Christina Savage is a doctoral student and earned her B.S. in Psychology from Towson University in 2007, and her M.A. in Applied Clinical Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. After graduating, Christina was a research project coordinator at the Stanley Research Program at Sheppard Pratt. She was involved in several research studies of schizophrenia including ones that investigated 1) the role that infectious agents and inflammatory markers have on psychiatric symptoms and cognition; 2) the effectiveness of an add-on antibiotic medication to reduce the severity of delusions; and 3) the role of peer mentors in a smoking cessation intervention. She is interested in investigating social and cognitive functioning in schizophrenia and assessing the effectiveness of interventions for psychosis and stigma. Christina is completed her master's thesis examining the role of sleep deficits in paranoia and is currently proposing a dissertation to examine how sleep problems are related to interpersonal behavior and paranoia in psychosis.
Ryan Orth is a doctoral student and earned his B.A. in Psychology from DePaul University in 2014. He received an MPS in Clinical Psychological Science from the University of Maryland in 2019 and started his Ph.D. training at Maryland in Fall 2020. Prior to joining the lab, Ryan worked as a Homeless Outreach Specialist and Community Support Specialist in Washington, DC. In these roles he assisted individuals living with severe mental illness progress toward their goals and learn to better manage their conditions. His current research interests include the prevalence of chronic medical conditions among those living with severe mental illness and developing treatments to improve wellness outcomes for this group. Ryan joined LEAP in 2018 as a full-time research assistant.
Anyela Jacome is research staff with LEAP and earned her B.S. in Psychology and MPS in Clinical Psychological Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining the lab, Anyela worked as a bilingual Research Assistant and Service Coordinator. In these roles, she served low income families and children, connecting them to services in their community and completing assessments in an implementation evaluation of a high-quality early care/educating program in Washington, D.C. Her current research interests include early intervention and treatment for populations living with severe mental illness. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology following her time at UMD. Anyela joined LEAP in 2019 as a full-time research assistant.
Jason Smith, Ph.D. is the Director of Imaging Science in Dr. Alex Shackman's Affective and Translational Neuroscience Lab. Among Dr. Smith's varied and important responsibilities he oversees the critical tasks of designing, implementing and analyzing LEAP's fMRI protocols.
Laura Hemphill is research staff with LEAP and earned her B.A. in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2018. Prior to joining the lab, Laura worked as a Supported Employment Specialist in Silver Spring, MD. In this role, she supported individuals living with severe mental illness in searching for and maintaining competitive employment. Her current research interests include exploring how adversity impacts the onset and course of psychotic disorders. Laura joined LEAP in 2021 as a full-time research assistant.