Dr. April Thames is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Director of the Center for Culture Trauma and Mental Health Disparities at the University of California Los Angeles. She attended Cerritos College from 1997-2000 and received her Associate Arts Degree with a major in Psychology. While at Cerritos College, she received outstanding mentoring from Dr. Kimberley Duff as well as a number of academic honors, including induction into the national Psi-Beta honors society. She attended her first scientific conference in 2000 at the annual Western Psychological Association conference to present research finding from a summer research project directed by Dr. Duff. Dr. Thames’ research experience at Cerritos led to her acceptance in the Career Opportunities in Research program at Cal State University Long Beach. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and continued on to pursue her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University/CSPP (Ph.D. awarded 2009). After receiving her doctorate degree, she completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at UCLA. Now as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Thames is the Principal Investigator of several National Institute of Health (NIH) grant-supported projects, and has developed a translational neuroscience research program that focuses on the impact of chronic disease, socioeconomic disadvantage, and adversity on neurological, cognitive, and mental health outcomes. Her recent work, in collaboration with her former community college professor and mentor, Dr. Duff, has also examined psychosocial factors that obscure the validity of neuropsychological test performance among underrepresented ethnic/racial minority groups. She also directs UCLA’s Neuropsychology of Medical Illness practicum, an externship program for doctoral students in clinical psychology, and oversees the clinical and research training in neuromedical illness. She is also a primary internship advisor and clinical supervisor at UCLA’s Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC). She is actively involved in national professional organizations in her role as Member at Large for the American Psychological Association’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, and former role as past Chair of SCN’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMA). As a first generation college student and ethnic/racial minority, she is committed to increasing the pipeline of opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
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