Meet the Team

Dr. Danielle Ramo is Assistant Professor and licensed psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF . She directs the Research on Addictions and Digital Interventions ("Readi") lab (readi.ucsf.edu). Her research program focuses on using digital media to change health risk behaviors including tobacco, alcohol, and other drug involvement. Funded with a K23 Career Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Ramo has developed the Tobacco Status Project social media intervention to help young adults quit smoking, and is testing its efficacy in a randomized clinical trial with 500 young adults. Additional studies are examining patterns and toxicology of electronic-cigarette use in adolescents and tobacco and marijuana co-use in young adults funded by the California Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program. Her research has demonstrated the high prevalence of tobacco and marijuana co-use, associations between co-use and smoking, and differences in motivation and thoughts about abstinence for the two substances in co-users.

Dr. Ramo serves as program faculty for the NIDA-funded Substance Abuse Treatment and Services Research Training Program and the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education Postdoctoral Fellowship in the UCSF School of Medicine. Dedicated to teaching and mentoring, she also co-leads a Leadership Seminar for senior trainees in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Ramo has an interest in prevention of substance use disorders in young people. To this end she serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Being Adept prevention intervention program (Beingadept.org), helping to design curriculum and speaking to teens, parents, and school administrators throughout the Bay Area about adolescent substance abuse.

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University, a Doctorate from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, and postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF.

 


 

Dr. Karma McKelvey graduated in 2014, with a PhD in Public Health, specializing in epidemiology. She earned her MPH in Epidemiology & Biostatistics in 2011, and also completed graduate work in Anthropology and Sociology. She achieved a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and an AA in Drama. Prevention before treatment, holism before atomism, and an interest in addictions are central areas of focus in her work.
Dr. McKelvey believes that directing addictions treatment/prevention toward specific substances or behaviors is not optimal and addictions research would be well served to consider addiction as a disease on a spectrum regardless of the substance or behavior one is addicted to. Her long-term goal is to design and build an evidence-based behavioral intervention laboratory that will be able to adapt effective interventions for target populations. During her fellowship she hopes to ascertain the requisite team and evidence to begin building this lab.

 


Johannes Thrul earned his PhD in Psychology in 2013 from Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. In his dissertation research, conducted at the Institute for Therapy Research (IFT), Munich, he focused on behavioral smoking cessation interventions for adolescents studying issues of participant recruitment and intervention effectiveness. At IFT, he co-developed and conducted a study using smartphones and an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) paradigm to investigate smoking patterns of young adult smokers over the course of several months. During his graduate studies, he participated in the interdisciplinary European Graduate School in Addiction Research (ESADD) at Dresden University of Technology and undertook research stays in the US and Switzerland.
During his postdoctoral fellowship at the CTCRE Johannes wants to conduct studies using EMA methodology to investigate the effects of various factors, such as social norms, tobacco advertisements, and tobacco policies on the smoking behavior of young people.


Meredith Meacham is a postdoctoral scholar in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry’s NIDA Fellowship in Drug Abuse Treatment and Health Services Research. She earned her PhD in Public Health (Global Health) in 2015 from the University of California San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program, with a dissertation on polydrug use and risk of HIV and overdose in the U.S.-Mexico border region. She also has an MPH from the University of Washington and an AB from the University of Chicago. As a public health scientist with nearly a decade of domestic and international research experience on substance use, mental health, and HIV, she uses multidisciplinary analytic methods for understanding comorbidities and co-occurring behaviors within changing social and political contexts. In the READI lab she is contributing to analysis and development of tailored smoking cessation interventions on Facebook and developing projects to explore how recreational and medical cannabis users use social media and online communities to seek and share health information.


Dr. Erin Vogel is a postdoctoral fellow in the NIDA Postdoctoral Training Program in Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. She earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 2017 from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. She also holds an M.A. from the University of Toledo (2014) and a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University (2012). As a graduate student, Erin conducted research on social cognitive processes in applied contexts, such as health and social media use. Her dissertation focused on social and temporal comparison in self-evaluations of health and fitness. As a postdoc in the Readi Lab, she is excited to begin researching social media-based interventions for smoking cessation, alcohol and drug use, and other health-related behaviors. Outside of work, a few of Erin’s favorite things include coffee, rainy days, and cooking.

 

 


Alina Belohlavek, graduated San Francisco State University with her BA in Psychology. In Fall 2013, she started working in the San Francisco State University Relationships, Emotion and Health Lab where she continues to study social relationships and emotion.  Her main research interests include substance use among young adults and close relationship functioning. Alina has presented posters at APS, SPSP, and SFSU COSE Showcase. In her spare time Alina enjoys reading, hiking, and creating the perfect sandwich.

 

 

 


My name is D’Arius Hambrick and I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Physiology at San Francisco State University and a minor in Sexuality Studies. I work as a student facilitator for supplementary science courses at the university by engaging students’ learning through peer guided group work and more intimate time spent on rigorous scientific topics. I am very involved in the community and provide various outreach programs for social justice and awareness through my fraternity. My interest is in the naturopathic aspect of psychiatry and understanding mental health as it pertains to ethnic and sexual minorities. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, long distance running, and dancing many forms and styles!

 

 


Manpreet Kaur recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a Masters in Developmental Psychology. As a graduate student, she worked at the Time and Diversity Lab, where she examined the relationship between anxiety and time perspective among adolescents. During her masters, Manpreet translated the Adolescent Time Perspective Inventory (ATI) to an Indian language. She also worked at the Motivation and Emotion lab, studying the motivational and emotional processes among individuals with schizophrenia. Manpreet has presented posters at SFSU graduate showcase and Society for Research in Psychopathology and published a manuscript on her work comparing adolescents in different Indian schools. As a clinical research coordinator in the READI lab, Manpreet will be working on a R34 project that focuses on developing a novel Facebook-based intervention to treat tobacco use and heavy episodic drinking.


Oona earned a B.A. in Psychology from Mills College in Spring 2015 with a focus on research psychology. In Spring 2014, She started working in the Mills Laboratory of Psychology and Health, where she studied social relationships and health. She will presented a poster at APS in 2015 examining comorbid relationships between anxiety and substance use. Her main research interest is the epidemiology of substance abuse in adolescents and young adults, and she is also interested in the role that social relationships play in substance abuse. Oona also volunteers as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing music, traveling, and her favorite guilty pleasure is reading murder mysteries.

 

 

 


Richard graduated from UC Berkeley in Fall 2013 with a B.A. in Integrative Biology and is interested in pursuing a career in medicine. While attending UC Berkeley, he was deeply involved in serving underrepresented communities in the fields of education and health care. Intensive hours spent at Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland and his tutoring/mentoring at Berkeley High School and UC Berkeley revealed his will to connect and empower lives through science. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he was able to strengthen his ability to provide quality patient care by working at a fertility clinic in San Francisco and serving as a HIV counselor. As the Clinical Research Coordinator of this study, he hopes to combine his experiences to manage the overall day-to-day flow of recruiting and overseeing the participants in a compassionate and consistent manner.

 


Ella Corpuz graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Psychology in spring of 2012. During her undergraduate years she spent much of her time working as a childcare provider and volunteering with homeless communities in both education and health care. She recently joined the READI lab as a research assistant to further investigate her interest in the linkages between addiction, social relations, and individual mental health. Ella plans to one day attend medical school; for now, she enjoys traveling, running, snowboarding, and exploring the fine eateries of San Francisco.