About Us

Who are we and what do we do?

The research in our lab acknowledges the importance of family and social support in promoting health and well-being in vulnerable children and young people. In particular the focus of our research is on young people with Neurodevelopmental Disorders such as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (also known as velo-cardio-facial syndrome), Williams syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and their families. We also investigate the Mental Health of Parents and the impact of mental health issues on child development. This research includes biological and foster carers with and without mental health issues.

To find out more about individual research projects that students in our lab are currently undertaking, click on the hyperlinks.

Director and Chief Investigator

Dr. Linda Campbell
Associate lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Newcastle.

I came to Australia in 2003 after my BSc (Hons) in Psychology at the University College London. I was in the process of finishing my PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London under the supervision of Professor Kieran Murphy, Professor Robin Murray and Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith. My PhD investigated the behavioural phenotype and structural brain anatomy of children and adolescents with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (Velo-cardio-facial syndrome) and Williams syndrome. I started my NHMRC and HMRI post-doc in the lab of Professor Ulrich Schall at the Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research at the University of Newcastle in 2006, continuing my work on 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and also learning new skills such as eyetracking. Since 2011, I am an Associate Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle.

Researchers

Dr. Kathryn McCabe
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Youth Mental Health, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney.

Kathryn was awarded her PhD this year (2013) from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Kathryn’s PhD investigated the development of a face processing remediation program for people with schizophrenia using visual scanpath technology under the supervision of Dr Carmel Loughland and A/Prof Mick Hunter. Kathryn completed a visiting fellowship at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, to conduct follow-up research with the children who participated in Linda’s PhD studies. Kathryn previously managed the Vision Laboratory at The Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health Research  (CTNMH), and is experienced with visual scanning, electrophysiology, cognitive and clinical assessment as well as running studies with clinical populations. Kathryn is currently responsible for the quality assurance of the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank. Kathryn’s main research interests include social cognition and visual processing, and exploring the basis of their impairment in different clinical populations.

Research assistants

Ms. Jessica Melville

Jessica completed a Bachelor Psychology at the University of Newcastle in 2012. Jessica works as a research assistant in the FIND lab at the Ourimbah campus and the Calvary Mater campus. In particular, Jessica is working on faciliating research projects on neurodevelopmental disorders such as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and  autism spectrum disorders, as well as research into parenting and mental illness. Jessica has experience in visual scanning/eye tracking.

Ms. Erin Forbes

Erin is currently in her Honours year of a B.Psychology degree at the University of Newcastle. Erin is a research assistant in the FIND lab based at the Calvary Mater Campus and the Ourimbah. Erin is currently working on research on structural brain anatomy in young adults with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome as well as studying the implications of having the syndrome and reaching adulthood for mental health.

PhD candidates

Ms. Brooke Sinderberry

Brooke completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle in 2009. She is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle. Brooke’s research is focused on investigating health care needs of children with the genetic microdeletion syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

 

Ms. Christy Jones

Christy completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle in 2010 and is now a Clinical PhD student in the School of Psychology. She started her PhD in 2011 under the supervision of Dr Linda Campbell, Dr Darren Burke and Associate Professor Carmel Loughland. Christy’s research is focused on investigating the relationship between face processing, reflective functioning, and infant outcomes in families affected by maternal post-natal depression.

Mr. Paul Strutt

Paul is an RHD student under the supervision of Dr Darren Burke and Dr Linda Campbell. Paul completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle in 2011, and began work on his postgraduate research in 2012. Paul’s research is exploring the relationship between emotion processing strategies and the development of general social skills and abilities. The aim of the project is to explore the differences in processing strategies that exist between the general population and those on the autism spectrum.  We hope that knowledge gained from this project will help further the development of social skills interventions in autism spectrum disorder.

Ms. Jane Goodwin

Jane completed her B. Psych (Hons.) at the University of Newcastle in 2012. She is currently working on research around the promotion of smoking cessation in mental health patients. Jane has recently completed her Honours research investigating the Diagnosis and Disclosure experience of parents who have children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Jane is currently undertaking a PhD under the supervison of Drs Linda Campbell and Tracy Dudding, and wishes to study resilience in families affected by chronic illness.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Homidi

Ahmed is a registered psychologist at the King Khalid University Hospital, King Saudi University, Saudi Arabia, where he completed a B.Psychology (Hons) in 1995.  In 2004, he completed a Master of Social sciences in Mental Health and Care from the Naif Arab University For Security Sciences; thesis titled: Effectiveness of a Behavioural Program on Developing Social Skills in Educatable Mentally Retarded Children. Ahmed is currently a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Newcastle, under the supervision of Dr Campbell and Associate Professor Mick Hunter,  and is undertaking a study investigating the cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of child maltreatment in Saudi Arabia.

Professional Doctorate Clinical Psychology

Ms. Melanie Stone

Melanie is a registered Psychologist who is currently doing her research investigating how having mental health problems such as psychosis affect the experience of being a parent. Melanie is supervised by Dr Campbell and Dr Stefania Paolini.

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Master of Clinical Psychology

Ms. Nisha Dhani

Nisha is a registered Psychologist. Nisha has just commenced her research investigating how people view sexuality, relationships and parenting for people with neurodevelopmental disorders. This research was initiated by Ms Madeleine Randall in 2011. Nisha is supervised by Dr Campbell and Dr Stefania Paolini.

Ms. Kristie Austin

Kristie is a student in the Masters of Clinical Psychology program. She commenced her research in 2013 under the supervision of Dr Campbell and Associate Professor Mick Hunter, and Kristie is particularly interested in how young adults with intellectual disabilities are dealing with reaching adulthood.

Ms. Sarah Baker

Sarah is a student in the Masters of Clinical Psychology program. She commenced her research in 2013 under the supervision of Dr Campbell and Mr Lee Averell, and Sarah is particularly interested in mindfulness as a mediator for stress and parenting relationship among foster carers, using a Mindfulness Based Parenting Program for Foster Carers program developed by Kylie Bear. Sarah is analysing pilot data collected by Kylie to evaluate the program. To view the Minful Parenting Program – treatment manual, click the following link: MPP Treatment Manual