Who We Are

Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety & Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Manhattan

Who We Are

Anne M. Albano
Clinic Director, CUCARD
Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC
(212) 342-3800

Dr. Anne Marie Albano is a Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University and director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Manhattan. She received her PhD from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Albano is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a Beck Institute Scholar, and is board certified in clinical child and adolescent psychology. In 2008, Dr. Albano received the Rosenberry Award for service to children, adolescents, and families from the University of Colorado at Denver. Dr. Albano is past-president of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology of the American Psychological Association and also past-president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She is past-editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Practice and an associate editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. She has published more than 90 articles and chapters and is the co-author of several cognitive behavioral treatment manuals and of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children, all published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Albano served as a principal investigator (PI) of a six-site, National Institute of Mental Health–sponsored study entitled "Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Treatment Study" (CAMS) and was also PI for the "Treatments for Adolescents with Depression Study" (TADS). Both trials examined the relative efficacy of CBT, medication, combination treatment, and pill placebo in youth. Her book with Leslie Pepper, Helping Your Anxious Child: Free Your Child from Fears and Worries and Create a Joyful Family Life, was the 2014 Self-Help Book Award winner from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and received a 2014 Seal of Merit from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

E. Blake Zakarin
Associate Clinical Director, CUCARD
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry ) at CUMC

Dr. E. Blake Zakarin is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) within the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and associate clinical director at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Dr. Zakarin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in psychology and received her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from Catholic University. She completed a predoctoral internship in clinical child and pediatric psychology at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where she went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric behavioral pain medicine.

Dr. Zakarin specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and sleep difficulties, and parenting interventions associated with the treatment of pediatric anxiety and related disorders. Through her extensive training in multidisciplinary medical settings, Dr. Zakarin has also developed expertise and interest in evidence-based interventions for anxiety management and improved functioning in the context of somatic symptoms, chronic pain, and medical presentations. She provides individual, group and family therapy, parent training, and school consultations.

Dr. Zakarin has provided clinical services in a number of treatment facilities, including the Eating Disorders Research Unit at Columbia University Medical Center, the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program and Sleep Medicine Clinic at Children's National Medical Center, the Kellar Center's Attention and Learning Disorders Service within the Inova Health System of Virginia, and the Psychiatric Institute of Washington.

Dr. Zakarin's research is focused on understanding and treating factors that contribute to pediatric anxiety and mood symptoms from a developmental psychopathology perspective, including examining the role of parenting, sleep-wake processes, eating behaviors, and chronic pain. She has given presentations related to this research at professional conferences, including the Society for Research on Child Development and the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Dr. Zakarin is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Nitasha Shetty
Psychiatrist
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Nitasha Shetty, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She also serves as a staff psychiatrist in the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Manhattan at Columbus Circle. Dr. Shetty specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, mood disorders, and posttraumatic-stress disorder across the lifespan. Her clinical interests include providing evidence-based trauma-informed care to children and families, providing culturally sensitive treatment to individuals from varied backgrounds, and collaborating to provide mental health treatment of individuals coping with chronic medical conditions.

Dr. Shetty received her BA from Columbia University and her MD from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Her psychiatry residency training was completed at Yale University, where she subsequently worked as a clinical faculty member before completing her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia and Cornell Medical Centers). Dr. Shetty has received specialized training in a number of empirically supported treatments, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive-processing therapy for PTSD, alternatives for families CBT, CBT for anxiety and depression, psychodynamic psychotherapy, as well as training in the assessment of autism spectrum disorders.

Sarah Frankel
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Sarah Frankel, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) within the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and a licensed clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD).

Dr. Frankel graduated magna cum laude with her BA from Amherst College, where she majored in psychology. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University and completed a predoctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Frankel also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the CARES Institute of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She then went on to complete a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Frankel specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children, adolescents, and young adults coping with mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Frankel has particular expertise in treating individuals and families who have experienced trauma, and has trained with the developers of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). She also specializes in the treatment of depression in adolescents and young adults. Dr. Frankel provides individual and group therapy, and works closely with parents, providing interventions for supporting children's coping and managing behavioral challenges.

Dr. Frankel's research focuses on adapting cognitive behavioral interventions for children and adolescents based on their individual cognitive, social, and emotional development. Her work has been published in journals such as the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. She has also presented at national conferences, such as the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Society for Research on Child Development.

Dr. Frankel is particularly passionate about training other clinicians to effectively use cognitive behavioral therapy with their clients. To this end, Dr. Frankel has provided trainings focused on using CBT in particular settings, including outpatient community mental health clinics, school-based services, and inpatient hospitals. In addition, she has provided supervision to clinicians at various stages of career development.

Vasco Lopes
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC

Vasco Lopes, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist with a specialty in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behaviors, aggression, severe temper tantrums, and emotional dysregulation. He has experience treating children through various modes of intervention including parent management training, teacher behavioral consultation, and cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Lopes typically treats children with a multi-modal approach—focusing on giving parents and teachers the tools needed to help their children thrive and giving children the coping skills needed to best manage their behavior and emotions.

Dr. Lopes earned his doctorate in school psychology from St. John's University in 2011 and completed an APA–approved predoctoral internship at Andrus, a day and residential treatment center for children with severe emotional disturbances. Dr. Lopes was part of a team charged with developing and leading the first school-wide positive-behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) program at Andrus. Dr. Lopes went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship in the Pediatric Emotion Regulation Laboratory (PERL) at Fordham University, where he developed a specialization in diagnosing and treating children with severe emotional dysregulation.

Most recently, Dr. Lopes has served as a staff psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, in their ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorder Center. Dr. Lopes specialized in evidence-based treatments for disruptive behavior disorder and severe emotional dysregulation, including parent management training (PMT), parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), and cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Lopes also developed a long-term collaboration with schools in the community, including Harlem Village Academy, and used evidence-based treatments to train teachers how to manage disruptive classroom behavior in at-risk students.

Dr. Lopes has co-authored several publications on topics related to child psychopathology, including a leading article in the American Journal of Psychiatry on a new child psychiatric disorder—disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. He has also published a research article on ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and a book chapter on pediatric social phobia. Dr. Lopes has also presented to various professional and parent groups on topics related to childhood ADHD, disruptive behaviors, emotional dysregulation, and parenting behaviors, and has made several media appearances, including HuffPost Live, ABC Eyewitness News, and the Katie Couric Show.

Ali Mattu
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC

Ali Mattu, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). Dr. Mattu specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders and body-focused repetitive behaviors such as trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) and excoriation (skin-picking disorder). Dr. Mattu also serves as a coordinator of the Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP) at CUCARD.

Dr. Mattu received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in psychology and minored in Asian American studies. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He completed a doctoral internship at the Bellevue Hospital Center and a postdoctoral fellowship at the NYU Child Study Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Mattu also completed training programs at the DC Department of Behavioral Health's Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Georgetown University's Counseling and Psychiatric Service, and the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington.

Throughout his career, Dr. Mattu has served in a variety of leadership roles in psychology. He is currently a member of the American Psychological Association's Council of Representatives Leadership Team and is part of the Translational Issues in Psychological Science's Editorial Board. Previously, Dr. Mattu served on the American Psychological Association's Policy and Planning Board, the Executive Board of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association, was the chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, was a member of the American Psychological Association Good Governance Project task force, was appointed to the New York State Psychological Association's Executive Committee, and worked on multiple Society for the Teaching of Psychology task forces.

Dr. Mattu is also passionate about destigmatizing mental health and translating psychological science into practical applications. His work has appeared in several popular press websites, and he is the founder of an award-winning blog, a regular presenter at conventions celebrating the popular arts, and hosts The Psych Show on YouTube.

Lauren Hoffman, Psy.D.

Lauren Hoffman, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist
Instructor in Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Lauren Hoffman, PsyD, is an Instructor in Medical Psychology at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Hoffman received her BA with honors in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. Dr. Hoffman completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the NYU Child Study Center and Bellevue Hospital Center, where she worked in outpatient, emergency-department, partial-hospital, and inpatient settings.

Dr. Hoffman specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. She also has clinical expertise in family and school-based interventions for youth with disruptive behavior disorders, as well as extensive clinical training in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) for adolescent emotion dysregulation and nonsuicidal self-injury. Dr. Hoffman’s research has examined parent-child agreement on treatment goals, the relationship between bullying and emotional distress, and the development of novel assessments and interventions for bullied youth. Her current research interests also include the use of novel technology, such as virtual reality, to improve access to care for youth and young adults with anxiety.

Dr. Hoffman has published her work in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored several book chapters, and presented at national psychology conferences. She is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the American Psychological Association.

Alyssa Bernstein

Alyssa Bernstein, LMSW

Social Worker/ Program Coordinator

Alyssa Bernstein, LMSW is a licensed social worker at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD). She received her BA in Sociology and Psychology as well as her Masters in Social Work at the University of Georgia. Alyssa has experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults in clinical and administrative roles. 

Alyssa specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders. She is the current program coordinator and oversees the intake services at CUCARD. She has a specific interest in working with children and their families through an evidence-based, culturally sensitive treatment approach. Alyssa is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is passionate about providing clinically informed programming for communities. 

Steve Mazza

Steve Mazza, PhD

Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow

Steve Mazza, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at CUCARD Manhattan. Dr. Mazza received his BS with honors in elementary education from Skidmore College. He received his MA in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Hofstra University. Dr. Mazza completed his predoctoral clinical internship at the NYU Child Study Center and Bellevue Hospital Center, where he worked in outpatient, inpatient, and emergency department settings. Dr. Mazza specializes in applying cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. He is also certified in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), a gold-standard treatment for disruptive behavior during childhood. Dr. Mazza’s research has focused on the creation and implementation of the Brave START program, a PCIT-informed treatment protocol for children who exhibit both anxiety and oppositionality.

Eleonora Guzmán

Eleonora Guzmán, MPhil

Clinical Psychology Extern

Eleonora Guzmán, MPhil, is a clinical psychology extern at CUCARD Manhattan. She received her BS from the University of Virginia, where she double-majored in psychology and commerce. Subsequently, she pursued a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge. Eleonora is currently a fourth-year PhD student in clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she has gained experience in a number of empirically supported psychotherapies. Her clinical interests include providing evidence-based, culturally sensitive care for youth and families. Her research interests include examining risk factors for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in youth, as well as the influence of contextual factors (e.g., social, cultural, economic) on mental health outcomes.

Schuyler Fox

Schuyler Fox, BA

Project Coordinator

Schuyler Fox, BA, is a project coordinator working with Dr. Anne Marie Albano at CUCARD Manhattan. Schuyler graduated from Pomona College in 2017, where she studied psychology. Schuyler is coordinating groups at CUCARD and assisting with virtual-reality research, as well as finalizing the Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP) manual. Schuyler was previously a CUCARD scholar during the summers of 2014 and 2015.

Jacqueline Graham

Jacqueline Graham, BA

Practice Manager

Jacqueline Graham is the practice manager at CUCARD Manhattan, overseeing the daily operations of the clinic. Prior to joining CUCARD, Jacqueline was the practice assistant to the chairman of otolaryngology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Jacqueline received her bachelor’s degree in child and family development and has over fifteen years of experience in medical and billing fields. Jacqueline brings both knowledge and professionalism to her work and strives to provide excellent customer service.

Alaina Feliciano

Alaina Feliciano, BA

Medical Secretary

Alaina Feliciano, BA, is the medical secretary at CUCARD Manhattan, overseeing day-to-day tasks in clinic services. Alaina has extensive experience in the medical clinics of Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) during the past three years. Prior to arriving, she was a receptionist at the CUMC Radiology Department, along with assisting multiple entities such as the Neurological Institute, CAPNA, and Endocrinology. Alaina received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, minoring in childhood education. She is passionate about providing efficient and attentive care services. Alaina runs CUCARD’s front office, working closely with the practice managers.