FTRG: Who We Are

Lab Directors  

Richard E. Heyman, Ph.D.

Dr. Heyman is a Professor at New York University, where he co-directs the Family Translational Research Group. He earned a B.S. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. He’s a licensed psychologist.

Dr. Heyman has received over 70 grants/contracts from major U.S. funding agencies on a variety of topics, from family maltreatment to couples communication to dental fear to social determinants of health. Dr. Heyman has published over 200 scientific articles/chapters on these topics.

At the core of Dr. Heyman’s research is translating basic knowledge into prevention and treatment and improving the adoption of evidence-based practices.

Amy M. Smith Slep, Ph.D.

Dr. Slep's research focuses on understanding the interconnected concepts of anger, conflict, aggression, and abuse in families with the ultimate goals of (a) determining what distinguishes adaptive from destructive processes and (b) developing effective prevention approaches. She is also committed to understanding how to make prevention efforts that are effective more accessible and more widely implemented. Her work is strongly grounded in social learning theory and implementation science. Ultimately, she is interested in identifying and exploiting the naturally occurring mechanisms of change and outcomes to serve as the basis for more powerful interventions. Much of her work tests hypotheses that build toward an integrated theory of the etiology and maintenance of child and partner abuse. She maintains a strong interest in addressing methodological and measurement gaps. Finally, she is committed to translating the findings from her basic studies into effective prevention, extending this work into real world settings, and understanding what helps effective practices sustain over time. Since obtaining her Ph.D in 1995, Dr. Slep has served as the PI or co-PI on over 70 federally-funded studies. She has published nearly 200 articles and chapters and serves on two federal advisory committees.

Research Scientists

Ann C. Eckardt Erlanger, PsyD, ABPP

Dr. Eckardt Erlanger is the Director of Military Research and Community-Based Prevention Science and an Associate Research Scientist in the Family Translational Research Group. She also has a faculty appointment and teaches in the College of Dentistry.

Dr. Eckardt Erlanger began in the lab as a postdoctoral research associate in 2009, and has served as a scientist on over a dozen military projects, both at the DoD-level and service-specific level. Dr. Eckardt Erlanger has published and presented on the role of couple and family dynamics in health-related outcomes. In addition, she has been funded as a principal investigator through internal and external seed grants.

Dr. Eckardt Erlanger is a licensed psychologist who holds specialty board certification in Couple and Family Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), and is credentialed by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. Dr. Eckardt Erlanger is a fellow at The New York Academy of Medicine.

Michael Lorber, Ph.D.

Dr. Lorber is the Director of Developmental Research at the Family Translational Research Group. His primary research interests are centered on externalizing behaviors – their form, development, etiology, and consequences – from infancy through adulthood, primarily in relational contexts: (1) child externalizing behaviors, their early development, and the roles that family (e.g., parenting) and child (e.g., temperament) factors play in them; (2) aggression in adolescent and adult couples, their longitudinal patterns, and related relationship dynamics; (3) parent-targeted preventive interventions; (4) cognitive, affective, and psychophysiological mechanisms of dysfunctional discipline strategies in parents of toddlers; (5) family environment-biology transactions in the development of psychopathology and physical health; and (6) research methodology. His work has been funded by NIMH, NICHD, and NIJ.

Danielle Mitnick, Ph.D.

Dr. Mitnick is the Director of Family Clinical and Prevention Research at the Family Translational Research Group, and a Clinical Associate Professor.

Dr. Mitnick received a PhD in 2010 in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University, and completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. During her doctoral training, Dr. Mitnick focused on couples' relationships, especially across the transition to parenthood.

Dr. Mitnick serves as the Director of Family Clinical and Prevention Research. She is a course director for Communication in Healthcare: Working with Diverse Populations, and contributes to dental education on communicating with patients effectively.

Dr. Mitnick has published on relationship satisfaction, transition to parenthood, and treating intimate partner violence.

Sangwon Kim, PhD

Dr. Kim's research focuses on investigating the mechanism leading to violence. Her primary research interest covers violence against children, family/peer/community relationship, social capital, posttraumatic growth, and child rights. Also, she is interested in translating empirical findings into therapeutic/social/educational measures in terms of prevention and intervention perspectives. She received a PhD in Child Psychology and Education from Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea.

Aleja Parsons, PhD

Dr. Parsons' research focuses on the alleviation of relationship and family distress in underrepresented populations, with a specific emphasis on African American couples and family systems. She uses an intersectional framework to examine how macro (e.g. systems of oppression) and micro (e.g. racial ideology) cultural factors impact relationship dynamics and family stability. The primary goals of Dr. Parsons' work are to a) identify culturally unique factors that mitigate destructive processes in marginalized communities and b) develop effective culturally relevant interventions. Dr. Parsons' research aims to counter deficit based models by highlighting culturally unique markers of strength and resilience. She is particularly interested in the heterogeneity of experiences within marginalized communities. Dr. Parsons received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver.

Kimberly Rhoades

Dr. Rhoades is a research scientist with the Family Translational Research Group at New York University. Her training and background are in social and health psychology and prevention science. Dr. Rhoades’ research focuses on (1) the etiology of interpersonal aggression and violence and associated behaviors; (2) translating basic knowledge about family and biobehavioral processes, into preventive interventions to benefit children and families; (3) evaluation of prevention and intervention programs, policies, and practices; (4) understanding the processes by which preventive interventions are disseminated, implemented, brought to scale, and sustained over time. Dr. Rhoades received her PhD in Social and Health Psychology from Stony Brook University

Assistant Research Scientists

Kelly Daly, PhD

Dr. Daly is a child psychologist with a research and clinical specialization in maltreatment trauma. Specifically, her research program has focused on the neural and socioemotional impacts of trauma exposure across the lifespan, and risk and resilience factors implicated in the intergenerational transmission of family violence. Through her treatment experiences, Dr. Daly has become passionate about child advocacy and institutional reform. She is particularly interested in research initiatives geared toward the identification of systemic problems and modification of existing operating procedures within systems responsible for child welfare (e.g., CPS, family courts, schools). She is incredibly excited to be contributing to FTRG’s work on this within the military, and to be working in implementation science generally. Dr. Daly received her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.

Alison L. Drew, PhD

Dr. Drew is a qualitative and mixed methods researcher who is interested in the development of interpersonal relationships and their impact on well-being. She seeks to identify modifiable targets for developmentally relevant, evidence-informed prevention and intervention efforts. She uses developmental science and ecological frames for relationship-based analyses, often including dyadic and triadic interactions, to explore factors associated with the growth and development of interpersonal relationships. Dr. Drew completed her PhD in Sociology and Social Work at Boston University. Her doctoral work focused on relational processes and program support for youth mentoring relationships. Her postdoctoral fellowship, also at Boston University, focused on supports for military children and families.

Jasara Hogan, PhD

Dr. Jasara Hogan is a clinical psychologist who is passionate about the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments. She completed her doctoral training at the University of Utah where she studied the etiology and treatment of romantic relationship distress with an emphasis on the efficacy of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT). During internship at the Charleston Consortium, Dr. Hogan transitioned her research to understanding the role of romantic relationship functioning in the etiology, course, and treatment of individual Alcohol Use Disorder and binge drinking behavior. Prior to joining FTRG, Dr. Hogan was a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) scholar and Research Assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Addiction Sciences Division.

Natalia Lapshina

Dr. Lapshina is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Family Translational Research Group, New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Her research interests focus on (1) associations among sociodemographic factors, poly-victimization, physical and mental health problems in children and adults in a variety of contexts (2) research methodology and data analysis.

Anna Segura-Montagut, PhD

Dr. Anna Segura is a clinical psychologist with a background in child victimization. Her research interests include (1) exploring the impact of multiple traumas (including poly-victimization and other adverse experiences) on child and adolescent health, resilience, or posttraumatic growth; (2) understanding how interventions across the social-ecological model can help protect against victimization; (3) the role of cross-cultural contexts for research on more effective prevention and intervention practices. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona. Her dissertation highlighted the effects of poly-victimization on mental health problems and risk and protective factors among adolescents in residential care in Catalonia. She advocates for children and minority languages rights; and is excited to join the FTRG fantastic team!

Junior Research Scientists

Salomi Aladia, MA

I hold a double Master's degree in Psychology, I majored in Clinical Psychology at S.N.D.T. University in Mumbai and Social Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. Over the years, I have held various research positions at public and private universities/hospitals and am very excited to be a part of the FTRG team.

Rebecca Collins

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Niagara University in 2020 and am about to graduate with my Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Over the years I have held various research lab and clinical positions and discovered that my research interests lay in intergenerational trauma and how it can affect certain individuals within families. I am very excited to be with this lab and support the team in what they do!

Kathleen Cracknell

I recently re-joined FTRG after being on the team as a JRS from 2018-2021. I aid in the data management process for a wide range of FTRG projects. I earned my BS in Psychology with a minor in Childhood Studies from Christopher Newport University in 2016, and was previously a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development and at Penn State for a project exploring the development of self-regulation dynamics . I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Rutgers University under Dr. Jenny Wang, where I study babies' understanding of number and children's gender biases in mathematical contexts. I'm excited to continue my work at FTRG and support the team's research goals!

Ashley Dills, LMSW

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New York University in 2012, and was given the opportunity to join the lab full-time as a Junior Research Scientist. As many before me, I was a former FTRG extern, so this was quite an honor. In 2016, I received my Master of Social Work from NYU and continue to work part-time as a Clinical Research Assistant, helping with many aspects of the research process including IRB submission and the publication of study results.

Ana Ivic, LMSW

My relationship with FTRG extends back to 2012 when I joined the team as a Rapid Marital Interaction Coding System (RMICS) extern, shortly after graduating from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology. After several exciting months of training, I had the pleasure of taking over the RMICS coding department as a Jr Research Scientist. Since then, I have received my Master of Social Work from the NYU Silver School of Social Work, spent time working in suicide prevention and early intervention, and have continued to work on several projects with FTRG. I am delighted to return to the lab as a full-time member to support the team in all the many areas of exciting work we do!

Brandon Neglio, MA

I received my BA in psychology and neuroscience from Skidmore College, and graduated from NYU with an MA in psychology in 2021. While there I studied motivation and its potential relationship to extreme mindsets. I joined the FTRG staff the summer after as a data manager, and am excited to be working with the amazing people in this lab!

Jennie Ochshorn

I received a BA in psychology from Hunter College and plan on entering a master’s program in a related field after a few years of research experience. I worked as an extern at FTRG for two semesters before joining the team as a Junior Research Scientist in September 2022. I have worked on the Dental Fear project, Caseload Management, DoD SA, and Integrated Operational Support. In my free time I am a musician and an avid reader.

Samara Trindade

I am a graduate of Nyack College with a BA in Psychology and am currently pursuing an MSW at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. I began my externship with FTRG as a recruiter for the Teen Dating Study in Fall 2014 and then as a Demand-Withdraw head observational coder in Summer 2015. I was extremely fortunate to officially join the FTRG staff as a Junior Research Scientist in 2016. I started as an assessment runner on the Science of Behavior Change study. Since then, I have been involved as a project coordinator in a variety of studies in the lab, including Caseload Management, ADAPT Level 1 Group Reboot, Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention, IES Second Step, and FAP Animal Cruelty Reporting. Outside of the lab, I enjoy taking theater dance lessons, listening to comedy podcasts, and reading and watching anything from the science fiction and fantasy genre.

Vini Zaninovic, LMSW

I received my MSW from NYU Silver School of Social work, and while at NYU Silver, took part in various research projects and training. Some of these experiences include being a Research Trainee at the NYU Langone SARET Program and a LEND Trainee at the Westchester Institute for Human Development. After graduating my MSW, I obtained my LMSW, pursued a clinical social work position in a foster care agency, and obtained valuable clinical skills and knowledge about the US foster care system. I am passionate about social science research specifically looking into the efficacy of evidence based and informed treatments. I am also interested in topics including child maltreatment, foster care, interpersonal relationships and couple and family psychology.