Faculty and Staff

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John Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP John Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP Director
Director

Dr. Piacentini is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine and Director of the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program at the UCLA Semel Institute. His research, teaching and clinical work focus on the development, evaluation, and implementation of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other effective treatments, including medication, for children with OCD, other anxiety disorders, tic disorders and trichotillomania.


Allison Vreeland, B.A. Allison Vreeland, B.A.
Study Coordinator

Ms. Vreeland coordinates multiple clinical research studies for youth with OCD. She also coordinates the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Outpatient Clinic.

Tara Peris Tara Peris, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Dr. Peris is an Assistant Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her clinical specialty is in evidence-based treatments for child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Her research interests center on family factors that influence how youth fare in treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and related disorders.

Erika Nurmi, M.D., Ph.D. Erika Nurmi, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Dr. Nurmi is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the UCLA Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program, faculty in the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Clinic, and director of a molecular and computational genetics laboratory in the Semel Institute UCLA Semel Institute. Dr. Nurmi's research focuses on the genetic basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder and tic disorders, employing next generation molecular and computational approaches.

James McCracken James McCracken, M.D.
Medical Director

Dr. McCracken is the Joseph Campbell Professor of Child Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA NPI-Semel Institute in Los Angeles. His current areas of research include developing and testing innovative treatments for cognitive defects associated with child psychiatric illness, family-genetic studies of childhood disorders, and the testing of new pharmacologic treatments for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders in children.

Audra Langley, Ph.D. Audra Langley, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Dr. Langley is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is a clinician and researcher who specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment for children and adolescents with PTSD, anxiety, and related disorders. Dr. Langley’s work seeks to increase school-based access to evidence-based interventions for underserved populations of children.

Cara J. Kiff, Ph.D. Cara Kiff, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Kiff is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Her clinical and research interests are in the development and treatment of child and adolescent anxiety and depressive disorders. Dr. Kiff's work aims to understand the interplay of biobehavioral predispositions and familial experiences that shape the course of anxiety and depression across childhood.

Araceli Gonzalez, Ph.D. Araceli (Shelly) Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Gonzalez is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Semel Institute, working specifically with mentors at the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders program. Her research interests center on familial influences on the development, maintenance, and treatment of youth anxiety disorders, including parental psychopathology and cultural factors.

Susanna Chang, Ph.D. Susanna Chang, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Dr. Chang is an Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her research interests include investigations into the neurocognitive correlates of treatment response in childhood tic, OCD and related conditions, as well as how cognitive training paradigms like attention bias modification may help to improve disorders such as OCD and anxiety.

R. Lindsey Bergman, Ph.D. R. Lindsey Bergman, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Dr. Bergman is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of the Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Dr. Bergman is a researcher and clinician who specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment for children and adolescents with OCD, selective mutism, and related disorders.

Deepika Bose, B.A. Deepika Bose, B.A.
Study Coordinator

Ms. Bose coordinates multiple studies for youth with OCD, anxiety, and tic disorders, including two studies investigating the effectiveness of attention training treatment on OCD and anxiety.

Emily  Ricketts Emily Ricketts
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Ricketts is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, working in the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety and Tic Disorders Program. Her research interests include sleep quality, dissemination of behavioral treatments, stigma reduction, and the role of family factors in chronic tic disorders, body focused repetitive behavior disorders, and OCD.

Patricia Tan Patricia Tan
Research Faculty

Dr. Tan is a Clinical Instructor at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her clinical and research interests center on improving the early identification and treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders. Dr. Tan’s research interests focus on characterizing the neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie emotion regulation difficulties in children and adolescents, as well as the translation of this knowledge into improved diagnostics and novel cognitive training programs for promoting young children’s cognitive and emotional control.

Madeline Rasch Madeline Rasch, B.A.
Study Coordinator

Ms. Rasch coordinates the Child/Adolescent Multimodal Extended Long-term Study (CAMELS) as well a study examining the relationship between brain wave and body movement among children with and without Chronic Tic Disorders.