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CUCARD Staff


Moira Rynn, MD

Medical Director


Sandra Pimentel, PhD

Associate Director


Samantha Busa, MS

Clinical Extern


Eve Freidl, MD

Psychiatrist


James Hambrick, PhD

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Kristin Kunkle, PsyD

Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow


Vasco Lopes, PsyD

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Ali Mattu, PhD

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Steve Mazza, MA

Clinical Extern


Samantha Morrison, PhD

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Cara Settipani, PhD

Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow


E. Blake Zakarin, PhD

Senior Clinical Psychologist


Bridget Poznanski

Program Coordinator, Youth Anxiety Center


Irene Ortiz-Quinones

Practice Manager

Samantha Busa, MA
Clinical Extern

Samantha Busa, M.S. is a clinical psychology extern at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Ms. Busa received her B.A. with honors in psychology from Muhlenberg College and is currently a doctoral student in the combined school-clinical psychology program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University. She has held externship positions at Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School in White Plains, New York and at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center: Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department where she had gained extensive experience in cognitive-behavioral interventions.

Ms. Busa's research interests are focused on the advancement of evidence-based practices in treatment settings. Her doctoral research project is focused on assessing barriers and facilitators towards adoption of evidence-based treatments by master's level clinicians in low-resource community clinics.

Ms. Busa has presented at a number of national conferences and is a member of several professional organizations including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Division 53 of the American Psychological Association, and the National Association for School Psychologists.

Ali Mattu, PhD
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Ali Mattu, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). Dr. Mattu specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders and body-focused repetitive behaviors such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) and excoriation (skin-picking disorder). Dr. Mattu also serves as a coordinator of the Launching Emerging Adults Program at CUCARD.

Dr. Mattu received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles where he majored in psychology and minored in Asian American studies. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C. He completed a doctoral internship at the Bellevue Hospital Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at the NYU Child Study Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Mattu also completed training programs at the DC Department of Behavioral Health's Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Georgetown University's Counseling and Psychiatric Service, and the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington.

Throughout his career, Dr. Mattu has served in a variety of leadership roles in psychology. He is currently a member of the American Psychological Association's Policy and Planning Board, is on the Executive Board of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and is part of the Translational Issues in Psychological Science's Editorial Board. Previously, Dr. Mattu served on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association, was the Chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, was a member of the American Psychological Association Good Governance Project task force, was appointed to the New York State Psychological Association's Executive Committee, and worked on multiple Society for the Teaching of Psychology task forces.

Dr. Mattu is also passionate about destigmatizing mental health and translating psychological science into practical applications. His work has appeared in several popular press websites, he is the founder of an award-winning blog, the producer of a weekly podcast show, and a regular presenter at conventions celebrating the popular arts.

Eve Freidl, MD
Psychiatrist

Dr. Eve Khlyavich Freidl is a board-certified Child and Adolescent psychiatrist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Freidl earned her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed internship and adult psychiatry residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Freidl also completed Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency at New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell. She continued training at Columbia University to develop research and eating disorder expertise as a T32 Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellowship on Affective, Anxiety, Eating and Related Disorders at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Freidl joined CUCARD in July 2013.

Dr. Freidl specializes in the evaluation and psychopharmacological and psychotherapy treatment of children, adolescents and their families. She also has clinical expertise in evaluation and treatment of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and avoidant/resistant food intake disorder.

Dr. Freidl's research interest is in eating behavior in patients with eating disorders, as well as overweight and obese children and adolescents. She has participated in the clinical assessment of surgical candidates for bariatric surgery, as well as longitudinal research investigating psychological and cognitive symptoms of adolescents in the bariatric surgery program. In addition, Dr. Freidl served as a treating clinician in a longitudinal research study of adolescents with bulimia nervosa, and has developed expertise in the cognitive behavioral therapy and psychopharmacological treatment of bulimia nervosa. Dr. Freidl received an Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Pilot Research Award to study genetic contributions to stimulant medication side effects of weight loss and growth suppression.

Steve Mazza, MA
Clinical Extern

In addition to his role as psychology extern at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Steve Mazza is a therapist at Child and Parent Psychological Services, the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic, and Student Counseling Services at Hofstra University.

Steve is currently a third-year doctoral student at Hofstra University, where he received his M.A. in clinical psychology in 2013. He also received an M.A. in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2012. In 2007, Steve graduated magna cum laude from Skidmore College in 2007 with a B.S. in elementary education.

Steve specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for anxiety disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. He is a trained PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy) therapist and utilizes this intervention in the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders. As Senior Crisis Counselor at Hofstra University from 2013-2014, Steve has managed a variety of after-hours psychological crises including suicidality, homicidality, disordered thinking, self-injurious behavior, sexual assaults, and manic episodes in undergraduate and graduate students.

Steve is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Psychological Association.

Irene Ortiz-Quinones
Practice Manager

Irene Ortiz-Quinones is the Practice Manager of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD), and oversees all day to day and fiscal operations of the clinic. Prior to arriving at CUCARD, Irene was as an Administrative Assistant at Montefiore Medical Center in the Cardio Thoracic Surgery Department. She initially joined CUCARD in 2009 as the Billing Coordinator and held this position for 5 years before being advanced to the level of Practice Manager. Irene's extensive experience in medical clinic management is evident in her warm and helpful responses to our clients' inquiries, and in the efficiency and professionalism that is extended to our clients through her efforts. Irene is dedicated to her work and strives to provide excellent customer service at all times.

Bridget Poznanski
Program Coordinator, Youth Anxiety Center

Bridget Poznanski, BS graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Classical Languages. She previously worked as an Assistant Math Teacher and Behavioral Aide at The Lang School, and as an Education and Lead Counselor at the NYU Child Study Center's Summer Program for Kids. Both of these positions provided Bridget with valuable experience in working with children with ADHD, anxiety, and related emotional and behavioral difficulties. Additionally, over the past four years she has worked as a field researcher and research assistant for projects related to the 4Rs Intervention Study at Fordham University, which aim to examine the effect of school climate continuity or discontinuity on students' developmental outcomes across the middle school transition. Prior to beginning her current position as Program Coordinator for the Young Adult Center, Bridget worked for a year at CUCARD as a volunteer and received training in clinic administration and assisting in the provision of group therapy services for teens and young adults.

E. Blake Zakarin, PhD
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Dr. E. Blake Zakarin is an Instructor of Psychology (in Psychiatry) within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and a clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Dr. Zakarin graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Catholic University. She completed a pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Behavioral Pain Medicine.

Dr. Zakarin specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for anxiety disorders, mood disorders, sleep difficulties, and parenting interventions associated with the treatment of pediatric anxiety and related disorders. Through her extensive training in multidisciplinary medical settings, Dr. Zakarin has also developed expertise and interest in evidence-based interventions for anxiety management and improved functioning in the context of somatic symptoms, chronic pain and medical presentations. She provides individual, group and family therapy, parent-training, and school consultations.

Dr. Zakarin has provided clinical services in a number of treatment facilities, including the Eating Disorders Research Unit at Columbia University Medical Center, the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program and Sleep Medicine Clinic at Children's National Medical Center, the Kellar Center's Attention and Learning Disorders Service within the Inova Health System of Virginia, and the Psychiatric Institute of Washington.

Dr. Zakarin's research is focused on understanding and treating factors that contribute to pediatric anxiety and mood symptoms from a developmental psychopathology perspective, including examining the role of parenting, sleep-wake processes, eating behaviors, and chronic pain. She has given presentations related to this research at professional conferences, including the Society for Research on Child Development and the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Dr. Zakarin is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Anne Marie Albano, PhD, ABPP
Director

Anne Marie Albano is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University and Director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Albano is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a Beck Institute Scholar, and is Board Certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. In 2008, Dr. Albano received the Rosenberry Award for service to children, adolescents and families from the University of Colorado at Denver. Dr. Albano is Past President of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology of the American Psychological Association and also past-president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She is past editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice and currently is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. She has published more than 90 articles and chapters and is the co-author of several cognitive behavioral treatment manuals and of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children, all published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Albano served as a Principal Investigator of a 6-site, National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored study entitled "Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Treatment Study" (CAMS) and also was a PI for the Treatments for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). Both trials examined the relative efficacy of CBT, medication, combination treatment, and pill placebo in youth. Her book with Leslie Pepper, Helping Your Anxious Child: Free Your Child from Fears and Worries and Create a Joyful Family Life, was the 2014 Self-Help Book Award winner from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and received a 2014 Seal of Merit from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Moira Rynn, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Moira Rynn is Ruane Professor for the Implementation of Science for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Division, Department of Psychiatry, at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is the Medical Director of The Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) and Unit Chief of the Children's Day Unit. She was recruited by the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2006, as an established, expert pediatric psychopharmacologist, and appointed Deputy Director of Research. Dr. Rynn's research program studies improving treatments for children and adolescents with treatment refractory mood and anxiety disorders. Her research examines the efficacy and safety of experimental pharmacologic treatments as well as studying combination treatment (medication and psychotherapy) approaches in the pediatric population. She has led and contributed to the seminal treatment trials in the field of pediatric anxiety. More recently, through her collaborations, she is examining treatment models for adolescent depression in the primary care setting as well as novel augmentation strategies for pediatric OCD. Her programs have received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child and Health Development.

Dr. Rynn graduated from Goucher College with a BS in biology. She received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She completed the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Child Guidance Center, followed by a Neuropsychopharmacology Research Fellowship, sponsored by the NIMH at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Prior to joining Columbia University, she had been the Medical Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Section of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine overseeing the largest clinical trials research group at UPENN. During that time she researched novel medication treatment for both adults and children.

Sandra Pimentel, PhD
Associate Director

In addition to her role as the Associate Director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Dr. Sandra Pimentel is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center-New York State Psychiatric Institute and a Senior Psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD).

Dr. Pimentel received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was awarded a Faculty Commendation for Excellence. She specializes in cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety, mood, and behavioral difficulties. She provides comprehensive assessments and consultations and individual, group and family therapy.

Dr. Pimentel is committed to providing advanced training and mentorship. Her research interests have focused on the dissemination of evidenced-based interventions for child and adolescent disorders and the evaluation of the most effective strategies for training and transporting treatments to school and community settings. She has delivered multiple professional training workshops on CBT for anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders in youth, as well as workshops for parents and community organizations. Dr. Pimentel has served as a CBT consultant for school-based clinicians throughout New York State and for the New York State Office of Mental Health's statewide clinician training initiative. She was named a 2007-2008 New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar. At CUCARD, she coordinates the onsite Externship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs.

Dr. Pimentel is actively involved in professional organizations, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and she often volunteers for community-based programs.

James Hambrick, PhD
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jamie Hambrick has been with CUCARD since 2006. Dr. Hambrick specializes in work with adolescents and adults, particularly young adults in the transition period from high school to college, or college to career, and addressing the ways that anxiety can disrupt those effective developmental transitions. In addition to his individual group work, Dr. Hambrick frequently conducts short-term groups for individuals 17 and up with a wide array of anxiety issues, and along with Dr. Sandra Pimentel oversees the extern training program at CUCARD, helping with the next generation of therapists specializing in empirically supported treatments. In addition to his active schedule at the clinic, Dr. Hambrick also teaches undergraduate courses in clinical and developmental psychology at Princeton University.

Dr. Hambrick trained with Dr. Richard Heimberg at Temple University where he specialized in empirically supported group and individual treatments for adults suffering from social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. He completed his graduate training as an intern at Bellevue Hospital Center, where he worked with children, adolescents, and adults with a wide array of issues in individual, group, and family settings. Dr. Hambrick also served as chief intern at Bellevue for a year, before moving to Columbia as a postdoctoral fellow and subsequently a full clinician and member of the clinical faculty at the Columbia University Medical School.

Vasco Lopes, PsyD
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Vasco Lopes, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist with a specialty in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behaviors, aggression, severe temper tantrums, and emotional dysregulation. He has experience treating children through various modes of intervention including parent management training, teacher behavioral consultation, and cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Lopes typically treats children with a multi-modal approach- focusing on giving parents and teachers the tools needed to help their child thrive and children the coping skills needed to best manage their behavior and emotions.

Dr. Lopes earned his doctorate in school psychology from St. John's University in 2011 and completed an APA-approved pre-doctoral internship at Andrus, a day and residential treatment center for children with severe emotional disturbances. Dr. Lopes was part of a team charged with developing and leading the first school-wide positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) program at Andrus. Dr. Lopes went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship in the Pediatric Emotion Regulation Laboratory (PERL) at Fordham University where he developed a specialization in diagnosing and treating children with severe emotional dysregulation.

Most recently, Dr. Lopes has served as a staff psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, in their ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorder Center. Dr. Lopes specialized in evidence-based treatments for disruptive behavior disorder and severe emotional dysregulation, including Parent Management Training (PMT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Lopes also developed a long-term collaboration with schools in the community, including Harlem Village Academy, and used evidence-based treatments to train teachers how to manage disruptive classroom behavior in at-risk students.

Dr. Lopes has co-authored several publications on topics related to child psychopathology, including a leading article in the American Journal of Psychiatry on a new child psychiatric disorder- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. He has also published a research article on ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and a book chapter on pediatric social phobia. Dr. Lopes has also presented to various professional and parent groups on topics related to childhood ADHD, disruptive behaviors, emotional dysregulation, and parenting behaviors, and has made several media appearances, including HuffPost Live, ABC Eyewitness News, and the Katie Couric Show.

Samantha Morrison, PhD
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Samantha Morrison received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Tulane University and completed her predoctoral internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, The Kennedy Krieger Institute, at the Child and Family Therapy Clinic. In 2008, Dr. Morrison joined the Anxiety Disorders Center/ Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Harford Hospital's The Institute of Living and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. She remained at the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a staff psychologist from 2010 through 2012. Dr. Morrison joined Columbia University's Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders in February 2012 and is currently an Instructor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry). Dr. Morrison oversees the School Refusal Accelerated Program at CUCARD, a specialized and unique treatment program for children and adolescents who are unable to attend school regularly due to anxiety, behavioral, or mood-related concerns.

Dr. Morrison is a member of several professional societies, including the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Her research interests include the role that cognitive processes play in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders, as well as examining the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders.

Dr. Morrison specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. Her clinical interests include school refusal, parent training, behavior management, separation anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobias, and panic disorder. Dr. Morrison has been featured as an expert psychologist in several media pieces including The Today Show, Confessions: Animal Hoarding, and Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Kristin Kunkle, PsyD
Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow

Kristin Kunkle, Psy.D., is a postdoctoral fellow and clinician at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). Dr. Kunkle specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety, mood, and disruptive behavior disorders. Dr. Kunkle graduated summa cum laude with her B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University, where she conducted research on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Dr. Cheryl McNeil. She then received her M.S. and Psy.D. from Long Island University - Post and completed her pre-doctoral internship in the child specialty track at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in Newark, NJ. Dr. Kunkle has provided cognitive-behavioral therapy to individuals in a variety of additional treatment facilities, including Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhattan Psychology Group, PC, The Psychological Health Collaborative, PLLC, and the LIU-Post Psychological Services Center.

Dr. Kunkle's research interests focus on early childhood parenting issues and evaluating the effectiveness and acceptability of behavioral parent training program components. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented on these topics at regional and national psychology conferences. She is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the American Psychological Association, and the New York State Psychological Association.

Cara Settipani, PhD
Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow

Cara Settipani, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow and clinician at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). Dr. Settipani specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety and mood disorders among children, adolescents, and young adults. She also has clinical expertise in early childhood interventions for youth with disruptive behavior disorders and other behavioral and developmental concerns.

Dr. Settipani received her B.A. with honors in psychology from Northwestern University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in clinical child and adolescent psychology at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Settipani has provided clinical services at several other treatment sites, including the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University and the Division of Behavioral Health at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Dr. Settipani's research focuses on the relationship between parenting and anxiety in youth, and the implications of these relationships for cognitive-behavioral therapy. Dr. Settipani has presented her work at several national conventions. In 2011, she received the Student Travel Award from the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies for her research on the directionality of change between youth anxiety and parent factors over time.

Dr. Settipani is a member of several professional societies, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Psychological Association.