Sleep and Anxiety
Center for Kids
University of Houston
4505 Cullen Blvd.
Houston, TX 77204
Dr. Alfano is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2005 and completed her internship and post-doctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Department of Psychology at UH, she founded and directed the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Alfano's research and clinical interests include the etiology and development of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, the role of sleep - wake processes in early emotion dysregulation, and behavioral interventions for pediatric affective and sleep disorders. Dr. Alfano has won numerous awards both for her teaching and research. She serves as a peer reviewer for over 25 scientific journals and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. She is co-author of the book, Child Anxiety Disorders: A Guide to Research and Treatment (2nd ed.) and co-editor of the book, Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults: Translating Developmental Science into Practice.
Jennifer Cowie is a graduate student in the lab. Prior to joining SACK, she worked for two years as a clinical specialist in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Ga. Jennifer's research interests broadly include examining the factors contributing to the development of internalizing disorders in children and adolescents, particularly those affecting the course and treatment of anxiety and compulsive disorders. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College in 2009
Michelle is a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Following undergrad, Michelle worked at the National Institute of Mental Health studying child anxiety disorders and attention biases. Her research interests focus on treatment development and the role of parenting in child anxiety disorders.
Katie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Vassar College in 2009 and is currently working toward a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Broadly, her interests include development and treatment of child internalizing disorders, environmental stressors experienced in childhood, and the impact of these factors on sleep and development. More specifically, Katie is interested in the impact of sleep quality on the development and course of child anxiety disorders, especially in children with generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders.
Radhika Reddy is in her fifth year of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her current research interests include anxiety disorders, the effects of sleep on affect and emotion regulation, and cross-cultural mental health. Radhika is working on her pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Radhika graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with B.A.’s in Psychology and South & Southeast Asian Studies.
Jessica Balderas serves as project coordinator for an NIMH-funded study examining the sleep patterns and behaviors of anxious and non-anxious children. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in December 2011 at the University of Houston and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She is interested in the course of development and treatment of internalizing disorders, specifically trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Simon Lau serves as projector coordinator for a DoD-funded study examining the impact of military deployment on children and families. He previously served in the U.S. Army under the Joint Special Operations Command deploying multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning him numerous awards to include the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal (V). Honorably discharged from the Army in 2010, Simon attended and graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2013. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Simon hopes to use his experiences from his military career to help improve military research on post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, depression, and fear.
Stephen Peters is studying psychology as a post baccalaureate student at the University of Houston. He graduated in 2010 with honors from Troy University with his B.S. in Business Administration. Stephen served in the U.S. Army as a Scout from 2004-2009 and deployed multiple times in support of combat operations in Iraq, earning numerous awards for service and recognition for valor. Because of these experiences, Stephen’s research interests involve post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma related psychopathology, specifically the role of insomnia is the development of anxiety disorders. In the future, he plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.