People


Director, Youngmee Kim, Ph.D.Dr. Kim
Youngmee Kim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and a Member in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center on Aging. She is also an Associate Editor of Translational Behavioral Medicine. Her research focuses on the identification of the psychosocial correlates, such as coping with caregiving stress, gender, social support, and relationship quality of the quality of life, and the development of programs and services to assist cancer survivors and their family and friends, in meeting their needs and to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors to prevent major diseases including cancer.


Graduate Research Assistant, Hannah-Rose Mitchell, MPHHannah-Rose Mitchell
Hannah-Rose Mitchell is a third year graduate student in the Department of Psychology's Health Clinical track. Hannah graduated with a BA in Psychology with minors in English and Public Health from Muhlenberg College in 2011. She received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences from Yale in 2013 and worked two years as a research coordinator in the Yale HEROS pediatric cancer survivorship clinic. Hannah is interested in the dyadic effects of disease-related stress and health related quality of life in cancer survivors and their caregivers. In her spare time, she enjoys running and trying new restaurants with friends.


Graduate Research Assistant, Amanda Ting, BSAmanda Ting
Amanda Ting is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology's Health Clinical track. Originally from Boston, she graduated from University of Miami in 2012 with a BS in Psychology and previously worked as an undergraduate RA in the FAMILY Lab. Since then, she has worked as a harvest/winemaking intern at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and a Gastroenterology clinical research coordinator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Amanda is interested in dyadic experiences and health outcomes between cancer patients and their caregivers. In her spare time, Amanda is an avid foodie and loves to dabble in running, napping on the beach, and practicing photograph


Research Project Coordinator, Patricia Pedreira, BSPatricia Pedreira
Patricia is the Project Coordinator for the FAMILY Lab's BiPs project. She is originally from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and graduated from Boston College in 2015 with a BS in Psychology. Prior to this position, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Child Health Lab at the University of Miami's Department of Psychology. Patricia is very excited to join the FAMILY Lab and looks forward to pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in the future. Previous research experience in pediatric psychology and psycho-oncology has motivated her to continue learning how patients and caregivers cope with disease-related stress. Aside from becoming a clinical psychologist, one of her long-term goals is to improve the quality and coverage of mental health care access among underserved communities in Latin America.


Research Project Coordinator, Valentina Bolanos, MPHValentina Bolanos
Valentina is a Project Coordinator for the FAMILY Lab's BiPs project. She is originally from Cali, Colombia, and graduated in 2012 with a BA in Psychology and in 2015 with a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Florida. Prior to this position she worked as Research Coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida and was the North American Region Intern Lead for the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Valentina is very excited to join the FAMILY Lab and her future goal is to pursue her Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in International Population Health. Her previous experience in socio-behavioral research has motivated her to learn about the psychosocial and biological connections associated with cancer patients and caregivers. She aspires to develop public health programs that address the needs of cancer patients at the international level. Valentina enjoys traveling, painting, meditating, and spending time with her family and friends.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Claudia OlszewskiClaudia Olszewski
Claudia Olszewski was born and raised in Fairfield, New Jersey as a first generation American. She is a Senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. She is currently on the pre-med track and has an immense passion in helping others. She joined Dr. Kim's lab in Spring 2017 and is really excited to learn about the psychological aspects of a subject near and dear to my heart, oncology. In her free time, she loves to spend time with family and close friends, travel the world, play sports and be active or spend a nice evening relaxing on the beach or by the water.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Gabriella GrauGabriella Grau
Gabriella Grau was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Microbiology. In the future, she sees herself attending medical school in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. Her main research interests include understanding mental illnesses and disorders at the cellular level and how we can use this knowledge to reduce the stigma that accompanies these illnesses and disorders. In her spare time, you can find Gabby spending time with her friends and family or playing with her corgi Caesar.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Paige ZirrithPaige Zirrith
Paige was born and raised in Manalapan, NJ. She is a senior at the University of Miami pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Biology and Spanish. She is also a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority at UM. She is extremely excited to be joining Dr.Kim's lab and to learn more about the mental and physical effects on a caregiver.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Ivania MelgarIvania Melgar
Ivania Melgar was born in El Salvador, and she moved to Miami at the age of 10. She is studying at Miami Dade College pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a certification in Education. She is really excited to be volunteering at the FAMILY because she wants to acquire hands on experience and skills in research. She was an intern during the summer at University of Florida - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends and family.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Gabriela LeeGabriela Lee
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Gabriela (Gabi) Lee is a medical anthropology major and a chemistry minor pursuing a medical career through the Health Professions Mentoring Program at the University of Miami. Outside of the classroom, she volunteers in the oncology unit at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and is involved in the American Sign Language club, Signing Smiles. Gabi is excited to join the FAMILY lab because of her interest in the psychological and behavioral effects of caregiving. She aspires to go to medical school and study pediatrics, because of her love of working with children, or psychiatry, because of her interest in mental health.


Undergraduate Research Assistant: Jessica LeonJessica Leon
Jessica Leon was born and raised in Miami, FL to Cuban parents. She is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry in the pre-med track. She joined Dr. Kim's lab as a research assistant originally in 2014 during her senior year of high school and resumed in 2018 during her junior year of undergrad. As someone who has had first-hand experience with this, she is excited to learn about how the stress associated with cancer in patients and caregivers affects them psychologically. In her free time, Jessica likes to paint, draw, and travel.



Undergraduate Research Assistant: Breeana BurnsBurns image

Born and raised in Boston, MA. She is a senior at the University of Miami pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology with minors in Psychology and Theater Arts. In the future she hopes to focus her medical studies in the field of pediatric oncology. She is very excited to be joining the FAMILY lab and is interested in observing the effects of disease-related stress on the overall wellbeing of patients and caregivers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, relaxing by the water, and staying active through dance and various other activities.


Former Members (Selected)

  • Olajide Bamishigbin, PhD. Assistant Professor, Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, CA
  • Stephany Giraldo, Graduate Student, Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, FL
  • Stephanie Guedj, Graduate Student, Psychology, Nova Southeastern University, FL
  • Merica Lang, Graduate Student, Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL
  • Janice Leon, MD, Resident, Neurology, Miller School of Medicine, FL
  • Caroline Mazzer, Graduate Student, Hofstra University, NY
  • Alexis Milton, Graduate Student, Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, TX
  • Mark Oppenheimer, Post-baccalaureate fellow, NIMH
  • Cara Patete, Graduate Student, Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
  • Stefania Pinto, Graduate Student, Psychology, University of Florida, FL
  • Xenia Rodriguez, Florida Department of Health, FL
  • Kelly M. Shaffer, PhD. Post-doctoral Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
  • Tava West, Graduate Student, Howard University, DC
  • Sierra Winings, RN, New York- Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, NY