Mood, Emotions, and Clinical Child Assessment (MECCA) Lab

Faculty Members


Dr. Eric Youngstrom

Research Interests: Evidence based assessment; bipolar disorder in children and adolescents; sleep and its connections to mood; translation and cultural adaptation and validation of assessment; emotions and developmental psychopathology.


Dr. Jen Youngstrom

Research Interests: Evidence-based or empirically supported treatments; effectiveness research with children and adolescents; transporting treatments into the community; supervision and training.

Current Graduate Students


Mian-Li Ong, M.A. (4th year)

Research Interests: I am broadly interested in evidence-based assessments and dissemination of research in psychological science. More specifically, I am interested in: (1) evaluating mood disorder assessments for clinical use and (2) cognitive and racial (clinician and patient) biases in conceptualization, assessment and measurement of pediatric bipolar disorder.

Currently, I am leading a project on using Wikipedia as an online dissemination tool for research in psychological science. The purpose of this project is to more tightly integrate and accelerate evidence-based assessment dissemination efforts by linking initiatives that engages with Wikipedia to increase the visibility, access, and information available about evidence-based assessment. For those interested, relevant articles to this project include this paper and this paper.

Here are links to my work on PubMed and ResearchGate.

 Salcedo, Stephanie

Stephanie Salcedo, B.A. (3rd year)


Research Interests: My main research interests are centered on (1) the cultural differences in service utilization, symptom presentation, and assessment of bipolar disorder, and (2) how culture and environmental factors affect sleep patterns and its underlying mechanisms.

Before coming to UNC, I graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in psychology and worked as a clinical research coordinator for the Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program.

Currently, I am managing a project to translate, validate, and globally disseminate evidence-based measures examining sleep and mood into the most common world languages by replacing paper questionnaires with online survey tools to reduce barriers to access around the world.


Tate Halverson, B.A. (3rd year)


Research Interests:  I am interested in the relationship between changes in sleep architecture and symptom presentation in mood disorders as well as sleep as a potential target for treatment and intervention. Specifically, I’m interested in investigating biological mechanisms underlying disruptions in sleep (e.g., expression of circadian genes) and the influence of environmental stimuli (e.g., blue light exposure) on these biological mechanisms.

I graduated from Hamline University with a B.A. in psychology and then worked as a post-baccalaureate research assistant for Drs. Snezana Urosevic and Scott Sponehim at the University of Minnesota/Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. When I am not in the MECCA Lab, you will most likely find me outdoors exploring beautiful North Carolina or reading (most likely science fiction and also most likely outdoors).


Jacquee Genzlinger (1st year)

Research Interests: My research interests are in assessments and psychiatric disorders that affect children and adolescents (particularly pediatric bipolar disorder). More specifically, I would like to examine: (1) how different demographic characteristics such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, and education can affect how the individual responds to assessments, what diagnosis is given, and what treatment is prescribed; (2) factors that influence clinician-patient rapport; (3) how the individual can benefit from early identification and treatment.

Current Undergraduate Lab Students

We currently have new volunteer positions open for undergraduates beginning Summer 2016. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals interested in the areas of pediatric bipolar disorders, sleep and circadian rhythms, dissemination partnerships with Wikipedia, and translations of assessment measures with international collaborators. Volunteers will have opportunities to receive independent study credit for Psyc 395 for Fall 2015 as well as mentorship for a psychology honors thesis for Psyc 693 and Psyc 694.

If you are interested in volunteering with the MECCA Lab, please fill out this application and send a copy of the completed application as well as your CV to Mian-Li Ong, current graduate student, at Generally, individuals willing to commit to at least 1 year in the lab are the best candidates for volunteer positions.


Lindsey Freeman


Research Interests: My research interests are largely centered on improving assessment of psychological disorders, particularly in evaluating how different questionnaires perform as diagnostic tools. Furthermore, I am interested in the relationship between circadian rhythm disturbances and mood disorders and in assessing the dynamic constructs of energy level and mood using ecological momentary assessment and time series analysis.


Rachael Kang


Research Interests: I am currently assisting graduate students Mian and Tate in their research. My own interests currently lie in improving the quality of life for others (students, shift workers, patients, etc…).


Kenny Le


Research Interests: I am a current sophomore at UNC interested in using Wikipedia as a tool to encourage and disseminate the use of evidence-based assessment in the field of psychology. I am also involved in researching how blue blocker glasses can help increase the natural production of melatonin and consequently affect sleep patterns.


Aundreya Shepherd


Research Interests: I am currently a Junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am interested in studying various aspects of sleep and how these can affect the prevalence of mood disorder symptoms. I am involved in projects geared toward improving accurate and timely assessments, specific to Bipolar Disorder, with evidence-based techniques. I am assisting Tate Halverson and Stephanie Salcedo.


Yen-Ling Chen


Research Interests: My research interests include evidence-based assessment, cultural differences, pediatric mood disorders, and teaching/education. I was a 1-year exchange student at UNC-CH from 2014 fall to 2015 spring, and I have currently returned to National Taiwan University for my senior year. I am very interested in clinical psychology programs, and I plan to study abroad again in the future.

Version 4

Ellie Wu


Research Interests: Currently, my research interests focus on clinical assessment development and evaluating the psychometric properties of newly designed assessment tools. I also am interested in improving the vocational abilities of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder through clinical intervention, and evaluating these abilities through semi-structured behavioral assessment.


Olivia Chen


Research Interests: I am currently a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, double major in Mathematical Decision Science and Psychology, with a minor in PPE. I am working with the translation team on raising awareness of psychopathology around the world. We aim to help people with mental illnesses and the general public in overcoming the fear and misunderstanding about psychopathology. I am currently involved in projects mainly focusing on designing rating scales to assess how people think about the translation process and stigma mitigation programs.

Lab Volunteers


Emily Goldman


Research Interests:



Affiliated Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars


Dr. Guillermo Perez Algorta
Current Position: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests: Dr. Pérez Algorta is a post-doctoral researcher in the Child Mood Disorders lab at The Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Palermo University, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received his B.A. in psychology at Catholic University in Montevideo, Uruguay. Dr. Pérez Algorta’s research interests include phenomenology and assessment of bipolar spectrum disorders. Since April 2010, Dr. Perez Algorta is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill collaborating actively with Dr. Youngstrom lab.


Dr. Sabeen Rizvi
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Delhi University, India;
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests: I completed a Fulbright Fellowship in the MECCA Lab from 2013-2014. My current research interests include assessing the prevalence of psychotic traits in clinical (particularly Bipolar disorder) and non clinical populations and how these are moderated by culture, ethnicity and gender. I am also interested in evidence based approaches to assessment and therapy.

Van Meter

Dr. Anna Van Meter
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yeshiva University

Research Interests: I am interested in environmental and biological influences on the development and trajectory of bipolar spectrum disorders. Through my research lab at Yeshiva University, Investigating Mood Pathology: Assessment, Course, Treatment (IMPACT Lab), and in collaboration with the MECCA Lab, I am currently studying cyclothymic disorder and other chronic presentations of dysregulated mood, as well as the phenomenology of pediatric bipolar disorder, and evidence-based methods of assessment of bipolar disorder. Additionally, I am interested in the role of emotion sensitivity in the onset and maintenance of severe mood pathology, and in the identification of biomarkers to aid in prognostication and intervention. I enjoy using a variety of methods to explore research questions, including meta-analyses, secondary data analyses, and new data collection.

Lab Alumni

MarkCooperberg (1)

Mark Cooperberg, Ph.D.

Current Position: Clinical Psychologist, Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.

Research Interests: Dr. Cooperberg earned his doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents at Case Western Reserve University after completing his pre-doctoral internship at University of Medicine and Dentistry-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. He is Clinical Instructor at the Department of Psychiatry at the Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Cooperberg has collaborated with three of Behavior Therapy Associates’ doctors to co-author the Behavior Problems Resource Kit: Forms and Procedures for Identification, Measurement and Intervention. He has extensive experience conducting therapy and evaluations with children, adolescents, adults and their families, including individuals with a wide range of presenting problems.  He has worked in numerous settings, including schools, specialized summer programs, community mental health centers, day treatment, residential placement, inpatient hospitals, and specialty outpatient clinics.  Dr. Cooperberg has expertise in various areas, including children and adolescents with mood, behavioral, and social disorders.  He has worked with many students with AD/HD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, High-functioning Autism, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and anxiety disorders. Dr. Cooperberg has conducted numerous evaluations at B.T.A. and specializes in providing comprehensive Psychoeducational and AD/HD evaluations. These evaluations identify students’ strengths (including giftedness) and needs (including learning disabilities) and yield comprehensive recommendations to maximize the student’s opportunities for success in and outside of the classroom.  Dr. Cooperberg provides individual and family therapy for individuals of all ages as well as Behavior Parent Training. He conducts weekly social skills training groups for children and adolescents throughout the year.  Dr. Cooperberg also provides behavioral consultation to numerous school districts throughout the state, while conducting Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and writing Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP).



Carla Kmett Danielson, Ph.D.
Current Position: Associate Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at MUSC

Research Interests: Dr. Danielson’s research interests focus on treatment and prevention with high-risk adolescent and traditionally underserved populations, including basic and translational science studies that inform such applied clinical research.   In the area of treatment, her current program of research, funded by a NIDA R01 award (R01DA031285), involves the evaluation of Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT), an ecologically-based intervention targeting substance abuse, trauma-related psychopathology, and HIV-risk behaviors among adolescent trauma victims.  In the area of prevention, Dr. Danielson is the PI and Program Director on the SAMHSA-funded EMPOWERR Program (1U79SP015156), which focuses on prevention of HIV and substance abuse among local ethnic minority adolescents. As an extension of this HIV prevention work, she is currently investigating web-based approaches to bringing evidence-based HIV prevention curriculum to African American teen girls.  Dr. Danielson also has an active program of translational research focused on possible biomarkers (e.g., candidate genes, hair cortisol) and mechanisms (e.g., methylation, low distress tolerance) underlying the etiology of PTSD, addiction, and other psychopathology among trauma exposed young people. She serves as PI on an NIAAA-funded Alcohol Research Center Clinical Research Component (P50 AA010761; Center PI: Becker), which is a 5-year lab-based study, examining the relation between acute stress and drinking behavior in trauma and non-trauma exposed emerging adults, as well as an NIMH-funded study (R21MH086313) focusing on the identification of mechanisms underlying the development of PTSD, substance abuse, and other high risk behaviors among disaster-exposed teens.   Finally, Dr. Danielson is actively involved in the training of future researchers, mentoring NCVC predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows and serving as Training Director and Co-PI on a T32 grant (T32MH18869-26). She has published more than 60 papers on issues related to high risk adolescents, addiction, and mental health and been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work in the aforementioned areas, such as the APA (Division 37, Child Maltreatment Section) Early Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice (2008) and the APSAC 2012 Award for Outstanding Research Article for making a significant scientific contribution to the child maltreatment field (for Danielson et al., 2012; see below).

Danielson, C. K., McCart, M., Walsh,  K., de Arellano, M. A., White, D., & Resnick, H. S. (2012).  Reducing substance use risk and mental health problems among sexually assaulted adolescents: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 628-635.


Andrew Freeman, Ph.D.
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

Research Interests: I received my Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill in August 2013 after completing my predoctoral internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. I am now faculty, and you can click on the link above to read my page and current interests. 🙂


Megan Joseph Freeman, Ph.D.
Current Position:

Research Interests: I received my PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in August 2012. I completed my predoctoral internship at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford/Children’s Health Council consortium in Palo Alto, CA. During graduate school, my research interests focused broadly on evidence-based assessment of pediatric bipolar disorder, risk and resilience factors that contribute to the etiology of bipolar disorder, family environment effects on mood disorders, and gene-environment interaction. During my dissertation research project, I gathered questionnaire data on family history, mood symptoms, and personality characteristics from over 450 undergraduates, and 101 of those provided a DNA sample for genotyping.

I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where my research focuses on bringing evidence-based practice to a large child welfare and child mental health organization serving 1,500 children and families annually statewide. My focus during fellowship is on program evaluation and dissemination and implementation science. Though the scope of my research has changed, I remain interested in systems (both family and organizational), evidence-based assessment and psychotherapy, and mood disorders as a highly impairing illness of childhood and adolescence.


Kristen W. Green, Ph.D.
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology at Brenau University; Director of the Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services; Private Practice, Gainesville, GA

Research Interests: Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Green holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in School Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.   Dr. Green earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in child and adolescent psychology, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Green completed her internship and postdoctoral training in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at Applewood Centers, Inc., a community mental health center, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Green is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA and Director of the Brenau Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. Dr. Green teaches the psychological assessment course sequence in the Masters in Clinical Counseling Psychology program and supervises the clinical work of counselors in training. Dr. Green’s research interests center around youths in the juvenile justice system and psychological correlates of delinquency. In addition, Dr. Green has a part-time private practice specializing in the provision of psychological services for children, adolescents and university-age students. Dr. Green has been in private practice in Gainesville, GA since 2008.


Melissa M. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California San Diego

Research Interests:


Shoshana Kahana, Ph.D.

Current Position:

Research Interests:


Maria Martinez

2013-14 Internship: Medical University of South Carolina/Charleston Consortium

Research Interests: I graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Psychology and worked as a research assistant at the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health/Mood Disorders Section with Robert Post, M.D. and Kirk Denicoff, M.D. examining novel treatments for mood disorders and the longitudinal course of bipolar disorder. My research interests have since centered on factors impacting the course and assessment of mood disorders (e.g., socio-cultural variables and parenting). My master’s thesis examined the relationship of culture and ethnicity on parent report of child behaviors using the Child Behavior Checklist. As part of an NIH pre-doctoral research fellowship, I developed expertise in mood disorder assessment with recently immigrated Spanish-speaking families as well as adaptation of evidence-based interventions for community settings. The resulting initial data may lead to piloting a bipolar screening measure that can be used in community settings. My dissertation studied the relationship between mood symptoms, parenting and child behavior among at-risk families. This research inspires me to improve early intervention as well as assessment and treatment in community settings. I completed my internship at the Charleston Consortium/Medical University of South Carolina delivering evidence-based therapies in community settings to underserved high-risk populations experiencing trauma symptoms. Currently, I am transitioning into a postdoctoral research fellowship at UNC’s School of Nursing Interdisciplinary T32 training program in Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes. I look forward to working with Dr. Youngstrom again and returning to UNC.

 Van Meter

Anna Van Meter, Ph.D.
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yeshiva University

Research Interests: I am interested in environmental and biological influences on the development and trajectory of bipolar spectrum disorders. Through my research lab at Yeshiva University, Investigating Mood Pathology: Assessment, Course, Treatment (IMPACT Lab), and in collaboration with the MECCA Lab, I am currently studying cyclothymic disorder and other chronic presentations of dysregulated mood, as well as the phenomenology of pediatric bipolar disorder, and evidence-based methods of assessment of bipolar disorder. Additionally, I am interested in the role of emotion sensitivity in the onset and maintenance of severe mood pathology, and in the identification of biomarkers to aid in prognostication and intervention. I enjoy using a variety of methods to explore research questions, including meta-analyses, secondary data analyses, and new data collection.


Melissa Noya, Ph.D.
Current Position: Psychology Faculty at Keiser University

Research Interests:


Gillian M. Woldorf, Ph.D.

Current Position:

Research Interests:


lab at Marrakesh 1


Past lab undergraduates and volunteers:

Gregory Egerton, Graham Ford, Coty Burke, Karen Bourne, Camille Sowder, Uchenna Uzomah