Dr. Susan T. Tran, Research Director

Dr. Tran completed her graduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her internship and fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Tran’s research, teaching, and clinical interests are in pediatric psychology. Specifically, her research focuses on the relationships between biological and psychosocial determinants of health in children and adolescents.  Current projects focus on physical, academic, social, and emotional functioning in youth with pediatric chronic pain, the effects of stress on pain, and barriers to behavioral health interventions.

Dr. Tran is accepting applications for graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Anjana Jagpal, 3rd year Doctoral Student

Clinical Child Track



Research Gate Profile 

Anjana received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University.  During her undergraduate career Anjana was involved in research focusing on health related quality of life of breast cancer survivors.  Following graduation, she spent a few years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital coordinating a study aimed to provide a systematic tailored approach to treatment for patients with Functional Abdominal Pain (FAP) and anxiety within the context of multidisciplinary care.  Anjana’s primary interests lie in understanding the intersection between pediatric pain and children with a history of trauma.  She is passionate about developing an intervention specifically tailored toward this population with hopes of reaching children typically underserved by psychological resources.

Marissa Koven, 2nd year Doctoral Student

Clinical Child Track



Marissa received her BA in Psychology from Emory University. After graduating, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There she worked with families and children on a variety of studies aimed at advancing the understanding of IBD in order to improve treatment. Marissa’s research interests focus on understanding the impact of pediatric chronic medical illness across physical, mental health, academic and social domains. She is passionate about fostering resiliency and improving coping among children and their families. Marissa is currently working on her Master’s Thesis which will center on what life is like for children and their parents impacted by hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Julia Golden, 4th year Undergraduate

Research Assistant

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Julia is an undergraduate research assistant, majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development, and minoring in American Politics. Her research interests include pediatric chronic illness and chronic pain, in particular how both can impact the quality of life and mental health of children, adolescents, and their caregivers. She is currently writing her Honors Thesis about her own experiences with Crohn’s Disease, as well as conducting her own research on the relationships between age at IBD diagnosis, social support, coping, anxiety, and depression.

Monica Estrada, 3rd year Undergraduate

Research Assistant

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Monica is an undergraduate research assistant, majoring in Psychology. She is currently working on the hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome project and is particularly interested in the relationship between parent and family factors, parent and child pain catastrophizing, parental pain stages of change, and protective parenting responses.

Cristina Candel, 3rd year Undergraduate

Research Assistant

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Cristina is a junior at DePaul majoring in Psychology and has a minor in English. She is new to the Pediatric CHILL Lab and is very excited to further her research experience and apply gained knowledge and skills to her graduate and professional careers! In the future, she would like to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

CHILL Lab Alumni 

Ana B. Goya Arce, Doctoral Candidate

Clinical Child Track


ResearchGate profile

Ana received her BA from Cornell University and MA from DePaul University.  Ana is passionate about supporting children and adolescents with chronic illnesses.  She has several years of experience working with children and adolescents of diverse backgrounds experiencing a range of mental and behavioral health needs including asthma, diabetes, pediatric cancers, anxiety, mood disorders, and treatment noncompliance.

Clinical interests:
  • Better understanding the relationship between the immune system and psychological states
  • The effect that culture has on the presentation, coping, and management of illness and pain
  •  Adaptation of treatments for anxiety and depression to better serve diverse cultural groups

Carolyn Turek, Doctoral Candidate

Clinical Child Track



Carolyn received her BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. Carolyn’s primary research interests lie within pediatric psychology and she enjoyed exploring this field as part of the CHILL Lab. She most enjoys working directly with families to better understand health behaviors and coping with chronic illness, and to promote positive health behaviors. Carolyn’s current research is focused on the ways chronic illnesses impact the lives of children, teens, and their families as young people transition to adulthood. Her most recent work examines the the ways families manage a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and subsequent diabetes care.

Ashley Castro, Doctoral Candidate

Clinical Child Track

Ashley received her BA in Psychology and Anthropology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduating, she spent several years contributing to a variety of research projects, most notably at the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development at NYU Langone Medical Center. There, she worked on a longitudinal, school-based study examining cultural and contextual factors impacting the mental health and academic achievement of preschool-aged Latino children. Her research interests are vast and varied, but generally lie at the intersection of culture and mental health, with a special focus on internalizing disorders in children and adolescents. Currently, she is working on a study exploring how family values and control beliefs may contribute to resilience against depression for Latino youth experiencing financial stress.