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VISN 17 Center of Excellence





Support Staff

Advisory Board


LTC(R) Michael Russell, Ph.D. [bio]

Administrative Officer
SGM(R) David Steeley, B.A.

Deputy Director of Research
Dena Davidson, Ph.D.

Behavioral Science Core Leader
Diane Castillo, Ph.D.

Neuroimaging Core Leader
Steven Nelson, Ph.D.

Education & Dissemination Core Leader
Richard Seim, Ph.D.


Implementation Science Core Leader
Justin Benzer, Ph.D.

Budget Analyst
MSG(R) John Eline



Suzannah Creech, Ph.D.
Investigator, Treatment Core
Areas: relationship functioning, military sexual trauma, intimate partner violence

Bryann DeBeer, Ph.D.
Investigator, Treatment Core
Areas: suicide prevention, serious mental illness

Sheila Frankfurt

Sheila Frankfurt, Ph.D.
Investigator, Behavioral Science Core
Areas: moral injury, PTSD

Evan Gordon, Ph.D.
Investigator, Neuroimaging Core
Areas: traumatic brain injury, executive function, functional brain organization

Geoffrey May, M.D.
Investigator, Neuroimaging Core

Eric Meyer, Ph.D.
Investigator, Treatment Core
Areas: PTSD, SUD, treatment outcome research

Joseph Mignogna, Ph.D.
Investigator, Implementation Science Core
Areas: integrated health care, primary care

Keith Young, Ph.D.
Investigator, Biomarkers & Genetics Core
Areas: biomarkers of PTSD and suicide

Laura Zambrano-Vazquez

Laura Zambrano-Vazquez, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Training, Education & Dissemination Core
Areas: psychophysiological assessment, PTSD




Adam McGuire, Ph.D.
OAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Carey Pulverman, Ph.D.
OAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Yvette Szabo, Ph.D.
OAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow

To learn more about our post-doctoral fellowship program, please visit our Fellowship page.


Research Staff

Jennifer Bakan, B.A. - Technical Writer
Nickolas Chevalier - MRI Technician, Neuroimaging Core
Leslie Dannhaus, M.A., LPC - Psychology Technician, Neuroimaging Core
Chetan Desai, M.S. - Psychology Technician, Behavioral Science Core
Christina Hejl, B.S. - Laboratory Technician, Biomarkers & Genetics Core
Jeisa Jones, M.S. - Psychology Technician, Behavioral Science Core
Staley Justice, MSW, LCSW - Project Coordinator
Andrea MacCarthy, B.S. - Data Analyst, Implementation Science Core
Corina Mendoza, M.A. - Mental Health Specialist, Behavioral Science Core
Edward Millican, B.S. - Psychology Technician, Behavioral Science Core
Dawn Pierson, M.S. - Psychology Technician, Implementation Science Core
Arsenio Scott, B.S. - Psychology Technician, Neuroimaging Core
William Stewart, B.S. - Laboratory Technician, Biomarkers & Genetics Core
Ramy Sweiden, M.A. - Psychology Technician, Behavioral Science Core
Randy Tea, M.S. - Psychology Technician, Behavioral Science Core

Program Support

Lisa Boynton, BBA - Program Support Assistant
Robert Cervantes, MBA - Data Manager
Ruth Ann Mitchell - Administrative Support Assistant
Victor Robinson - Program Support Assistant
April Salinas - Program Support Assistant


Advisory Board

David Carroll, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Mental Health Operations

Carl A. Castro, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Research Director,
Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families
University of Southern California

Charles J. Foulks, M.D.
Associate Chief of Staff for Research Services
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System

Steve Holliday, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
VISN 17 Mental Health Liaison Officer

Wendell E. Jones, M.D. MBA, FACP, CPE
VISN 17 Chief Medical Officer

Kathryn J. Kotrla, M.D., Ph.D.
President of MEK, Inc.
Former Associate Dean, College of Medicine, Round Rock
Texas A&M Health Science Center

Walter E. Penk, Ph.D.
Professor Texas A&M, College of Medicine
Consultant, VA Rehabilitation, Research and Development

Murray A. Raskind, M.D.
Director, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)
VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Veterans Advisory Council

In addition to our Advisory Board, our Center also has a Veterans Council which meets quarterly to represent Veterans interests in our research and services.



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