Christopher Beevers, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Curriculum Vita: [PDF]
Publications: Google Scholar
Christopher Beevers, Ph.D., director of the Mood Disorders Laboratory, received his doctorate in adult clinical psychology from the University of Miami in 2002. He completed his internship and post-doctoral training at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island and joined the psychology department at the University of Texas in January 2005. He has received the President's New Researcher Award from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and was a Beck Scholar at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. He is a member of several editoral boards for leading journals in his research area, including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy and Research. Dr. Beevers' primary research interest focuses on the cognitive etiology and treatment of major unipolar depression. He is particularly interested in the interplay between biology (e.g., genetic variants), cognitive risk factors for depression, and reactivity to transient mood states. Finally, he is interested in developing interventions/approaches (e.g., attention training) that modify factors thought to maintain depression.
Peter Clasen, B.F.A. (4th year)
Peter graduated from Boston University in 2003 with a BFA in Theatre Studies. After graduating, he taught Shakespeare in a prison in Kentucky. In 2007, he completed a post-baccalaureate program in psychology at Columbia University. He joined the clinical psychology PhD program at UT in 2008, under Dr. Beeversí supervision. Peter's research involves integrating cognitive and biological models of depression. In 2011, he received a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Mental Health to conduct research on the cognitive control of emotional information in major depressive disorder. The proposed three-year project includes training in eye tracking and neuroimaging. Peter is also interested in leveraging mobile technology (e.g., smart phones) to improve depression research and treatment. To this end, he has developed a web-based mood monitoring tool, implemented on smart phones, to better understand the dynamics of emotional experience in peoplesí daily lives. Peter recently had his first kid and when he's not in the lab he loves hanging out with his wife and daughter!
Seth Disner, B.A. (3rd year)
Seth G. Disner received his BA in Psychology from Duke University. Following graduation, he worked as Lab Manager and Assistant Research Scientist in the Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, NY, where he helped investigate novel treatments for depression, schizophrenia, and autism amongst other conditions using novel forms of brain stimulation technology. Seth's research interests include investigating cognitive and neurobiological substrates of depression and identifying biomarkers that might facilitate treatment response. His recent publications include a review on the neural mechanisms of Beck's Cognitive Model of Depression, which was published in the August 2011 issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience. He joined the Mood Disorders Lab in Fall of 2009, and lives with his beautiful wife and their neurotic dog.
Rahel Pearson, M.S. (1st year)
Rahel completed her B.S. and M.S. in psychology at the University of Amsterdam. The research for her master's thesis was conducted at Stanford University, exploring the relationship among 5-HTTLPR, stress, and decision making. After graduating she worked at UCSF where she helped investigate risk factors for the development of psychosis. She is interested in gene-environment interactions, specifically whether individuals with certain "vulnerability" genes are more sensitive to both negative and positive environments. She is especially excited to learn how this phenomena, known as differential susceptibility, relates to mechanisms implicated in the onset and maintenance of depression (e.g., cognitive bias). Rahel is originally from the Netherlands and when not at work she can often be found on Skype talking to friends and family over-seas, eating stroopwafels (a traditional Dutch candy), or spending time with her husband Bertie.
Justin Dainer-Best, B.A. (1st year)
Justin received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College, with bachelors degrees in both Psychology and English Literature. After a year as an English teacher in Spain, he joined a psychology laboratory at the University of Miami for two years studying attention, working memory, and meditation in high-stress cohorts. Justin is interested in the cognitive bases of attention and mood disorders, attentional control of memory and emotion, and emotional resilience and regulation. He is also interested in neurobiological methods of understanding depression and stress, and in exploring new ways to use contemporary technology to study the mind.
Kari Nations, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Nations completed her B.A. at the University of California at San Diego, and received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology/neuropsychology from UT. Her predoctoral research evaluated treatment interventions for patients with persistent physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms related to mild traumatic brain injury. Since graduating in 2002, Dr. Nations has worked as an industry project director and senior scientist, designing and overseeing clinical research programs aimed at evaluating new drug treatments for mood disorders and other psychiatric indications. She returned to UT early this year to work with Dr. Beevers in the MDL, where she is investigating cognitive bias and other markers for depression. She hopes to apply her research to improve current methodologies in treatment outcome research. Dr. Nations is a 2012 recipient of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology NCDEU New Investigator Award.
Robert Chapman , B.A.
Robert graduated in 2010 with a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to helping with the day-to-day operation of the lab, Robert is managing data collection for a cogntive bias modification intervention for people with Major Depressive Disorder. This project is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R21 MH092430, PI: Beevers).
Emily Wade, B.A.
Emily earned a B.A. degree in 2001 from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Since then, she has managed longitudinal studies in clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and social work, with particular focus on depression and eating disorder prevention trials for adolescents and assessment of low-income and minority populations. Emily joined the Mood Disorders Lab in May, 2009 and is currently managing data collection at UT-Austin for a multisite effectiveness trial to test whether an eating disorder prevention program with strong empirical support from efficacy trials produces effects under ecologically valid conditions among 432 high-risk female college students. This project is funded by the National Institue of Mental Health (R01MH086582: Project PIs, Stice, Butryn; Beevers is PI on subcontract to UT).