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GEM Lab

Department of Psychology

GEM Lab

The GEM (Genes, Environment, and Mood) Lab focuses on the development of depression and anxiety, as well as broader mental health outcomes (e.g., substance use, behavioral problems, ADHD, self-harm), particularly in children and adolescents, from multiple levels of analysis and measurement, including genetic, stressful environments, biological, cognitive, interpersonal, parenting, peer, and temperament influences. We have conducted several large-scale multi-wave prospective studies that track children and adolescents, as well as a caretaker, over several years to predict naturalistic trajectories of depression and anxiety based on numerous genetic, biological, and psychosocial vulnerabilities. We are continuing this line of risk research. Additionally, we are applying the information gained from these in-depth risk factor research studies to advance evidence-based intervention knowledge and improve the lives of youth via personalized prevention of depression. The overarching main goal of our lab is to enhance understanding of the vulnerabilities and mechanisms that contribute risk to developmental trajectories of depression and anxiety in youth so that developmentally sensitive, brief, evidence-based assessments can be constructed to individualize and personalize interventions to reduce symptoms and prevent these disorders before they crystallize into life-long, recurrent and chronic conditions.

Updates

9/15/14 - Jessica Jenness will defend her dissertation on 11/6/2014, "Examining the relationship among genes, attention biases to emotion, and depression in youth.” Good Luck Jessica! 

9/15/14 - Jessica Technow successfully proposed her dissertation, “Development of cognitive vulnerabilities to depression in youth: Emotional maltreatment and depression history predict growth trajectories of risk”. Congratulations Jessica!

9/10/14 - the GEM lab is looking for volunteer undergraduate research assistants, if interested please see Contact/Apply.

9/5/14 - We received NIMH R21 funding for a new study of cognitive control (executive function, effortful control) and dimensional forms of common psychopathologies in adolescents! IRB approval is complete, and we are beginning enrollment of 13-18 year old participants.

9/3/14 - GEM lab alum, Caroline Oppenheimer, Ph.D., completed her clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinics and officially began her post-doctoral fellowship at WPIC with Jennifer Silk, Ph.D. Congrats Caroline! We’re so proud of you, and we’re excited to keep following all of your great work.