleksandra Kaurin

Aleksa

in the context of my MSc in Clinical Psychology at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, I completed a six-month placement at Dr Stringaris' Lab from September 2014. I am interested in the clinical assessment of children and adolescents, and the accuracy of multi-informant based judgements in particular. I focused on two different, yet related, approaches: on the basis of an epidemiological dataset, I explored effects of psychological constructs of informant disagreement using Structural Equation Modelling and Latent Class Analysis. I also used video-based anxiety and irritability ratings of a sample of adolescent boys during a psychological stress test in order to estimate observers' accuracy of trait and state judgements at zero-acquaintance.

Xavier Benarous 

Xavier Benarous

As part of my MSc in Epidemiology and Research Methodology at the university of Paris-Sud XI, I completed a 6-month internship at the Mood and Development Lab. My main interests are the pediatric expression of mood disorders and externalising behaviour. I worked on a community-based study on the relationship between mania symptoms, social aptitude and functional impairment. 

Nada Zahreddine

Nada Zahreddine

I trained as a psychiatrist at Saint Joseph University, Lebanon, and completed part of my training in London at the King’s College and Maudsley Hospitals. During this time, I met Dr Stringaris and joined his lab. I love neuroscience and psychopharmacology, especially in the context of mood disorders. I co-authored with Dr Stringaris a chapter of the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines on the pharmacotherapy of youth bipolar disorder and worked with the team on two projects: an fMRI study on lurasidone and a study of the psychometric properties of the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire. I intend to pursue a career in clinical research.

Lorena Fernandez de la Cruz

Lorena Fernandez de la Cruz

I completed my first postdoc in the Mood & Development Lab between August 2013 and May 2014. I carried out two projects, funded by the BRC, including using text mining algorithms, and multivariate analyses of treatment outcomes, in large clinical and treatment-trial datasets. I focused in particular on the role of irritability in children with ADHD and have already completed two manuscripts from this work. I trained as a clinical psychologist in Spain and, in 2010, moved to the UK and worked for four years at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. I am now working as a postdoctoral researcher in the OCD and Related Disorders Team at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.             

Fernanda Krieger

Fernanda Krieger

I did part of my PhD at the Mood and Development Laboratory with Dr Stringaris and published three papers during my time there on mood dysregulation in children. I am a child psychiatrist at University of São Paulo/Brazil (USP), working with Dr. Guilherme Polanczyk (USP/Brazil). I have completed my training in child psychiatry, and an MSc in youth mood dysregulation, and my research focuses on disruptive behaviours, particularly the clinical boundaries of irritability in children and adolescents.

Koen Bolhuis

Koen Bolhuis

I studied medicine at the VU University medical center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During a 9-month research placement in 2011–2012 at the Mood & Development Lab I studied various behavioural and mood expressions in young people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, using longitudinal clinical, epidemiological and twin cohorts. I am particularly interested in the phenomenology of comorbidity in developmental psychiatry, its longitudinal trajectories and neurobiological and environmental underpinnings.

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