Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H. Principal Investigator
Dr. Compton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. He also has appointments in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine and in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Compton received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia, and completed his psychiatry residency, public health degree, preventive medicine residency, and community psychiatry/public health fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Compton evaluates and treats patients on the 13A inpatient psychiatric unit at Grady Memorial Hospital in addition to his research and teaching roles.
Dr. Compton is the Chair of the Prevention Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), and serves on the Prevention Practice Committee of the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Core Examination Committee of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association. He is co-director of the Emory University Fellowship in Community Psychiatry/Public Health. In 2006, Dr. Compton received the William Kane Rising Star Award of the American College of Preventive Medicine and a Leader of the Future Award of the International Early Psychosis Association. He received the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Georgia Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 2007. In 2008, he received the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE) Early Career Health Services Research Award. Dr. Compton is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Compton’s primary clinical research interests pertain to the early course of schizophrenia, and he receives research support from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on first-episode psychosis. His research focuses on the multifactorial determinants of the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), associations among risk markers in patients with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives, correlates of substance use in the early course of schizophrenia, and schizotypy. He also conducts research on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model of collaboration between law enforcement and mental health. Dr. Compton has published numerous research and review articles on these topics, in addition to three books: (1) Responding to Individuals with Mental Illnesses (MT Compton and RJ Kotwicki, Editors), a book written specifically for police officers and other public safety and criminal justice officials (Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc., 2006); (2) The First Episode of Psychosis: A Guide for Patients and Their Families (MT Compton and B Broussard), a manual written for patients and families members going through the initial evaluation and treatment of psychosis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009); and (3) Clinical Manual of Prevention in Mental Health (MT Compton, Editor), a text for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2009). He served as Guest Editor for the May 2007 issue of Psychiatric Annals on “Prevention in Psychiatry” and the August 2008 issue of Psychiatric Annals on “Early Intervention for Psychotic Disorders.” Dr. Compton strives to merge excellence in clinical care, teaching of diverse audiences, and clinically relevant research.
Glen R. Abedi Research Assistant
Glen is completing his Master’s of Public Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Global Epidemiology. He is currently an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, he has worked on research and programming for CARE International in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Vietnam.His broader research interests include applying quantitative and epidemiological analytical methods to mental health research and informing the design of public mental health interventions within empirically supported treatment and health-communication paradigms. As a research assistant with The ACES project, he contributes to the understanding of the reliability and validity of data-collection measures.
Beth Broussard, M.P.H., C.H.E.S. Research Collaborator
Beth completed her Master of Public Health at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. She is a research staff member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and has a special interest in psychoeducation and mental health literacy. Beth recently co-authored a psychoeducational guide for patients and families experiencing a first episode of psychosis, The First Episode of Psychosis: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, (MT Compton and B Broussard, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Her research interests include the early course of schizophrenia, health communication, mental health promotion, psychoeducation, stigma, and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model of collaboration between law enforcement and mental health. She is currently the project supervisor for the CIT research group at Emory University.
Sarah L. Cristofaro Research Assistant
Sarah is currently working on her Master’s of Public Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education with a focus on health education. She is involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She feels very passionately about tolerance towards those with mental illnesses, reducing stigma, and promoting recovery. Her research interests include psychotic disorders and their effects on families, stigma, qualitative research, and the recovery model.
Peggy Flanagan, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Peggy recently received her doctoral degree from the University of Georgia where she was primarily involved in research directed at examining the factors associated with caseworker burnout. She also worked providing psychological assessments and counseling for clients within the Department of Family and Children Services. Prior to the beginning of her postdoctoral year, Peggy completed her predoctoral internship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Counseling and Wellness. Peggy currently works as a postdoctoral fellow on The ACES-II Project. Peggy also conducts assessments and therapy with patients on the Crisis Stabilization Unit at Grady Memorial Hospital. In addition, she conducts individual therapy and group therapy within the Grady Health System.
Stephanie Gantt, M.A. Psychological Specialist, Sr.
Stephanie attended Dillard University in New Orleans, LA where she graduated with honors in Psychology. Later, she completed a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. Her research and professional backgrounds are in the areas of suicide and domestic violence as it relates to African American women and adolescents. Currently, Stephanie's research interests include problem recognition, help seeking, and service utilization for patients with first episode psychosis; African American males and psychotic disorders; and childhood trauma and the onset of psychosis. Some special interests include increasing psychoeducation and mental health awareness within the African American community, the improvement of policies and legislation for increased funding and enhanced mental health service provision in the State of Georgia, and increasing the use of evidence based interventions to improve high poverty neighborhoods for youth. Stephanie is the main assessor for the Aces Project.
Sandra M. Goulding, M.P.H. Research Collaborator
Sandy received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia in May of 2005, earned a Master of Public Health in the behavioral sciences track from Emory University in May of 2007, and began the clinical psychology doctoral program at Emory University in August of 2009. Prior to entering doctoral studies, Sandy was employed for two years as the research project coordinator of the ACES-I project and a one-year feasibility study, the Adjustment Development and Psychological health in Teens (ADAPT) Project, focused on adolescents deemed at risk for the development of a severe mental disorder. In addition to a variety of project related tasks (e.g. cohort retention, data management and analyses, supervisory roles with practicum students, and manuscript and grant preparation), other responsibilities included clinical research assessments with adult inpatients and their family members, co-facilitating a weekly psycho-educational group on the crisis stabilization unit, and involvement in additional related research collaborations (e.g., online survey of personality with a focus on schizotypy-related measures) her supervisor, Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H., was involved with. Her primary clinical research interests pertain to the early course of schizophrenia and the prodromal period that may indicate individuals at risk for the later development of such disorders. Sandy remains involved with the ACES team in a limited capacity as she completes the follow-up portion of the ACES-I Project (anticipated end, September 2010) during her first year of doctoral studies.
John D. Marson Research Assistant
Johnny completed his Bachelor of Arts at the College of Charleston in biology. He is currently employed by the Shepherd Center as a physical therapy technician. There he is involved in the neuro-recovery network. He is also a student at Georgia State University in the pre-medical program. He is a partner in Groovemuse, a not-for-profit focused on the promotion of art and music in the greater Atlanta area. He is also the founder of an urban, agriculture startup company, International Cooperative of Bio-ponics, focused on sustainable food sources. Johnny’s areas of interests include cardiology, orthopedics, and psychiatry. Johnny is a research assistant for The ACES Project.
Claire Ramsay, M.P.H. Research Coordinator, Sr.
Claire completed her Master’s degree at the Rollins School of Public Health, with a focus on Behavioral Sciences. Prior to her coursework at Rollins, she was a Fulbright scholar in Morocco, where she conducted research on patient-provider communication about sensitive health issues. Claire has extensive experience as a research assessor, particularly in conducting individual structured or semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Her research interests include prevention of mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and their associated morbidity and mortality; promotion of mental health; social determinants of mental illnesses and substance use disorders; measurement issues in retrospective studies; and policy strategies to maximize mental health, particularly in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Claire is the research coordinator for The ACES Project.
Tarianna Stewart, M.S. Research Assistant Tarianna completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia State University (GSU) in psychology. Her honor’s undergraduate thesis focused on cannabis use and its effects on positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. She continued her studies at GSU, finishing her Master’s degree in biology. Her research work in the Master’s program focused on illuminating the descriptive features of substance use among those with schizophrenia. Tarianna’s research interests include substance use and schizophrenia, and reducing stigma towards serious mental illnesses. At The ACES Project, Tarianna conducts clinical assessments with family members, and is involved with data entry and manuscript preparation.