Who We Are

Methodology & Measurement Group

Who We Are

Prudence Fisher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work (in Psychiatry)

Prudence Fisher, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatric Social Work (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University and a research scientist at NYSPI. Dr. Fisher’s main research focus is on the development and testing of assessment measures for children and adolescents. She is widely acknowledged in the field as someone who is knowledgeable about assessment issues and actively collaborates with investigators at Columbia and many other institutions and consults with federal and state agencies. Dr. Fisher has been instrumental in the development of numerous versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC), the most widely used diagnostic interview for youth, and of many other widely used measures, including the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), the Columbia Impairment Scale, and the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). Dr. Fisher is principal investigator on a CDC–funded project to update the DISC for DSM-5 and on a effort funded by the NVLD Project to prepare an application to include NVLD in the future DSM updates. She is co-principal investigator on a protocol to develop, manualize, and test an equine-assisted therapy protocol for veterans with PTSD in collaboration with Yuval Neria, Ph.D., of the Veterans Center and the Anxiety Disorder Program, and works with the Global Mental Health Program to advise the WHO ICD-11 workgroup on implementation issues for the field studies, and she will co-lead one of these studies. She has developed an instrument to assess adverse events from psychotropic medications in adolescents (this is currently being written up) and consults with the PROMISE Program around methodological and measurement issues. Dr. Fisher provides open-door consultation around assessment and measurement issues to faculty and trainees, co-teaches the “Introduction to Research and Statistics” course to second-year CAP residents, and oversees their research electives.

J. Blake Turner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Social Science (in Psychiatry)

J. Blake Turner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Social Science (in Psychiatry) in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Turner has extensive research interests within both child and adolescent psychiatry and within social epidemiology. In child psychiatry, a major emphasis of his work has been the phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. He has held an R01 from the National Institute of Mental Health to examine alternative definitions of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. In concert with this project, he served as an advisor to the DSM-5 workgroups for child and adolescent disorders and ADHD and disruptive disorders. More recently, he has been researching trajectories of neurodevelopmental disorders in a low-birth-weight/pre-term cohort. He has also examined phenotypic variation in ASD children in this same cohort, as well as in the Simons Simplex data set.

In social epidemiology, he has published extensively on the physical and mental health effects of social stressors, on measurement issues in the assessment of stress over the life course, and on PTSD and other psychiatric sequelae of exposure to combat in military veterans.

Dr. Turner has considerable expertise in research methods and quantitative data analysis. A portion of his current position involves serving as an “in-house” consulting methodologist for the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and he regularly mentors junior faculty and research fellows in this capacity.  He currently co-teaches a research-methods course to second-year CAP residents.

Jazmin A. Reyes-Portillo, Ph.D.

Jazmin A. Reyes-Portillo, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Dr. Jazmin Reyes-Portillo is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Reyes-Portillo obtained her BA in psychology from Wellesley College and her PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. After completing her predoctoral internship at Columbia University Medical Center (Child Track), Dr. Reyes-Portillo was awarded the Sallie Foundation Child and Adolescent Mental Health Technology Program Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University. This fellowship provided research opportunities in the emerging field of using digital technology to improve outcomes for depressed, anxious, and suicidal youth.

Dr. Reyes-Portillo’s program of research focuses on the use of digital health technology to reduce health disparities among racial/ethnic minority youth suffering from depression and suicidality. She is specifically interested in using digital health technology to increase youth engagement in mental health treatment and increase the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices in school and community settings. Dr. Reyes-Portillo is also interested in applying multilevel modeling techniques to examine mediators and moderators of treatment.

Hillary Litwin

Hillary Litwin, MA

Research Assistant

Hillary Litwin, MA, has joined the Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD) Project as a research assistant, working with Dr. Prudence Fisher. Hillary received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the New School and New School for Social Research, respectively. Her research interests include psychiatric nosology, psychometrics and assessment measures, the treatment of trauma-related psychopathology, and psychotherapy process and outcome. Hillary hopes to pursue doctoral studies and become a clinical psychologist who conducts research, teaches, and practices psychotherapy.