Trainees at the Tarjan Center

One of the Tarjan Center's chief activities is the preparation of personnel for careers in fields relating to developmental disabilities. Because the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities are complex, service providers and professionals require expertise in many different disciplines. Our faculty and trainees follow an interdisciplinary approach and provide state of the art diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment services through UCLA-based Tarjan Center Clinical Training & Services.  We welcome our new trainees for 2021-2022. For information about our training program contact our Director of Training, Dr. Jasper Estabillo at jestabillo@mednet.ucla.edu

Trainees
Andy Vuong

Andy Vuong, B.S., is a doctoral student in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA. He is a graduate student researcher in the Kameron Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory run by Dr. Eileen Fowler of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. In 2015, he received his B.S. in biophysics and mathematics from Wake Forest University. His research interests lie in biomechanics and its relation to brain imaging, specifically in the population of children with spastic cerebral palsy.

Carrie Bearden received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the UCLA faculty in 2003. Currently, she is a Professor in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and Brain Research Institute, with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Bearden's research aims to understand neurobiological risk factors for the development of serious mental illness in youth, using converging methods to study cognition and neuroanatomy in clinical high-risk cohorts (e.g., adolescents with early symptoms of psychosis), and in highly penetrant genetic conditions , particularly 22q11.2 mutations. Her recent work focuses on translational approaches to understanding disrupted brain circuitry in developmental neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly in the context of rare genetic disorders. She is the Director of the Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS), and leads the 22q11 working group of the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics Through Meta-Analysis) consortium. She co-directs the Neurobehavioral Genetics Training Grant at UCLA and is Assistant Editor of Biological Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, and Schizophrenia Bulletin. She is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Association for Psychological Science, and chairs the DSM-V Serious Mental Disorders Committee and the Women’s Leadership Group of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Bearden has received numerous awards and honors, both for her research achievements and for teaching and mentorship.

Christine Moody, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA with a split appointment at the UCLA PEERS® Clinic and UCLA TIES for Families. Dr. Moody earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, with a specialization in therapeutic and assessment services for children and their families. Her research interests focus on identifying factors that promote positive outcomes for young people with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. She is especially passionate about the importance of mental health and positive relationships for these youth and has over 11 years of experience working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders in a variety of clinical and research settings.. In her postdoctoral position, Dr. Moody continues to provide therapeutic services to individuals and families, while also pursuing research that informs clinical practice.

Dr. Factor is currently a Postdoctoral Clinical Psychology Fellow in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, with joint appointments in the Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental Clinic (also known as the CAN Clinic) and Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (also known as the PEERS Clinic).

By way of background, Reina has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over 17 years. She completed her undergraduate degree at Emory University and after graduating worked as a research associate in the Kasari Lab at UCLA for two years, focusing on the JASPER intervention developed at UCLA by Dr. Connie Kasari. She then completed her master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Virginia Tech under the mentorship of Dr. Angela Scarpa before coming back to UCLA to complete a predoctoral clinical internship in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Dr. Factor’s research interests focus on social and emotional development in children with ASD, with a particular emphasis on the impact of peers, parents, and family members as mechanisms of change in evidence-based interventions. I currently have the pleasure of working with Dr. Factor in collaboration with Dr. Amanda Gulsrud on a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a college to career transition program for young adults with ASD, known as PEERS for Careers. She has also instrumental in helping to lead and create the telehealth PEERS for Preschoolers intervention she will presenting on today and also leads PEERS Educational groups with teens and young adults. Dr. Factor is truly exceptional in that she has expertise working with individuals with autism across the lifespan, from preschool to adulthood. Additionally, Dr. Factor also works with parents of young autistic children in the Baby Bears study and provides supervision on clinical intakes as well as intervention implementation.

Today we are very fortunate to learn more about her research “Adapting PEERS® for Preschoolers for Telehealth: Examining a Parent-Mediated Social Skills Intervention for Young Autistic Children.”

Hadley McGregor is the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Treatment Track intern at UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience. She is a PsyD Doctoral Candidate at the Loma Linda University where her research focuses on evidenced-based interventions for families of young children with neurodevelopmental disorders and co-occurring internalizing symptoms. For the past two years, Hadley has also been a part of the PEERS Clinic at UCLA where she has worked as a behavioral coach and led adolescent groups. She has extensive experience in intervention and assessments with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and psychiatric disorders and their families. Her interests revolve around researching and providing evidenced-based treatments for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders from culturally diverse backgrounds. As an intern in the PEERS Clinic Hadley continues to lead PEERS for Adolescents groups as well as assist in PEERS for Dating groups.

Hillary is a Clinical Psychology Intern in the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Assessment Track at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and a Doctoral Candidate at Marquette University. She is currently involved in the Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental (CAN) Clinic and the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) Clinic. Hillary completed her master’s degree in Child Development at the University of California, Davis and was a trainee in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program in Wisconsin. She has worked with neurodiverse youth and adults for the past 15 years in multiple clinical and research settings. Her research interests center upon the measurement, mechanisms, and trajectories of well-being among youth and adults on the autism spectrum within various family and social contexts.