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Department of Psychology


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.



  • We were informed that we will be awarded a new R01, funded by NIMH, in collaboration with Dr. Marie Banich at University of Colorado-Boulder. We will be studying neural and behavioral basis of cognitive control and selection processes and their associations with common psychopathologies in adolescents and a parent. 
  • Andrea Barrocas Gottlieb successfully defended her dissertation! Congratulations!!
  • Jennifer Waller, Ph.D., joins the GEM Lab as a new doctoral fellow.
  • Erin Long and Dustin Haraden join the GEM Lab as new graduate students in child clinical psychology. 
  • Alex Schwartz and Nick DeNapoli join the GEM Lab as project coordinators for our NIMH funded R01 and R21 studies. 
  • Tina Schweizer successfully proposed her master thesis. 


  • Both of our research project coordinators were accepted into graduate school! Jennifer Harmon was accepted into the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Sam Houston State University and Dustin Haraden was accepted into the clinical psychology Ph.D. program here at the University of Denver. Congratulations Jennifer and Dustin!


  • Jessica Technow matched for internship at Orange County Children's Hospital. Congratulations Jessica!


  • Dr. Hankin was named a fellow at the Association for Psychological Science. Congratulations Ben!


  • Andrea Barrocas has taken a postdoc position at McLean Hospital - Harvard. Congratulations Andrea!


  • Jessica Jenness has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation! Congratulations Dr. Jenness!


  • 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! 
  • 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!


  • The GEM lab is looking for volunteer undergraduate research assistants, if interested please see Contact/Apply.


  • 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.


  • 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.