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Director and Staff

Joan Luby, M.D., Early Emotional Development Center Director – Dr. Luby is a professor of child psychiatry at Washington University. She is founder and director of the Washington University School of Medicine Early Emotional Development Program, which focuses on the study and treatment of mood disorders in preschool-aged children. Dr. Luby’s clinical work and research also focuses on the emotional development of young children and how deviations in this trajectory relate to risk for early onset mood disorders. Dr. Luby and colleagues have conducted the first large-scale empirical studies to establish the criteria for identifying and validating the characteristics of depression in preschoolers. Dr. Luby and colleagues are currently investigating the role of experience and more specifically early relationships on brain development and risk for mood disorders as well as the effects of early onset depression on brain change. Dr. Luby earned her medical degree from Wayne State University and completed her residency in psychiatry at Stanford University, where she served as chief fellow in child psychiatry. She received NARSAD’s Young Investigator Award in 1999 and an Independent Investigator Award in 2004. In addition, Dr. Luby was honored with NARSAD’s Gerald L. Klerman Award for Outstanding Clinical Research in 2004. She serves on the editorial boards of Bipolar Disorders and the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
Department Website
lubyj@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Andy Belden, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Dr. Belden is an Assistant Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in the Child Psychiatry Division.  He received a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Saint Louis University in 2006. From 2006 to 2009 Dr. Belden was a NIMH postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Joan Luby, M.D. Dr. Belden’s research examines atypical neural functioning associated with emotion regulation in healthy versus mood disordered children. More specifically, Dr. Belden is using fMRI to examine neural circuits in brain regions that subserve children’s use of cognitive strategies (e.g., looking on the bright side) while attempting to regulate their experiences and expressions of sadness. Dr. Belden’s research is currently funded by the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience (McDCSN). Building upon 5 years of support, collaborations, and mentoring from Dr. Luby and more recently Dr. Barch, Dr. Belden is currently seeking NIMH funding to begin establishing a career as an independent scientist in the field of translational developmental neuroscience with a program of research investigating neurobehavioral development and early onset mood disorders.
beldena@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Michael Gaffrey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Dr. Gaffrey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine. In 2009, he completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and joined the EEDP shortly thereafter. Dr. Gaffrey’s research focuses on integrating behavioral, molecular genetics, and neuroimaging methodologies to better understand biological pathways underlying risk and resilience in childhood mood disorders.
gaffreym@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Eric Murphy, Post Doctoral Research Associate – Dr. Murphy is a post -doctoral research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine under the co-mentorship of Joan Luby, M.D., and Deanna Barch, Ph.D. He completed his Ph.D. in 2013 at Georgetown University, where he studied the functional connectivity of the brain during involuntary attention to emotional faces in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as the typical development of this connectivity from childhood to adolescence. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on the relationship between attention regulation and involuntary attention to emotional stimuli, and the factors that may influence the functional connectivity of brain regions underlying these skills in healthy development and in developmental disorders.
murphye@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Diana Whalen, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Research Associate - Dr. Whalen is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine under the co-mentorship of Joan Luby, M.D., and Deanna Barch, Ph.D. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. Dr. Whalen's research focuses on the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in children and adolescents, specifically the roles of emotion dysregulation and parenting practices.
whalend@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Becky Tillman, Senior Statistical Data Analyst – Becky received a Masters degree in statistics from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign in 2002. She has worked in the Washington University psychiatry department as a statistical data analyst since 2002. She is responsible for data management and statistical analysis for several of the research studies being conducted in the EEDP.
tillmanb@wustl.edu

 

Jennifer Edwards, Data Manager – Jennifer received a Master of Social Work Degree from Washington University and is completing a PhD in Political Science at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Approaching almost a decade of service with Washington University, Jennifer began her research career on the MRI Study of Normal Brain Development. In the EEDP, she provides leadership for our data management plan.
edwardsj@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Jennifer Pautsch, MA, LPC – PCIT-ED Trainer and Therapist – Jennifer is responsible for the training and supervision of all PCIT-ED therapists. She also functions as a therapist for families participating in the Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Emotion Development Study. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned a Master's Degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to her work at the Early Emotional Development Program she worked for an agency providing mental health services for homeless women with children. She has also worked with adults in a private practice setting. Jennifer joined the EEDP in October of 2004 and has enjoyed many roles since that time including a parent interviewer for Dr. Luby's longitudinal study of preschool depression, co-author of the PCIT-ED manual, and a coordinator and therapist for an earlier phase of PCIT-ED.
pautschj@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Mary Grace Effinger, MA, LPC – PCIT-ED Therapist – Mary Grace is a therapist for families participating in the Parent Child Interaction Therapy – Emotion Development Study. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned a Master's degree in Counseling and Family Therapy from Saint Louis University. Mary Grace has over 8 years of clinical experience working with children and families in both a research and private practice setting. Her previous research experience includes substance abuse and its prevalence in families. Mary Grace joined the EEDP in February 2008 and has served many roles, including study coordinator for the Preschool Depression Study and as a therapist in earlier phases of PCIT-ED. She also collaborated with Dr. Luby and colleagues in the development of the Parent Child Interaction Therapy-Emotion Development treatment.
effingerm@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Laura Rayhawk, MA, LPC – PCIT-ED Therapist – Laura is a therapist for families participating in the Parent Child Interaction Therapy – Emotion Development Study. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned a Master's degree from Saint Louis University with concentrations in Human Development Counseling and School Counseling. Prior to her work at the Early Emotional Development Program she provided therapy to children, adults and families in a private practice setting. Laura joined the EEDP in March 2009 and has served many roles on Dr. Luby’s long-term, mental health follow-up and neuroimaging studies. During earlier phases of PCIT-ED, Laura worked as a co-therapist on the treatment team. She also collaborated with Dr. Luby and colleagues to redevelop the Emotion Development module for the current PCIT-ED treatment.
rayhawkl@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Shannon Gentry, MS, LPC – PCIT-ED Therapist – Shannon is a therapist for families participating in the Parent Child Interaction Therapy – Emotion Development Study. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Murray State University in Kentucky. Shannon’s prior experience includes working as a social worker and a co-facilitator of anger management groups at a residential treatment facility in North St. Louis and working as the Network Coordinator at WUSM for a practice-based research network of community pediatricians in the St. Louis area. Shannon joined the EEDP in January 2011. Since that time, she has served as a parent and child interviewer for multiple mental health and neuroimaging studies and has worked as a co-therapist during an earlier phase of PCIT-ED.
gentrys@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Jennifer Rodgers, MA, PLPC – PCIT-ED Therapist – Jennifer received a Masters degree in Counseling from Saint Louis University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University. She worked as a therapist in various agencies before coming to Washington University. She works on several studies in the department of Psychiatry as a therapist and currently works in the EEDP as a PCIT-ED therapist.
rodgersj@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Caroline Fullerton, PCIT-ED Recruiter - Caroline received a B.A. in Business from Stephens College. Prior to coming to the EEDP she worked for the State Department of Mental Health as well as in the non-profit sector serving consumers with Developmental Disabilities. In the EEDP she is the recruiter for the PCIT-ED treatment study. Please contact Caroline if you are interested in participating in the PCIT-ED Study.
fullertc@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Rachel Dietrich, Research Assistant - Rachel received a B.A. in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was on the Dean’s List. She minored in History and Writing. Rachel’s previous research experience includes investigating alcohol use and depression in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Currently, she administers MRI scans for the Preschool Depression Study and the Brain Development Study, and works as a child interviewer for the Brain Development Study and the PCIT study.
dietricr@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Timothy Oakberg, Research Assistant - Tim has a Master’s degree from the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he learned about neuroimaging. He also has undergraduate degrees in psychology and philosophy. Prior to joining the EEDP, Tim worked at Denver Academy, a premier school for students with learning differences. Tim helps coordinate and run MRI scans for the neuroimaging studies at the EEDP.
oakbergt@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Shannon Ickler, Research Assistant - Shannon received her Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and her B.S. in Psychology from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She has experience working with children and adolescents in academic and community settings providing counseling services for individuals and families. At the EEDP, Shannon conducts interviews for the Preschool Depression Study. She is also our undergraduate research assistant coordinator, managing student interns as they gain experience and insight into the different studies within the lab.
icklers@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Jessica Varner, Research Assistant - Jessica received a B.A. in Psychology and is working on a Master of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Jessica previously worked as the Director of Client Services at a domestic violence/ substance abuse treatment facility, for women and children, in Southern California. She conducted intake interviews and facilitated self-help and parenting groups with shelter residents. She was also a Community Supervision Officer for the Substance Abuse Caseload in Orange, TX. There she facilitated a cognitive behavioral change program and conducted intake assessments for the State of Texas. In the EEDP, she administers adult interviews for the longitudinal adult bipolar study.
varnerj@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Julie Mannarino, Research Assistant - Julie graduated from Washington University in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Children’s Studies. She worked at the EEDP as an undergraduate research assistant during her senior year and joined the staff shortly after graduation. As an interviewer for the Family Well-Being Study, Julie administers child assessments and prepares and accompanies preschoolers during their MRI scans.
mannarij@psychiatry.wustl.edu

 

Beth Heger , Research Assistant - Beth Heger received her Master's of Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Beth has experience facilitating individual, group, and family therapy with kids and adults in school, residential, and agency-based settings. She has particularly focused on children and teens undergoing difficult transitions and adults suffering from eating disorders in combination with other mental health diagnoses. Beth also received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Beth is currently serving as a child and parent interviewer for the PCIT study.
hegerb@psychiatry.wustl.edu