Meet Our Team


Dr. Susan Perlman, Ph.D.

Lab Director

Dr. Susan B. Perlman is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC and director of the LCBD. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 in Psychology and her M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2009) from Duke University in Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. She is primarily interested in the neural underpinnings of the development of emotion regulation in young children including trajectories of abnormal emotion regulation and related psychopathology.


M. Catalina Camacho, B.A.

Graduate Student

Cat graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology. She then spent 3 years as a research coordinator for the Stanford Neurodevelopment, Affect, and Psychopathology Lab before joining the CNUP PhD program in 2017. Cat is most excited about affective brain development from birth to preschool and how early experience affects these neural systems. When not working on research, Cat enjoys creating and otherwise enjoying art and music.

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Dr. Laura Quinones-Camacho, PH.D.

Post- Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Laura Quinones-Camacho is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of California Riverside in 2018. Her dissertation work focused on exploring risk and protective factors for the emergence of psychopathology in Hispanic children. She is broadly interested in exploring the neural underpinnings of emotional processing in early childhood as predictors of later psychopathology.


Dr. Katie Belardi, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

Research Associate

Katie is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Speech-Language Pathology Department at Duquesne University. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Duquesne in Speech-Language Pathology and Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Katie's primary research interests are understanding and treating language processing impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and Fragile X syndrome.

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Lisa M. Bemis, B.S.
Lab Manager
Lisa graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Sign Language and History of Art and Architecture. Lisa has been with the LCBD from the beginning and has great interest in neuro and clinical psychology. She is interested in child psychopathology, particularly looking at the developing brain in children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and scrapbooking.


Christina Hlutkowsky, B.S.

Research Assistant

Christina graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in Russian and Eastern European Studies. She is interested in looking at how mental disorders can affect children and adolescents learn and interact with others. She hopes to go to graduate school for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology for childhood/adolescence. When not at work, she is very involved in her Ukrainian community.

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Charis Rodgers, B.A.

Research Associate

Charis “Kay” Rodgers graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2018 with B.A. in Psychology and French Studies and minors in Sociology and Fashion Media. She is interested in studying the impact of culture on experience of mood and anxiety disorders among minority populations, the development of culturally competent treatments, and ways to improve access to treatment for underserved populations. She hopes to enter a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology in the future. In her free time, Kay enjoys crafting, doodling, and exploring new places.

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Caroline Hoyniak B.A.

Clinical Intern

Caroline is currently a Clinical Psychology Intern at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. She completed her graduate work and dissertation at Indiana University, focusing on Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses broadly on the neural correlates of self-regulation in early childhood, and how the development of self-regulatory abilities contributes to the emergence of externalizing psychopathology.