PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR OF THE F.A.S.T. LAB; ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES (PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH AND POPULATION SCIENCES) AT THE PALO ALTO VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Shannon Wiltsey Stirman graduated from St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM, and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed an internship at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, and returned to Philadelphia for postdoctoral training, where she received an NIMH-funded K99/R00 award to study implementation and sustainability of CBT in a partnership between Penn and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and disAbility Services to implement cognitive therapy across the city’s network of providers. In 2009, Dr. Stirman joined the Women's Health Sciences Division of the VA National Center for PTSD and the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University. She was a Fellow of the NIMH and VA-funded Implementation Research Institute, and later served as an expert faculty member. In 2015, Dr. Stirman transitioned to the Dissemination and Training Division of the National Center for PTSD and joined the Stanford faculty in 2016. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Canadian Institute for Health Research.
Heidi La Bash
Heidi La Bash, Ph.D., is a clinical scientist, working at the National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, as part of the Fidelity, Adaptation, Sustainability, and Training (F.A.S.T) Lab. Her research aims to facilitate the wide-spread delivery of empirically-supported treatments, with a special interest in helping those impacted by posttraumatic stress disorder. Current projects include: 1.) developing an efficient and scalable software that uses therapist vocal characteristics to flag therapy session recordings that are at risk for low fidelity, 2.) the testing of an mhealth app that helps participants track, discover patterns, and improve their mood and anxiety symptoms (www.awarestudy.org), and 3.) the development of a mixed-methods pilot study of texting-based therapies for PTSD. Dr. La Bash earned her B.S. in Journalism at the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Albuquerque VA and her postdoctoral fellowship at the VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, as part of the VA OAA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment.
Alayna Park, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, collaborating with the Fidelity, Adaptation, Sustainability, and Training (F.A.S.T.) lab. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her predoctoral internship at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. Her research is driven by the goal of improving the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health services. She is particularly interested in re-designing mental health programs and developing decision support tools for mitigating racial and ethnic mental health disparities. Dr. Park has published more than 20 scientific papers on the topics of mental health treatment design, clinical decision-making, and the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies in public sector settings. https://www.addressmentalhealth.org/
Matthew Beristianos, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow for Dr. Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman at the National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, California. He completed his predoctoral clinical internship at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, and has specialized in PTSD research and treatment for several years. He has published research examining outcomes of PTSD and trauma, such as cardiovasular disease and suicidal behavior.
Fiona C. Thomas, Ph.D., is currently completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman and Dr. Candice Monson. The Fellowship is part of a joint project between labs at Stanford University and Ryerson University. Dr. Thomas completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Ryerson University and predoctoral internship with the London Clinical Psychology Residency Consortium in London, Ontario. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural mental health and trauma, including the adaptation, delivery, and evaluation of mental health interventions for individuals often overlooked by mainstream mental health services. Dr. Thomas earned her MSc at the London School of Economics in Health, Community and Development and continues to be engaged in global mental health research.
Nicole Gumport is a predoctoral intern at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and in the F.A.S.T lab. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and is completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on improving our understanding of factors that contribute to treatment outcome and treatment implementation at the patient, provider, and systems levels for adolescents and adults.
Jansey Lagdamen is a research coordinator in Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman’s FAST lab. She graduated from San Jose State University with degrees in Molecular Biology and Journalism. She has worked with patients with various health issues and was mostly intrigued by those with mental health problems, so one of her goals is to make a positive impact on the mental health community. She has volunteered at the Stanford Hospital Emergency Department and also works at El Camino Hospital as an Emergency Department scribe.
Samantha Hernandez is a project coordinator for Dr. Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman's imAPP Study. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology. She rated audio recordings of CPT for fidelity and the working alliance for her independent research project and from there continues her work on CPT and implementation research in the lab. She hopes to learn more about community engagement specifically in the field of mental health and homelessness. Outside of work, she likes to go on walks with her cats, spend time with family, watch Netflix romcoms, and learn new ways of being environmentally friendly.
Freya Whittaker is a research assistant in the FAST Lab. She graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in Psychology and French & Francophone Studies. As an undergraduate she assisted in two psychology labs, one evaluating a program designed to reduce the impacts of caregivers’ Substance Use Disorders on children, and the other studying the physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young adults. She conducted a study on the relationship between stress, social support, and substance use behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as her honors thesis in psychology. In her free time Freya enjoys cooking, baking, and eating new recipes, and learning about true crime.
Sohayla is a research assistant in the F.A.S.T. Lab. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. Her research interests are in the development and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and in the interplay between emotion regulation and psychopathology. During her time at the University of Kentucky, Sohayla served as a study coordinator in a research lab investigating a novel cognitive-behavioral intervention for borderline personality disorder (BPD). She also pursued an honor’s thesis focused on the mediating role of emotional regulation in the association between attachment and prosocial behavior. In her free time, Sohayla enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring new hiking trails.
Regine Deguzman is a research assistant in the F.A.S.T. Lab. She graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology and a minor in Global Health. She also earned a certificate in Psychological Science from the University of California, Irvine. During her time at UCLA, Regine cultivated interests working alongside underserved communities to understand mental health disparities. She continued to pursue this line of research as a lab manager and project coordinator at UC Irvine. Broadly, Regine’s interests are in assessing the impact of various traumatic experiences and the development of treatments and interventions for underserved and marginalized populations. In her free time, she enjoys taking care of her plants and going on picnics.
Kamini Kannan is a second year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University, a member of the ADDRESS Mental Health Lab led by Dr. Alayna Park, and a research extern with the F.A.S.T lab. Her research interests include EBT implementation support as well as organizational-level facilitators. She is passionate about utilizing research to improve trauma treatment access and delivery. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego and her M.S. in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and cycling.
Taylor Loskot is a research assistant in Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman's lab. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology. During her time at Berkeley she studied in two labs, researching interpersonal emotion regulation and the development of executive function and emotion regulation in bilingual children, respectively. She wrote her thesis on how distraction and self-compassion may be important additional interpersonal emotion regulation strategies. In her free time she enjoys bad reality TV and exploring the area with her dog, Charlie.
Taylor will be a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Pacific University, starting the Fall of 2021.
Jiyoung Song is a research assistant in Dr. Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman’s F.A.S.T. Lab. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with B.A. in psychology and B.A.S. in bioengineering. His research interests in clinical psychology developed at Penn, where he examined how various aspects of CBT for panic disorder predicted treatment outcome in the patients. Now, he is exploring innovative statistical methods to assess implementation and patient outcome. Outside of work, Jiyoung is on an adventure to find new hiking trails and take landscape photos.
Jiyoung will be a graduate student in Clinical Science at the University of California, Berkeley, starting the Fall of 2020.
Kera Mallard-Swanson is the study coordinator for the CPT-Study’s VA sites in addition to managing various projects taking place in the F.A.S.T. Lab. She has been working with Dr. Wiltsey-Stirman for over 3 years conducting implementation research at the National Center for PTSD.
She has a B.A. in Psychology and will be obtaining her Master’s in Public Health in August 2019 from the University of San Francisco. Kera strives to continuously learn more about implementation research in both the Qualitative and Quantitative fields. Her ultimate goal is to help bridge the gap between research and practice in a measurable and efficient way- in order to make high quality care available to all.
When Kera isn’t working, she loves amateur photography, yoga, hiking, going to comedy shows, and kayaking.
Starting the fall of 2019, Kera will be a project manager at the University of California, Irvine- School of Social Ecology.
Clara Johnson is a research assistant for Dr. Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman's FAST lab and the former research coordinator for the imAPP study. Clara’s research interests focus on leveraging supervisor- and provider-level implementation strategies to improve the quality of evidence-based care in low- and middle-income communities. She received her BA in Psychology and Spanish at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Clara will be a graduate student in child clinical psychology at the University of Washington starting the Fall of 2020. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, playing volleyball, and backpacking national parks.
Syed Aajmain is a research assistant in the F.A.S.T lab. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has previously done research focusing on perseverative thought in generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, and on the impact of catastrophizing and symptom severity on the quality of life of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In his free time, Syed enjoys reading, swimming and keeping up with his favorite TV shows.
Syed will be a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the State University of New York, Albany, starting the Fall of 2021.
Brian is a predoctoral intern and completing his PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Utah. His research interests are broadly psychotherapy process and outcome, including better understanding factors that facilitate improved treatment outcomes and using NLP and ML methods to improve the evaluation of psychotherapy. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities and spending time with friends.
Zachary Cohen is a clinical scientist, working with the F.A.S.T lab. Zach is a postdoctoral researcher working with Michelle Craske on the Depression Grand Challenge at UCLA. He has published research examining treatment selection for a vareity of mental health disorders.
Melanie Tran is a volunteer in Dr. Wiltsey-Stirman’s FAST Lab. She graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. At UCLA, she was involved in multiple psychology research labs, and completed her honors thesis examining therapist adaptations to evidence-based practices in community settings. Through these experiences, she developed a strong interest in dissemination and implementation science. Melanie is also currently a project coordinator at the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic at UC Berkeley, and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Science. Outside of work, Melanie enjoys listening to podcasts, hanging out with friends outdoors, and reading with a cup of coffee.
Emily Garfinkle is a research extern in Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman’s F.A.S.T. lab. She is from Montreal, Canada and graduated from Dalhousie University with a B.S. in Psychology in 2015. Emily is currently a third year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Palo Alto University - Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. Throughout graduate school, she has been involved in research on early intervention to prevent trauma-related problems in civilian, treatment-seeking populations, and on evaluating and disseminating evidence-based psychotherapies for Veterans affected by posttraumatic stress disorder. Her clinical and research interests include trauma exposure across the lifespan, health psychology and behavioral medicine, the intersection of physical and mental health, as well as serious mental illness and comorbid substance misuse.
Kiley Dunlap is an Extern in Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman's lab. She is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.
Kalpa Bhattacharjee is a 3rd year student in the PGSP-Stanford PsyD student. She completed a primary practicum at the Mental Health Clinic of the Palo Alto VA, Menlo Park Division and will begin her next practicum at Mills College. Her research interests include factors that impact psychotherapy outcomes, language and trauma, and culture and mental health.