Lea Rose Dougherty (she/her) is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park. She is the Director of Clinical Training for UMD’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. Her research focuses on developmental psychopathology, particularly mood disorders in children and adolescents. She has published over 100+ scientific papers and was awarded the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions and the UMD Excellence in Research Award. Her research, which has been supported by NIH-funded grants, investigates mood problems in early childhood; the intergenerational transmission of depression; the role of the family context and other environmental factors (e.g., early life stress, poverty, extreme climates/pollution) in risk for psychopathology; neural mechanisms of risk and resilience for mood problems; long term course of early mood problems; mental health disparities in LGBTQ+ youth and social determinants of these disparities; and development of scalable interventions to prevent the development of mood problems in youth.   


You can learn more about her research here.

Post-Doctoral Fellows


Alyssa Parker is a Post-Doctoral Associate working with Dr. Dougherty and Dr. Wiggins on the ABCD Youth Irritability Project. Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, Alyssa received her Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in Applied/Experimental Psychology and B.A.s from the University of California, Berkeley in Psychology and Statistics. At Catholic University, Alyssa worked with Dr. Nancy Adleman in the Cognitive and Affective Neurosciences Lab, using both cognitive and neuroimaging techniques to examine the interaction of emotion and attention. Alyssa's current research interests center on the neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with the development and maintenance of psychopathology in children and adolescents. In her free time, Alyssa likes to go on hikes in the DMV area and read dystopian novels .


Graduate Students

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Leah Sorcher is a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She received her BA in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with minors in Psychology and Spanish. Following graduation, Leah spent two years as a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health studying structural and functional neural correlates of Williams syndrome. Her current research interests include understanding how early experiences contribute to risk or resilience in developing psychopathology as well as using multimodal methods to study youth irritability and emotion regulation. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, and baking.

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Samantha Hubachek is a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the University of Maryland working with Dr. Lea Dougherty in the Child Stress and Emotions Lab (CSEL). She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. At UC Berkeley, she worked in the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab with Drs. Alison Gopnik and Caren Walker, studying the development of relational reasoning in early childhood, and in Dr. Sheri Johnson’s Cal Mania Program, examining psychophysiological correlates of emotion in bipolar disorder. After graduating, she worked with Dr. Anne Richards in the San Francisco VA Medical Center Stress and Health Research Program for three years, coordinating the NAPS Study, an investigation of the role of REM sleep in fear-learning and emotional memory in PTSD using psychophysiology. Sam is interested in risk and resilience factors in the development of depression and mood dysregulation in children who have experienced early life stress. 


Leslie Jordan is a PhD student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) program and a fellow in the Computation and Mathematics for Biological Networks (COMBINE) program. Prior to joining the lab, she received a master’s degree in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Michigan Dearborn. Leslie has also worked in out-patient clinical practice settings, where she provided psychotherapy and conducted neuropsychological evaluations. Her education and professional experience aroused a curiosity to investigate the neurobiological correlates of mental health. Her future goals include developing neuroimaging data analysis skills by working with the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) dataset to explore the neural mechanisms of preadolescent irritability during inhibitory control.

In her free time, Leslie enjoys kayaking, paddleboarding, and hiking. When she needs an escape from reality, she immerses herself in the virtual world of Beat Saber and throws her energy into mastering songs.


Post-Baccalaureate Researchers 


Grace Messina is a post-baccalaureate research assistant for the BIG-E project. Before joining the lab, Grace went to the University of Rochester where she earned her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Brain & Cognitive Sciences. While she was there, she worked on research projects examining intergenerational trauma and parenting styles as well as the efficacy of an emotion coaching intervention for parents of children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. During her senior year, she worked on an independent research project that examined how maternal executive functioning acts as a protective factor against low socioeconomic effects on children’s executive functioning development. Grace’s research interests revolve around how cognitive, parental, and environmental factors influence children’s emotion regulation development and predict future academic success and psychopathology. In her free time, Grace likes to explore the DMV area with friends, watch professional sports (especially the Buffalo Bills), and attempt to play the piano.

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Mina Hughes graduated from Yale University where she majored in psychology on the neuroscience track as well as East Asian Studies. At Yale, she completed a thesis project under Dr. Jutta Joormann investigating the relationship between parental depression and child internalizing and externalizing symptomatology using Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study data. She also did work for the YSCS Affective Youth lab on projects surrounding the neural mechanisms of youth irritability. She hopes to learn more about youth psychopathology and skills surrounding neuroimaging. In the future, Mina wants to pursue a nursing degree with a specialty in psychiatry. In her free time, Mina enjoys practicing Chinese martial arts, cooking and going to karaoke! 


Undergraduate Research Assistants

Pilar Aguilar
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Yara Ayache
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Caleigh Barber
Gillian Birdsong
Lindsay Brandwein
Giulia Bottomley
Mallory Edwards
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Shani Hofer
Rachel Grossman
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Catherine Overman
Dori Krasner
Jillian Max
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Arthi Ramkumar
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Ricki Schlussel


Sara Bufferd, Ph.D.
Child Anxiety and Mood Lab
University of Louisville

Thomas Olino, Ph.D.
Child and Adolescent Development of Emotion, Personality, and Psychology Lab 
Temple University 

ABCD Youth Irritability Project
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Kirsty Clark, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University
Arianna Gard, Ph.D.
Growth and Resilience Across Development (GARD) Lab
University of Maryland
ABCD Youth Irritability Project
Daniel Klein, Ph.D.
Klein Developmental Psychology Lab

Stony Brook University
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Jeremy Purcell, Ph.D.
Maryland Neuroimaging Center
University of Maryland

ABCD Youth Irritability Project
Tracy Riggins, Ph.D.
Neurocognitive Development Lab
University of Maryland
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Jason Smith, Ph.D.
Department of Psycholgy
University of Maryland

ABCD Youth Irritability Project
Yukari Takarae, Ph.D.
Translational Emotion Neuroscience and Development Laboratory (TENDlab)
University of California San Diego

ABCD Youth Irritability Project
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Jillian Lee Wiggins, Ph.D.
Translational Emotion Neuroscience and Development Laboratory (TENDlab)
San Diego State University
Brains in Growth- Emotion Study (Co-PI)
ABCD Youth Irritability Project (Co-PI)