Meet the Team
Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego
VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Research Career Scientist
Director, Clinical Research Unit, Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health
VA San Diego Healthcare System
Dr. Twamley is a Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego (UCSD) and the Director of the Clinical Research Unit of the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). She is a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Research Career Scientist. Dr. Twamley earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and completed her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSD and VASDHS. She is a faculty member in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (clinical neuropsychology and experimental psychopathology tracks); a faculty member of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging (SIRA) at UCSD; and Co-Director of the UCSD Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mental Health.
Dr. Twamley's research focuses on cognitive interventions for individuals with neurological and psychiatric conditions. Pursuing a longstanding interest in the links between cognition and everyday functioning, she has developed compensatory cognitive training interventions (see www.cogsmart.com) for people with psychiatric illness, traumatic brain injury, and mild cognitive impairment, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. These manuals have been adapted for other populations (e.g., autism, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, and hoarding) and translated into multiple languages. Other research interests include cognitive impairment and disability in homeless individuals, supported employment, the neuropsychology of everyday functioning, cognitive impairment in PTSD, and the use of technology to improve cognition. Dr. Twamley’s research has been funded by awards from NIH, VA, DoD/CDMRP, NSF, and BBRF/NARSAD.
Dr. Twamley is an active teacher and mentor whose trainees include undergraduates, doctoral and medical students, and postdoctoral fellows. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and supported employment. Dr. Twamley is particularly interested in community-based interventions that help people reach their highest potential social and occupational functioning. She supervises neuropsychological assessments at the St. Vincent de Paul Village Family Health Center, serving the largest homeless shelter in San Diego.
Tara Austin, Ph.D., is a neuropsychology post-doctoral fellow at the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health working under the mentorship of Dr. Elizabeth Twamley. Dr. Austin’s research interest is in creating, modifying, and evaluating cognitive rehabilitation treatments, with a focus on teaching compensatory strategies while addressing modifiable behavioral health factors (emotional distress, pain, and sleep) that can negatively influence cognitive functioning. Her current and upcoming research focuses on individuals experiencing cognitive and affective symptoms after COVID-19 infection and similar acute viral infections.
Dr. Jessica Zakrzewski is a UCSD T32 fellow working under the mentorship of Dr. Twamley and Dr. Ayers. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology at the University of Florida. She is a graduate of the Brown Psychology Internship Training Program.
Her research interests center on intersections between psychiatric disease and neurocognition in older adults, with a particular emphasis on chronic hoarding disorder and anxiety. She hopes to better understand how psychiatric disease effects neurocognitive aging processes and to develop interventions to help offset cognitive and functional decline in later life.
Amber is a first-year graduate student in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, in the clinical neuropsychology track. Upon earning a BA in Psychology at UCSD, she worked as a research associate for several neuropsychological research studies at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Her research and clinical experiences span across diverse populations such as civilians and/or Veterans with mild cognitive impairment, schizophrenia, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and depression.
Amber's interests are in treatment development research aimed at improving emotional, cognitive, and functional outcomes in individuals with psychiatric illness and cognitive disorders. Specific interest areas include associations between clinical symptomatology and cognitive functioning in older adults, as well as in individuals with severe mental illness; the use of technology for fostering independence in older adults; and suicide prevention in individuals with complex psychiatric illness and cognitive disorders (e.g., PTSD/TBI, MCI, and schizophrenia).
Dr. Parikh is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. She completed her undergraduate education at UC San Diego. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she also completed a pre-doctoral internship focused in neuropsychology. She then completed a formal two-year clinical postdoctoral fellowship specializing in neuropsychology at the at the VA Northern California Health Care System and University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She currently works with Dr. Twamley to deliver cognitive training interventions to a broad range of Veteran and active duty populations.
Dr. Parikh has developed considerable experience providing neuropsychological assessments and cognitive rehabilitation to individuals with various conditions including dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, ADHD, and general medical and psychiatric conditions. She places particular emphasis in providing meaningful feedback and recommendations to assist patients and families in day-to-day functioning and cope with longer term changes in their daily lives.
Delaney is a recent UCSD alum who graduated with a BA in psychology in June of 2021. She plans on applying to graduate programs in upcoming years.
Delaney's research interests center around intervention development and efficacy; in particular, she's interested in psychosis and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Matthew Morgan began his career in the Twamley SMART Lab as Dr. Twamley's honors student in 2012 during his third year at UCSD. After graduating with a BA in psychology from UCSD, Matthew completed his MSW with a behavioral health concentration at Cal State University San Marcos.
As a jack-of-all-trades, Matthew has had many roles in the Twamley lab over the years. In addition to data management for the Twamley SMART Lab, Matthew serves as a data manager and database consultant for numerous CESAMH studies.
Undergrad Research Assistant
Felicia van Schie is a third-year undergraduate student at UCSD studying Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience after having earned her Associate’s degree in Psychology. Upon obtaining her B.S., she aims to apply to a Clinical Neuropsychology Ph.D program with an emphasis in Neuroscience.
Felicia’s research interests includes the studying and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, neuroplasticity, and neural dynamics of learning and memory. She is also interested in using a complex multitude of approaches such as brain imaging and neuroscience for diagnosis and treatment in an abnormal biopsychological model.
Dr. Jillian Clark is a fellow in the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with emphasis in Clinical Health Psychology, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Clark completed her pre-doctoral internship at VA San Diego/UC San Diego.
Dr. Clark’s research interests center on examining biological, psychological, and social experiences in individuals with neurotrauma (e.g., spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury) and chronic illness. She is particularly interested in identifying modifiable biopsychosocial risk factors to inform interventions aimed at improving functional outcomes across the lifespan in these populations.
Zanjbeel Mahmood is a fourth-year doctoral student in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, with a focus in neuropsychology. Her research converges at the intersection of neuropsychology and rehabilitation science, focused on examining the neurocognitive and functional consequences of neurodegenerative disease and severe mental illness. In particular, she is interested in characterizing the mediators and moderators that hold potential to reduce functional disabilities of disease. Zanjbeel is also interested in leveraging cutting-edge technology (e.g., biosensors, wearables) and advanced statistical models within her research to develop integrated cognitive and behavioral interventions to promote brain health and improve patient outcomes. Her work has been presented at both national and international conferences and published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Schizophrenia Research, and Health Psychology.
Dr. Jacqueline Maye is a CESAMH fellow working under the mentorship of Dr. Twamley at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology at the University of Florida. She is a graduate of the UCSD/VA San Diego Psychology Internship Training Program.
Her research Interests center on intersections between stress-related disorders and neurocognition in aging Veterans, and on the development and implementation of interventions to help offset cognitive and functional decline in later life.
Dr. Ryan Van Patten earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, MO. He completed a Psychology Internship at Brown University in Providence, RI, and he recently finished a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the University of California, San Diego. He is now a neuropsychologist at the VA Providence Healthcare System and Brown University.
Ryan's career goals include working as a clinical scientist, writing grants and carrying out large-scale research projects in a variety of topic areas related to neuropsychology and geriatrics. He also plans to spend a significant portion of his time teaching and completing clinical neuropsychological evaluations.