AIM Clinical Science Fellow, Benjamin Johnson

AIM 2021 Clinical Science Fellow Grantee: Benjamin Johnson, M.S. – Suicide Prediction and Prevention in College-Aged Youth

2021 – AIM Clinical Science Fellow Grant to Benjamin Johnson, from Pennsylvania State.

Benjamin’s research combines two aims: 1) apply machine learning to ecological momentary assessment (EMA) data to predict the emergence of self-harm urges and suicidality among young adults; 2) employ a mobile intervention to reduce the likelihood of such behaviors. $50,000

AIM Clinical Science Fellow, Hannah Lawrence

AIM 2021 Clinical Science Fellow Grantee: Hannah Rose Lawrence, PhD – Smartphone Mindfulness Intervention for Anxiety and Depression

2021 – AIM Clinical Science Fellow Grant to postdoctoral research associate, Dr. Hannah Lawrence, from the Treatment and Etiology of Depression in Youth Laboratory at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Lawrence research will test whether a smartphone-delivered mindfulness intervention reduces anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents by helping them disengage from repetitive negative thought (RNT). $50,000

Picture of AIM Clinical Science Fellow Grantee, Alex Werntz

AIM 2020 Clinical Science Fellow Grantee: Alexandra Werntz, PhD

2020 – AIM Clinical Science Fellow Grant to postdoctoral research associate, Alexandra Werntz, from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Werntz will develop and evaluate a free, easy-to-access technology-delivered intervention (TDI) for youth anxiety used within the context of formal mentoring programs. $50,000


AIM Funds Eating Disorder Research. “The Ginger Doyel Honorary AIM Grant” – Walter H. Kaye, MD of UCSD (top), and James Lock, MD, Ph.D of Stanford University (bottom): Taking Eating Disorder Treatments Virtual

2020 – Two coordinated telehealth family intervention eating disorder studies at UCSD and Stanford

The study will include two coordinated projects focused on the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary clinical utility of telehealth to deliver family interventions for eating disorders in youth. The UCSD project will focus on multi-family support for patients in treatment. $70,000. The Stanford University project will focus on the online self-help family interventions for patients/families awaiting treatment. $50,000. Both projects will have common outcome measures to assess feasibility, acceptability and clinical change.


AIM Funds Research on Children at High Risk for Developing Serious Mental Illness

Seed funding for a study of innovative treatment that combines computerized brain training exercises resembling popular video games and intensive “talk therapy.” The research is being done by Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, a Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine and the Director of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program at Hofstra University’s Northwell School of Medicine. $60,000


AIM Funds Research on Frequent Aggressive, Disruptive Behavior in Children

$65,580 Second-Year Science Fellowship award for research into finding effective responses for children with severe irritability and frequent aggressive, disruptive behavior.

The work is being done by Dr. Spencer Evans, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.


AIM Funds Emory University Research on Eating in the Absence of Hunger Among Youth

$50,417 Clinical Science Fellowship award to support research on eating in the absence of hunger and obesity risk among African-American and Latinx youth.

The work is being done by Dr. Joya Hampton-Anderson, a clinical post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at Emory University. A key element in this research is the role that stress, anxiety, and parental influences play in determining children’s eating behaviors.


AIM Funds UCSF Research on Attention Difficulties with Monterey County Youth at Chartwell School

$45,600 AIM grant. Dr. Adam Gazzaley, an AIM Scientific Advisory Board member and founder of UCSF’s Neuroscape, will conduct a pilot study of a novel, adaptive attention training software, Engage, in adolescents who have difficulties with attention.


Dr. Marc Weintraub, AIM Clinical Science Fellow, UCLA – AIM funded research (2 years): Examining Youth At Risk for Bipolar or Psychotic Disorders

$135,000 grant. Dr. Marc Weintraub will be working with AIM Scientific Advisory Board Member, Dr. David Miklowitz, to examine the emotional and cognitive pathways linked to severe mental illness in adolescents.


Dr. Spencer Evans, AIM Clinical Science Fellow, Harvard – AIM funded research (1 year): Advancing the Assessment and Treatment of Severe Irritability and Mood Dysregulation in Youth

$70,000 grant. Dr. Spencer Evans plans to evaluate the effectiveness of existing assessment tools and treatment strategies for severe irritability as well as exploring novel approaches to personalized assessment and treatment.


Dr. Anjali Sankar, AIM Sullivan Family Clinical Science Fellow, Yale – AIM funded research (1 year): Taking the Lead on a Subset of Analyses to Investigate Potential Predictors of Suicide

$64,000 grant. Working alongside AIM Scientific Advisory Board member, Dr. Hilary Blumberg, Anjali will investigate potential predictors of suicide in youth and strategies to reduce them, with a focus on brain and symptom changes before and after psychotherapeutic and pharmacological interventions.


AIM Sullivan Family Rising Star Award – Kate Fitzgerald, MD: Early Intervention in Clinically Anxious Preschoolers

$250,000 grant for 3 years at University of Michigan. Anxiety disorders start early in life, affecting one in five children, and often set the stage for later depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. Dr. Kate D. Fitzgerald’s AIM Sullivan Family Rising Star Award is funding research to prevent childhood anxiety from worsening by increasing brain capacity for controlling fear.


AIM Rising Star Award – Katie McLaughlin, PhD: Understanding How Stress Causes Anxiety and Depression in Youth

$250,000 grant for 3 years at University of Washington. Dr. McLaughlin used brain imaging and smartphone-enabled technologies to investigate the biology of how stress can lead to anxiety and depression in youth.


AIM disburses $180,000 to UCLA’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience – Semel Institute

AIM disbursed $180,000 to UCLA’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, which studies the brain and neuropsychiatric disorders in children and adults using advanced brain imaging, specifically functional and structural MRI.