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Our Staff

Kristin Cadenhead, M.D.

Dr. Cadenhead is the Director of the  CARE Program. She is a Professor of Psychiatry and an Attending Physician at UC San Diego Health. She serves as the Program Director of the Psychiatry Residency training program. Dr. Cadenhead received her BA in Biology/Psychology from Rice University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She completed her residency in Psychiatry and Fellowship in Schizophrenia Research at UC San Diego. Dr. Cadenhead established the CARE Early Psychosis Research Program in 1999.

Dr. Cadenhead’s primary research interests include early identification and intervention in the beginning stages of psychosis. Much of her research focuses on risk factors, biomarkers and targeted treatment in the schizophrenia spectrum of disorders. She specializes in identifying individuals at clinical high risk for serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and providing early intervention and treatment.

Dr. Cadenhead has participated in multiple large research consortia including the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Studies (NAPLS), Harmonization of At Risk Multisite Observational Networks for Youth (HARMONY), California Collaborative Network to Promote Data Driven Care and Improve Outcomes in Early Psychosis (EPI-CAL), and the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS).

Dr. Cadenhead’s UC San Diego Psychiatry Department Biography
Named in the 2015 “Top Docs” San Diego Magazine “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” in Psychiatry
Dr. Cadehnhead on Early Identification, Prediction and Intervention 
Lecture at the Department of Psychiatry 50th Anniversary

Heline Mirzakhanian, Ph.D.

Dr. Mirzakhanian, is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research interests include understanding brain changes associated with the onset of psychotic illness. Specifically, she uses neuroimaging techniques to investigate the brain's glutamate system.

Dr. Mirzakhanian has co-authored many articles, and her work has appeared in JAMA PsychiatryThe American Journal of Psychiatry, and NeuroImage, among others. She also serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals, including the Journal of Clinical PsychiatryPsychological Medicine and Bipolar Disorders, and several others.

Dr. Mirzakhanian is the Clinical Director of the CARE Early Psychosis Specialty Clinic and since its inception has been involved in planning and development of services, delivery of patient care, and supervision and teaching of junior staff members. She performs comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, provides therapy and educates patients and their families on the different aspects of psychotic illness. Dr. Mirzakhanian's expertise is in treating individuals with early symptoms of psychosis; schizophrenia; and bipolar disorder with psychotic features. She uses cognitive-behavioral therapies (e.g., CBT for Psychosis, CBT+social skills), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) techniques, exposure and response prevention (ERP), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). She is also involved in mentoring and teaching in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, teaching Practice of Medicine to medical students, as well as mentoring psychiatry residents and doctoral students.

Dr. Mirzakhanian completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Diego's Cognitive Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CARE) program. She completed an internship in neuropsychology at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Mirzakhanian earned her PhD from the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology.

Isabel Domingues, M.D.

Dr. Domginues is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego. She earned her medical degree from the University of Porto Medical School in Portugal and her residency in Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego. She served as the Chief Resident in Psychiatry and joined the CARE team in 2009. She specializes in the early identification and treatment of early psychosis with a special interest in metabolic abnormalities in paitients with psychosis. She speaks Portugese, Spanish and French.

Donna Corbett, Psy.D.

Dr. Donna Corbett is a licensed psychologist. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology. She completed an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the State Center Community College District. She served as the faculty advisor to the Active Minds Club, a student run organization aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness on college campuses. She has experience working in inpatient as well as outpatient dual diagnosis treatment facilities, including an externship at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Corbett joined the CARE program in 2015 and is currnetly working with clinical patients and in research. She specializes in early psychosis treatment and intervention with a special interest in how the duration of untreated psychosis impacts long-term prognosis. She currently facilitates the Wellness Group and DBT Groups at CARE.

Veronica B. Perez, Ph.D.

Dr. Veronica B. Perez is a California-licensed psychologist who has worked for over 20 years on the diagnostic assessment and treatment of severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia-spectrum diagnoses, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), depression, and anxiety disorders. She conducts assessments for the prodrome of psychosis, aiming to identify individuals most at-risk for the development of a psychotic illness. Dr. Perez uses cognitive-behavioral therapies (e.g., CBT for Psychosis, CBSST (CBT+social skills), and CBT-Insomnia) for specialized psychiatric populations, and techniques from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for individuals and groups. Dr. Perez emphasizes the importance of working with the patient and their families to integrate new information through psychoeducation, to develop skills to address symptoms, and to capitalize on the strengths of the individual from a recovery model perspective. 

Dr. Perez obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oregon, and completed her APA predoctoral internship at the UCSD/San Diego VA Consortium. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF identifying neurophysiological biomarkers for at-risk psychosis. She subsequently completed a MIRECC-VA funded fellowship where she used neurophysiological methods to assess cognitive training interventions in psychosis. Dr. Perez continues to examine the neurocognitive impairments that underlie the social disabilities in psychosis spectrum populations. 

Skylar Kelsven, MS

Skylar received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Skylar is completing her doctoral training at the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical psychology. She is currently on internship at the San Diego VAHCS completing clinical training in treatment of severe mood disorders and PTSD. Skylar is interested exploring the biological mechanisms that mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and development of psychosis. Specifically, Skylar is interested in the downstream effects of early childhood experiences on stress reactivity and immune system dysregulation. Moreover, Skylar is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of trauma focused treatments (prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy) as well as mind-body techniques (mindfulness, yoga, nutrition) in emerging psychosis.

 Micki Kelly, BA

Micki obtained her Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, San Diego in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology. Clinical and Research interests: Micki's primary research interests include psychotic spectrum and mood disorders in children and young adults. Her focus is on first episode psychosis and the prevention of cognitive and functional decline associated with the onset of neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Janae Wyckoff, M.A.

Janae Wycoff is a CARE Program Study Coordinator. She received her Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. She went on to earn her Master's degree from SDSU with an emphasis in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. She joined the CARE team in 2016 and has coordinated psychosocial treatment studies and pharamcological trials. She specializes in implementing Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training with clinical high risk and first episode individuals. 

Gila Cohen, MSW, LCSW

Gila Cohen is a senior clinical social worker and psychotherapist at CARE. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from City University of New York, Queens College. She earned her Masters of Social Work degree from New York University, where her work focused on child and adolescent mental health. Gila has experienced working with patients in the psychiatric hospital system, an Adolescent Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program, and an HIV family clinic. Her focus is on providing support and diverse therapeutic interventions to vulnerable populations, to promote advocacy, and empowerment.