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. Jennifer 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. (5th 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. Before coming to UNC, I graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a B.S. in psychology, and worked as a post-baccaleaurate research assistant with Dr. Lauren Alloy at Temple University.

Currently, I am leading a project on using Wikipedia as an online dissemination tool for psychological science. Funded by grants from American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science (APS), and Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP), 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.

Here are links to my work on PubMed and ResearchGate.

 Salcedo, Stephanie

Stephanie Salcedo, M.A. (4th 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.


Jacquee Genzlinger, B.A. (3rd 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.

Jessica Janos, B.A. (1st year)


Joshua Langfus

Joshua Langfus, B.A. (1st year)


Current Undergraduate Lab Students



Emma Choplin


Research Interests: 



Sydney Howie


Research Interests: 

Hannah Kim


Research Interests: I am a junior double majoring in Psychology and Economics. This is my third year in the MECCA lab, and also my third year in HGAPS, for which I am currently treasurer. My most recent research explores the relationship between disordered eating behaviors and elements of Asian cultural identity among international college students. In the future I hope to pursue a career in clinical psychology or medicine.

Lizzie Wilson


Research Interests: 

We currently do not have new volunteer positions open for undergraduates. We will update this section as soon as positions become available, likely in Spring 2019.

Dr. Eric Youngstrom is also involved with the Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) club, and that is another way to interface with the lab. For more questions about the HGAPS club and what they do, please click on the link here and/or email Lizzie Wilson, HGAPS president, at for more information.

Research Assistant Alumni



Rachael Kang

Research Interests: I am a senior working with Team Wikipedia in its efforts to make available the best evidence-based assessments in the field of psychology. We collaborate with schools, researchers, and professionals from around the world and currently have over 50 Wikipedia and Wikiversity pages created and maintained about a variety of assessments for a variety of disorders. I am currently working on a Honors Thesis that will create and establish the reliability of a measure that will assess the quality of a webpage in order to ascertain the credibility of information found on that page. By doing so, I hope my research will aid in assuring the public that the Internet and, in particular, Wikipedia/Wikiversity can be a reliable source of information for Evidence Based Assessments (EBA). My future research interests include developmental psychopathology in Asian children and adolescents as well as EBA/EBP implementation.


Kenny Le


Research Interests: I am a senior attached to Team Wikipedia, which is focused on dissemination of evidence-based assessment tools in a collaborative effort with researchers, clinicians, and the general public. Currently I am conducting an honors thesis testing a cognitive debiasing module to improve diagnosis for American and Asian clinicians in the hopes of implementing an easy to use tool to be used across cultures. I have research interests in tailoring clinical practice to underserved and minority populations within the United States and beyond.

Olivia Chen

Research Interests: I am a senior student with a double major in Statistics & Analytics and Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill. I worked with the translation team on validating the quality of translated versions of psychological measures and designing Qualtrics surveys for different measures to ensure broader access. I am currently conducting an honor thesis on the relationship between self-stigma and the severity of depression among Asian population, and if academic achievement moderates the strength of that relationship. My future research interests include interpersonal factors influencing emotional experience of mentally ill population and stigma reduction.

 Hannah Lucero


Research Interests: I am currently a Senior at UNC Chapel Hill, majoring in Psychology. I have been working in the MECCA Lab for two years now. I am currently involved in Team Wikipedia which works to create wikipedia pages about evidence-based assessment in order to disseminate this information throughout the field of psychology. I am also involved with Helping Give Away Psychological Science, a club at UNC that is related to this lab’s wikipedia project.

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:


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:

nopic Shoshana Kahana, 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, Lindsey Freeman, Emily Goldman, Ellie Wu,  Aundreya Shepherd, Yen-Ling Chen, Addie Jeffs, Chloe Bryen