Affiliated Faculty


The UCLA CARES Center would like to recognize those faculty members who have dedicated their time to support this effort.


Olivia Raynor

Olivia Raynor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Tarjan Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute, UCLA.

Her career spans over 35 years of experience in management, analysis, evaluation, training and public policy at the individual and system levels that support individuals with disabilities participation in inclusive postsecondary education, integrated competitive employment, the arts, and civic engagement . Dr. Raynor is the Principal Investigator and Director of CECY, California’s Project of National Significance Partnerships in Employment Systems Change project. She also established and provides leadership to the CA Higher Education Consortium for People with IDD. Under contract with the CA Community College Chancellor’s Office, Dr. Raynor is the developmental disability consultant to the community college system. Dr. Raynor chaired the UCLA Committee that lead to the establishment in 2006 of Pathway at UCLA Extension, a ground breaking 2-year postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Raynor is the Immediate Past President and serves on the Board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). She is a Governor appointed member of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Raynor holds degrees from Boston University and USC in Occupational Therapy and a doctorate from UCLA in Educational Psychology.

Armen Arevian, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Armen Arevian is Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, Director of the Innovation Lab at the Semel Institute at UCLA, Director of the Translational Technology and Communications Core at the California Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health, and Director of the Consultation-Liason and Telepsychiatry at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital

Dr. Arevian’s research can be broadly described as “participatory informatics” – the intersection of neuroscience, information technology, psychiatry, and community-partnered participatory techniques. Over the last several years, he has worked to create “Chorus Participatory Mobile Framework” – a web application to help bring down the technical and financial barriers of mobile health technology development and to engage broad stakeholders in health intervention creation and dissemination.Dr. Arevian received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh/Carnegie Mellon University through the Medical Scientist Training Program and received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh.

Joan Asarnow, Ph.D.

Dr. Asarnow is a Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of the Youth Stress and Mood Program. Her current research, teaching, and clinical work focus on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of treatments for depression, self-harm, and suicide prevention in children and adolescents.

Dr. Asarnow specializes in cognitive-behavioral and patient and family centered treatments and has done extensive work bringing evidence-based treatments to primary care and emergency department settings.

Susanna Chang, Ph.D.

Dr. Chang is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her clinical work centers on empirically supported treatments for pediatric tic, OCD, and anxiety disorders. Dr. Chang’s research interests include investigations into the neurocognitive correlates of treatment response in childhood tic, OCD and related conditions as well as how cognitive training paradigms like attention bias modification may help to improve disorders such as OCD and anxiety.

She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Mexico and completed her post-doctoral training at UCLA. Dr. Chang has received grant awards from NIMH as well as the Tourette Syndrome Association to study neurocognition in pediatric tic disorders.

Denise Chavira, Ph.D.

Dr. Chavira is Associate Professor of Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Chavira publishes in the areas of child and adult anxiety disorders, Latino mental health, mental health services research, and cognitive behavior therapy. She received her B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Brown University and a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSD.

Dr. Chavira also received postdoctoral training at UCLA’s Childhood OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program. Dr. Chavira has been a recipient of a NIH/NIMH Mentored Research Scientist Award (K01), which provided funding for projects to examine barriers to service use, engagement strategies, and interventions for children with anxiety disorders in primary care settings; with a subfocus on Latino youth. Dr. Chavira also has received NIH/NIMH funding to support a pilot intervention examining the feasibility of telephone based, cognitive behavior therapy for rural Latino youth with anxiety disorders.

Bruce Chorpita, Ph.D.

Dr. Chorpita is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Chorpita is widely published in the areas of children's mental health services and childhood anxiety disorders . He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York and held a faculty position with the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawaii from 1997 to 2008. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Chorpita served as the Clinical Director of the Hawaii Department of Health's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division.

He has held research and training grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Hawaii Departments of Education and Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. He published a book on Modular Cognitive Behavior Therapy in 2007 with Guilford Press and recently published the MATCH-ADTC protocol, tested in the Child STEPs multi-site clinical trial.

Michelle G. Craske, Ph.D.

Dr. Craske is Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and the Director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at the UCLA. She has published extensively in the area of fear and anxiety disorders. In addition to many research articles, she has written academic books on the topics of the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders, gender differences in anxiety, translation from the basic science of fear learning to the understanding and treating of phobias, and principles and practice of cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as several self-help books and therapist guides.

In addition, she has been the recipient of National Institute of Mental Health funding since 1993 for research projects pertaining to risk factors for anxiety disorders and depression among children and adolescents, the cognitive and physiological aspects of anxiety and panic attacks, neural mediators of behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders, fear extinction mechanisms of exposure therapy, implementation of treatments for anxiety and related disorders, and constructs of positive valence and negative valence underlying anxiety and depression.She was associate editor for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and is presently associate editor for Behaviour Research and Therapy and Psychological Bulletin, as well as a scientific board member for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She was a member of the DSM-IV Anxiety Disorders Work Group and the DSM-5 Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum, Posttraumatic, and Dissociative Disorders Work Group (Chair, Anxiety Disorders Subworkgroup). She is also a member of the APA Clinical Treatment Guidelines Advisory Steering Committee. Dr. Craske has given invited keynote addresses at many international conferences and frequently is invited to present training workshops on the most recent advances in the cognitive-behavioral treatment for anxiety disorders.Dr. Craske received her BA Hons from the University of Tasmania and her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Andrew Fuligni, Ph.D.

Dr. Fuligni is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Professor in Residence of the Developmental Psychology Brain Research Institute and Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and a member of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. Dr. Fuligni received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan and was previously an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University.

His work has been funded by a FIRST award from NICHD, a Faculty Scholars Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, the Mac Arthur Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Haynes Foundation. Fuligni is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and was a recipient of the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology. He currently is Co-Director of the NIMH Family Research Consortium IV and was an associate member of the Mac Arthur Network on Middle Childhood and the Russell Sage Foundation Working Group on Social Identity and Institutional Engagement. Fuligni was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for Research on Adolescence, and has served on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence. He currently is an Associate Editor of Child Development.

Jeff Jacobs, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacobs is Director of Psychological Services at the UCLA Laboratory School and serves as an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychology. He has an extensive background working with children and adolescents of all ages as a special education teacher and as a psychologist. He has participated in school-based research and intervention projects focusing on inner city violence prevention, anxiety disorders, and the development of social coping skills for autistic spectrum students.

His clinical background also includes providing individual psychotherapy for dually diagnosed parents in residential treatment as well as couples and family counseling.Dr. Jacobs received his PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Southern California.

Jessica Jeffrey, M.D., MPH, MBA

Dr. Jeffrey is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is interested in systems of health care delivery, quality improvement and family resilience research. Dr. Jeffrey also has a strong interest in advocacy for child and adolescent mental health. She attended the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she received her MD and MBA.

She is the Assistant Director of Ambulatory Services within the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and she also serves as the Associate Director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Additionally, Dr. Jeffrey is the Lead Child Psychiatrist at UCLA Behavioral Health Associates. Dr. Jeffrey has published articles in the fields of psychiatry and health care systems, spanning topics including integrated behavioral healthcare, anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and quality of life in depression. Dr. Jeffrey is interested in systems of health care delivery, quality improvement and family resilience. She also has a strong interest in advocacy for improved child and adolescent behavioral health.

Sheryl Kataoka, M.D., MSHS

Dr. Kataoka is Professor-in-Residence in the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she serves as the Training Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. She is an investigator with the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society and the site PI for the National Child Traumatic Stress Networks Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools. She completed her Bachelors of Science at UCLA and medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

She returned to Los Angeles for her Psychiatry Residency training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center during which she was also an APA Minority Fellow. She completed her child psychiatry fellowship training at the UCLA Semel Institute, and then launched her research career as an APA research fellow in the Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry when she examined the psychopathology. She continued her research training as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and received her Masters of Science in Health Services Research from the UCLA School of Public Health.

Audra Langley, Ph.D.

Dr. Langley is the Director of the UCLA TIES for Families Program and Associate Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine in Child Psychiatry and in Pediatrics. Dr. Langley is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and researcher who specializes in evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents with post traumatic stress, anxiety, and related issues, and her body of work has sought to increase access to quality mental health interventions for underserved populations of children in schools and in child welfare.

Dr. Langley has been the Director of Training for the SAMHSA-funded Trauma Services Center for Resiliency, Hope, and Wellness in Schools for 12 years and served as Chair of the NCTSN School Committee for 7 years, working to disseminate and tailor trauma-informed services in schools and for special populations. She directs UCLA TIES for Families, a multidisciplinary program for children in or adopted from foster care and their families. Dr. Langley is the author of 4 treatment manuals. She most recently developed and evaluated Bounce Back: a school-based intervention for ethnically and socioeconomically diverse elementary aged children exposed to traumatic events and collaborated on ADAPT: And Adoption-Specific Psychotherapy. She has published research papers, presented workshops and trainings, and published treatment manuals on her work.

Norweeta Milburn, Ph.D.

Dr. Milburn is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute Center for Community Health and Director of Research and Evaluation at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center. Her research interests include homelessness, substance abuse, mental health and family-based behavioral interventions. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

Prior to coming to UCLA, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University in New York and Assistant Director of the Psy.D. program in School/Community Psychology. Dr. Milburn has been a principal investigator for National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research on homeless adults and youth, and African American youth. She has examined paths into and out of homelessness, as well as the risk for HIV among homeless youth in the U.S. and Australia. She has designed and implemented a behavioral intervention for homeless adolescents at risk for HIV and their families, and she also has designed and tested recruitment strategies for behavioral substance abuse interventions. She has also served as a co-principal investigator on U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and NIMH investigations of coping and adaptation, and anxiety and depression in older African Americans, and as co-investigator on a number of NIMH grants including the training of the next generation of HIV investigators. She has numerous publications and presentations in the areas of homelessness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and mental health. She has been both a standing and ad hoc member of peer review committees at NIMH.Dr. Milburn is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association (APA). She has been a member of the APA Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and recently chaired the APA 2009 Presidential Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to End Homelessness. Her honors include being an inaugural member of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology and the Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research.

Erika Nurmi, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Nurmi is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the UCLA Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program, faculty in the Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Clinic, and director of a molecular and computational genetics laboratory in the Semel Institute UCLA Semel Institute. Dr. Nurmi's research focuses on the genetic basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder and tic disorders, employing next generation molecular and computational approaches.

Dr. Nurmi completed her medical and neuroscience doctoral training at Vanderbilt University and joined the UCLA Department of Psychiatry during her psychiatry residency and child and adolescent fellowship training. She is the recipient of a career development award from the NIMH, a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award, and awards from the Tourette Syndrome Association and the Friends of the Semel Institute.Collaborative projects involve investigating pharmacogenomic factors in the treatment of autism, ADHD, and anxiety with Dr. James McCracken and examining genetic predictors of imaging endophenotypes with Dr. Edythe London.

Tara Peris, Ph.D.

Dr. Peris is an Assistant Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute. Her clinical specialty is in evidence-based treatments for child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Her research interests center on family factors that influence how youth fare in treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and related disorders. She is currently developing a family-based treatment for childhood OCD designed to help families learn to respond to OCD more effectively.

Dr. Peris completed her graduate training at the University of Virginia and has worked with the Program since 2004. She is the recipient of a career development award from NIMH, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and awards from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (OCF) and the Friends of the Semel Institute.

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Ms. Whitham is Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program and a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute. She has been training parents for over 30 years.

 She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice in Los Angeles and does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations, both locally and abroad. Ms. Whitham received her MSW from UCLA.

Mitchell Wong, M.D.

Dr. Wong is a Professor of Medicine at UCLA in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research and Executive Vice Chair of Medical Research Training in the Department of Medicine. He is the co-director of the Education Core of the UCLA CTSI, Director of the CTSI KL2 Program, Executive co-Director of the UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program, and co-Director of the UCLA NRSA Primary Care Fellowship. His research focuses on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health care and outcomes, population health, demography and how disparities arise over the life course.

Dr. Wong received his medical degree from UC San Francisco in 1994. He obtained his clinical training in General Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. After completing a PhD in Health Services Research from the UCLA School of Public Health, he joined the UCLA faculty in 2001.His research examines the impact of effective charter school programs on adolescent health and health behaviors and is involved in several intervention studies focused on re-engineering the social network of adolescents to improve both academic and health outcomes. He has received funding from NIH, the American Cancer Society, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Jeff Wood, Ph.D.

Dr. Wood is a clinical child psychologist with a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Division of Child Psychiatry and the Division of Psychological Studies in Education at UCLA. He is also a faculty member of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. Dr. Wood's research seeks to identify effective treatment methods that improve self-regulation, increase adaptive behaviors in social and academic contexts, and address the varying patterns of symptom expression (e.g., repetitive behaviors) and psychiatric comorbidity (e.g., anxiety, conduct problems) seen in many children with ASD.

Dr. Wood received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the UCLA Psychology Department, specializing in clinical trials of cognitive behavioral therapy for childhood anxiety disorders and OCD. As a doctoral student of Dr. Marian Sigman's and a psychology intern at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, he acquired expertise in the assessment and behavioral treatment of school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders.Dr. Wood was the PI of a CART Pilot Grant in 2004. Dr. Wood has also been the recipient of several awards from NIMH, AERA, and UCLA, and has attained multiple grants from NIMH, the Cure Autism Now foundation, Autism Speaks, and the Organization for Autism Research to study cognitive behavioral interventions for school-aged children with autism. His work has been published in well-regarded scientific journals such as Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Developmental Psychology, and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Drawing upon contemporary cognitive science models of memory retrieval competition and cognitive neuroscience models of information processing in autism, Dr. Wood has been developing novel intervention techniques and adapting techniques from other areas of childhood psychopathology (e.g., emotional disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, and habit disorders) in the formation of a comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy program for school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders and high levels of anxiety.Dr. Wood is currently Principal Investigator on the Anxiety-Focused Interventions for Youth with Autism project, a 3-site study of CBT for early adolescents with autism funded by NIMH, and the Behavioral Interventions for Anxiety in Children with Autism study for elementary school aged children, which is funded by Autism Speaks and OAR.