Daniel Mathalon, PhD, MD
Principal Investigator
Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Mathalon's laboratory studies brain dysfunction in schizophrenia using various brain imaging techniques including EEG, event-related brain potentials, and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dr. Mathalon is particularly interested in whether functional brain abnormalities, as assessed with these methods, can be used as markers in individuals at high risk for schizophrenia to improve our ability to predict who will go on to convert to psychosis.  With improved early detection methods, early interventions can be targeted to those individuals at greatest risk for psychosis.   

To see Dr. Mathalon on Pub Med, click here.

Susanna Fryer, PhD
Assistant Professor, In Residence

Dr. Susanna Fryer is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and staff clinical research psychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate work at Stanford University where she first became excited about clinical neuroscience while participating in the departmental honors research program in Human Biology. She then earned her PhD from SDSU/UCSD's Joint Program in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology, after completing a clinical internship in psychology at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Dr. Fryer's research, funded by the NIH and the VA, applies neuroimaging and neuropsychological methods to study brain and behavior relationships in adolescent and young adult populations at risk for developing mental illness, with an emphasis on motivated behaviors and self-regulation. Her research focuses on i) improving our understanding of the cognitive features and brain alterations that underlie risk for, and conversion to, psychopathology, and ii) the brain-based mechanisms of how that risk might be ameliorated through psychotherapeutic intervention. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based techniques, and is particularly interested in how behavioral interventions can be applied to improve aspects of affect and attentional regulation across traditional diagnostic nosologies. She supervises psychology trainees and provides evidence-based mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapies in the San Francisco VA General Psychiatry Outpatient Service.

Barbara Stuart, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Stuart is a licensed psychologist who completed her doctoral studies at the University of California Berkeley. She has expertise in early detection and intervention in psychotic spectrum disorders in adolescents and young adults. Focus of current research is on emotional processing in young people at risk for psychosis. Dr. Stuart is an expert trainer and supervisor in evidence-based diagnostic interviewing and assessment. She is a certified trainer in Psychoeducational Multifamily Groups providing supervision to clinicians in the community. She is also a supervising clinician at the UCSF Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program for teens and young adults with severe emotion dysregulation, chronic suicidality and self-harming.

Holly Hamilton, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Hamilton is an Advanced Fellow in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the San Francisco VA Health Care System and the University of California, San Francisco. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, where her research focused on investigating the neurobiological mechanisms associated with the symptoms and course of psychosis. She is particularly interested in identifying biological markers that predict vulnerability for psychosis in individuals who are at clinical high risk for developing schizophrenia, with the ultimate goal of informing early intervention strategies and preventing a disabling course of illness. For NAPLS, Dr. Hamilton provides comprehensive clinical evaluations and psychoeducational feedback for current and potential program participants and supervises neuropsychological assessment. Additional clinical interests include evidence-based psychosocial interventions for psychosis, depression, and anxiety, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Flint Espil, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Espil studies the phenomenology, assessment, and behavioral interventions for pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders as well as Tic Disorders. He is currently collaborating with Rachel Loewy, Ph.D., at the University of California, San Francisco on projects related to implementing empirically-based practices through community based participatory research. He and Dr. Loewy are examining implementation barriers and facilitators when training community clinicians across various counties in the Bay Area to implement Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 

Itzel (Izzy) Lopez, MFT
Intake Coordinator

Izzy graduated from the University of San Francisco with an MA in Counseling Psychology program with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. She then worked in community mental health serving a diverse population of young adolescents and their families. In this role, Izzy serves as a consultant to community providers and families, coordinates and screens intake referrals, connects patients to appropriate treatment services and research opportunities, and assists in coordinating community outreach and training. Izzy is working towards obtaining thorough training to become an clinical assessor on the NAPLS team. 

Brian Roach
EEG Core Manager & BIEEGL Lab Manager

Brian joined the lab at Yale University as a research assistant after graduating from Vassar College with a BA in Cognitive Science. In addition to learning lab techniques and procedures, Brian was able to leverage open source software to implement time-frequency analysis of EEG data in matlab.

Brian began managing the lab at Yale and helped transition it to UCSF in October, 2007. In this role, he has various administrative, study design and management, project coordination, staff supervision, data collection and analysis, grant writing and management, and compliance responsibilities. During his time in the lab, he has contributed to over 20 peer-reviewed publications and funded grant proposals exceeding $9M.

Tara Trujillo
Study Coordinator 

Tara graduated in June 2014 with a BA in Human Biology with Honors with a concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior from Stanford University. She worked in Dr. Karen Parker's lab studying the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin and how they interact with social behavior. Specifically, she worked on projects testing the effectiveness of intranasal neuropeptide administration to enhance social functioning in children with autism and another project testing the relationship between central and peripheral oxytocin concentrations in children and their correlation with anxiety. She joined the lab after graduation to develop her research interests and clinical experience with mental illness. After BIEEGL, she plans to further her studies in psychiatry and neuroscience at medical school. 

Kayla Donaldson
Research Assistant

Kayla graduated from Purdue University in 2015, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychological Sciences and her Bachelor of the Arts in Communications and Honors. While in school she researched eating behaviors and early autistic development before spending her last year in undergrad working with Dr. Dan Foti studying the psychophysiological analysis of cognition, emotion, and reward. In this lab she was able to gain experience using EEG and to contribute to several papers currently being prepared for publication. Kayla has through this experience become interested in using neuroimaging and psychophysiological techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the neurological bases of Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. She hopes to eventually pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology and is interested in pursuing both research and clinical treatment. Kayla joined the lab in August of 2015 to gain additional experience with psychophysiological methodologies in a clinical setting.