APF honors Kuhlman

  • Kate Kuhlman

Associate professor receives The John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant

The American Psychological Foundation and The John and Polly Sparks Foundation recently awarded an early career grant to Kate Ryan Kuhlman, a UCI associate professor of psychological science.

The John and Polly Sparks Early Career Grant for Psychologists Investigating Serious Emotional Disturbance supports early career psychologists conducting research in early intervention and treatment for SED in children. Such scientifically based research and programs could serve as models for broad-based applications across the country, according to the foundations.

Grant recipients, who receive up to $22,000, must be early career psychologists with a degree from an accredited university and no more than 10 years of postdoctoral experience.

Kuhlman, who joined the UCI faculty in 2017 as an assistant professor of what was then called psychology and social behavior, two years later received the Academy of Behavioral Medicine’s Early Stage Investigator Award and the UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science’s Junior Investigator of the Year Award.

Her research focuses on how childhood adversity confers risk for poor health outcomes throughout the lifespan, with a current interest in the neurobiological processes underlying depression in adolescence. She is the principal investigator at UCI’s Teen Resilience Lab, which aims to better understand adolescent risk and resilience to depression. (For the latest on lab projects and team members, follow @teenresilience on X.)

Kuhlman received the Sparks grant for her project “Mitigating depression among adversity-exposed adolescents using Positive Affect Therapy: A Pilot.”

“This award will allow us to launch the Teen Resilience Clinic, a pilot clinical trial aiming to better understand whether a novel positive affect-focused cognitive behavioral intervention can reduce risk for depression among adversity-exposed adolescents,” she explains.

— Matt Coker