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Erik Willcutt (Lab Director)

After growing up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. Willcutt completed his undergraduate training in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine. He then completed his Ph.D. in child clinical psychology at the University of Denver under the mentorship of Dr. Bruce Pennington, and including a clinical internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals. He was then awarded an individual NIH National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship to obtain more specific training in behavioral and molecular genetic methods at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2001 he was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology area at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is currently Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics.

Current graduate students

Chava Creque

Daniel R. Leopold

Holly Wakeman

Sarah Wu

Lab Alumni

Rebecca Betjemann completed her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at the University of Denver before joining us at the University of Colorado for a postdoctoral fellowship. As a postdoctoral fellow she completed a series of papers on the development of reading and related phenotypes, along with an important paper describing genetic influences on brain structure. She is currently an Associate Professor at Regis University in Denver.

Kimberly Brodsky completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her thesis comparing the neurocognitive correlates of childhood ADHD and schizophrenia in collaboration with researchers at the Schizophrenia Research Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Brodsky, Willcutt, Davalos, & Ross, 2014). She is now a psychologist at the Palo Alto VA.

Cinnamon Bidwell was one of the first students in the Department to complete both the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. and the Behavior Genetics certificate. During graduate school her research focused on the etiology and neuropsychology of ADHD, and she received a prestigious individual National Research Service Award training grant to support this work. After graduating she became interested in the relation between ADHD and substance use and abuse, and we are delighted to report that she has now returned to the University of Colorado Institute for Cognitive Science to continue this work.

Tony DiLeo was Project Coordinator for a number of our studies for several years. He is an accomplished mountaineer who has summited nearly all 54 of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, as well as numerous other mountains around the world. He now teaches elementary school in Iowa.

Laramie Duncan completed a dual Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience. Her graduate work examined interactions between environmental stress, a specific polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, and the development of symptoms of anxiety and depression. She is now an Assistant Research Professor at Stanford University.

Christie Hartman completed her Ph.D. in Behavior Genetics. Her thesis examined the etiology of the relation between DSM-IV ADHD and attentional difficulties characterized by "sluggish cognitive tempo", a key construct that continues to be one of our primary lines of research (Hartman et al., 2004). After graduating from CU Christie worked for many years as a Research Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and recently changed her focus to become an internationally recognized expert on dating.

Sena Hitt-Laustsen completed an honors thesis that investigated the relation between ADHD and creativity in a sample of undergraduate students. After she graduated she served as Project Coordinator for our first study of ADHD in young adults, playing a critical role in getting that line of research off the ground.

Mikaela Kinnear completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Her thesis focused on the developmental course of social functioning of children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD. After completing her degree she accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

Kristen Mackiewicz completed her Clinical Psychology degree in 2011. Her thesis used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of exposure to trauma in adolescents. Kristen's primary mentor for the neuroimaging work was Dr. Marie Banich, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Science. She is now a staff psychologist at the Oregon Health Sciences University.