Dr. Stepp earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2007 and completed postdoctoral training at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She is the principal investigator for the STEADY Study and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, she has been working with the Pittsburgh Girls Study since February 2009 and is currently the president elect of the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (NASSPD). Her research interests are in risk factors for the development of borderline personality disorder in children and adolescents. She is also interested in statistical methods to model longitudinal data and improve assessment instruments.
Harmony is currently a project assistant for the STEADY Study. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A in Sociology, as well as certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. In addition, she has been an assistant for NASSPD since 2018. As an undergraduate, Harmony worked as a research assistant for Dr. Kabirul Islam in the Organic Chemistry Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a team leader and corps member for the early education program, Jumpstart, in Pittsburgh, PA, as a preschool teacher in Allentown, PA, and as an intern for the Head Start program at Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Homestead, PA.
Jonae graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Jonae worked in the Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Lab with Dr. Erickson at Pitt, while also spending her summers working at the National Institutes of Mental Health in Dr. Rappoport’s Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia Lab. After graduation Jonae joined Family Links, working at their Therapeutic Learning Center, where students in grades k-6 participate in standard school activities and receive mental health treatment. Jonae previously worked as a research specialist for Dr. Stepp’s Emotional and Personality Development Youth Study. While in the lab, Jonae is particularly interested in studying the dynamic interplay between family contexts and child biological vulnerabilities predicting emotion regulation development in children and adolescents. She is currently a project assistant for the STEADY Study.
Amy Byrd is a Post-Doctoral Scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 2006 and after graduation, served as a project coordinator for two NIH-funded grants examining chronic aggression and antisocial behavior in incarcerated youth and adults. She graduated from University of Pittsburgh in 2015, where she earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology. During her graduate training, she also completed the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) training program and recently finished her Clinical Psychology Internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). Her research focuses on examining the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the development and persistence of aggressive and externalizing behaviors in youth.
SYSTEMS ANALYST &
Sarah is a clinical psychology intern at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). She is also a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia (UBC), having previously received her MA in psychology at UBC in 2012. Her research focuses on the emotional antecedents and consequences of non-suicidal self-injury, the role of social factors in self-injury, and the relationship between self-injury and suicide. Prior to her graduate work, Sarah received a BA in psychology from Stanford University, where she was involved in research on information processing in mood and anxiety disorders.
Vera Vine is a T32 Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). Before this, she earned her A. B. in psychology from Harvard University and her M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale University. During her graduate training, she developed a line of research on the role of emotional awareness in emotion dysregulation and mood-related psychopathology in adults. As a postdoctoral scholar, she is investigating the role of physiological arousal in the experience and regulation of emotion among youth at risk for mood disorders. She is particularly interested in characterizing the discrepancies between bodily and subjective aspects of emotion responses among high-risk children and adolescents, and evaluating the potential implications of these discrepancies in the pathophysiology of mood disorders.
Michael has a B. S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He has provided programming, database, and data management services to research studies in the Department of Psychiatry since 2006.
Jennifer Wilson is an Assistant Research Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Girls Study, the STEADY Study, and for the Mood-Y Study. Jennifer started working for the Pittsburgh Girls Study in 2003 as an Administrative Assistant and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
PAST STAFF MEMBERS
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology. As an undergraduate, Elizabeth worked with Dr. Forbes in the UPMC Center for Eating Disorders, Dr. Phillips in the Mood and Brain Lab, and Dr. Stepp for the Pittsburgh Girls Study. Elizabeth acted as a research specialist for the STEADY Study from 2017-2019.
BETSY BUTLER, P.h.D
Dr. Butler received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her clinical internship at St. Francis Medical Center. As a research clinician at UPMC she has worked on studies in the areas of obesity, bariatric surgery, eating disorders, smoking, and personality disorders in romantic relationships. Dr. Butler acted as an assessor and program coordinator for the MoodY Study and the STEADY Study.