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Child & Adolescent Faculty

Jody L. Brown, MD Clinical Associate Professor & Chief, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Jody L. Brown, MD
Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Division Chief and Associate Program Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Brown officially joined the Department of Psychiatry on January 2, 2015 as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has assumed the position of Program Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr. Brown is a Gainesville area native. He completed his undergraduate training here at UF and received his MD degree at the University of South Florida. He went on to complete both his General Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base/Wright State University (WPAFB/WSU) in Dayton, OH from 1999 – 2004. He was then stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (Shreveport, LA) before returning to WPAFB to serve as the U. S. Air Force Fellowship Training Director for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. During his tenure in the USAF, he also spent time serving his country at Keesler Air Force Base (Biloxi, MS) and was deployed to Afghanistan before separating in July of 2008.

As a civilian, Dr. Brown worked as a staff Child Psychiatrist at Halifax Behavioral Services in Daytona Beach for just under one year, before moving to Little Rock, Arkansas and joining the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) from 2009 – 2014 as an attending. He served as Medical Director for various child psychiatry clinics and was the Division Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry during the last 2.5 years at UAMS. He returned to Gainesville in May of 2014, at which time he worked as a staff Child and Adolescent psychiatrist at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare before joining us here at UF.


Regina Bussing, MD,  Chair and Professor

Chair and Professor

Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics

Dr. Bussing’s major clinical interests include comprehensive treatment approaches to disruptive disorders of childhood, combining pharmacotherapy, parent training, clinical group therapies, and school interventions. She enjoys treating the entire spectrum of child and adolescent disorders.

Of special clinical interest is the comprehensive outpatient treatment of disruptive disorders of childhood, combining evidence-based pharmacological and psychosocial therapies. She adapted an established parent group intervention for ADHD, combining it with a child social skills group, into an eight-week manual-based program. Another related project has been the development of a school-problem clinic in conjunction with our psychology services. This clinic provides multidisciplinary assessment of the various school problems children get referred for, with comprehensive treatment planning including medication regimens, behavioral interventions, and tutoring.


Richard D'Alli

Richard E. D’Alli, MD, MEd, ScM
Associate Professor

Associate Professor

A 1991 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Dr. D’Alli completed residency training in general psychiatry and fellowship training in child psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. For 13 years Dr. D’Alli took clinical and administrative leadership of the Division of Child Development and Behavioral Health in the Duke Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. D’Alli developed an Internet-based telepsychiatry service for special education students with learning, social, and emotional difficulties in self-contained Durham, North Carolina, public school therapeutic programs, providing weekly, interactive telehealth consultation to the children, school staff, and on-site child psychiatry trainees during the school year. In 2015 Dr. D’Alli joined the faculty of the University of Florida College Of Medicine, where he is playing an active role in the clinical, educational, and scholarly missions of the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, including program development in autism and developmental-behavioral pediatrics services.

Pediatric psychiatry is a mid-career change for Dr. D’Alli. After earning a bachelor of science in physics and a master of science education from the University of Florida in Gainesville, he taught physics, earth and general science, and coached football in a suburban Atlanta public high school. Later, he returned to graduate school at Brown University, participating as a member of NASA’s Mars Viking Lander Imaging team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1976 and completing a master of planetary geology in 1977. After working two years at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C, he was recruited by NASA to develop a summer enrichment short course for university faculty in planetary geology at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. A serendipitous guest appearance in 1979 on KPNX TV, the Phoenix NBC affiliate, evolved into a part time role as an on-air science reporter and two years later into a full time on-air science editor and back-up anchor on KAET TV, the PBS affiliate in Phoenix/Tempe. He also contributed to the PBS network’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. On February 23, 1983, D’Alli anchored the first, prime-time, network television live broadcast of open-heart surgery, originating from a Phoenix hospital and carried internationally via satellite on PBS. This and similar experiences in medical journalism persuaded him to become a physician.


Cindi Flores, PhD Assistant Professor

Cindi Flores, PhD
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Dr. Flores earned a doctoral degree from the University of Florida’s graduate training program in School Psychology. Her graduate and postgraduate training include clinical activities across a variety of settings including the hospital, school, community, and legal clinic.

After earning her doctorate, she worked as a Psychology Resident and Postdoctoral Associate for the Division of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UF Health where she acquired specialty training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Dr. Flores’ current clinical and research interests are focused on the evaluation and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Additionally, she has special expertise in the behavioral treatment of individuals who have comorbid Autism Spectrum and Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Flores also has clinical expertise with dual disorder patients as the Co-Director of Medical Psychology’s consultation-liaison service for Psychiatry’s Partial Hospitalization Program for Substance Use Disorders at the Florida Recovery Center (FRC). Dr. Flores serves as the Division of Medical Psychology’s Director of School Psychology for school aged children and adolescents, though her clinical and research interests range across the lifespan.



Sarah Frazier, M.D.

Meridian Behavioral Health Center

Dr. Frazier completed both her Adult Psychiatry residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Florida. She intermittently serves as the site supervisor for the Child Psychiatry fellows during their community mental health rotation. Dr. Frazier is a staunch patient advocate, working with large underserved populations. She has experience both with inpatient and outpatient Child Psychiatry and is a wonderful role model for the trainees. Her major focus is on mood and anxiety disorders, though she has worked with other populations, including disruptive behavior disorders and substance use/abuse.




Anyaliese D. Hancock-Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Anyaliese D. Hancock-Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Dr. Hancock-Smith is the director of the Inpatient Consultation-Liaison Service Program within the Division of Medical Psychology and Department of Psychiatry at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Hancock-Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Alcorn State University in Alcorn, Mississippi and received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She completed her APA-approved pre-doctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and received specialized training in child and family therapy. She then completed her postdoctoral residency and fellowship at the University of Florida in the Division of Medical Psychology and Department of Psychiatry where she further developed her expertise in child and family therapy and obtained specialized training in the treatment of OCD, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, as well as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Dr. Hancock-Smith’s graduate and postgraduate trainings occurred in a variety of settings, which included: medical centers, residential treatment programs, community mental health centers, university counseling centers, and private practice. All of her training experiences have strongly emphasized multiculturally-informed, evidenced-based practice.



Joseph McNamara

Joseph McNamara, PhD
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Associate Division Chief of Medical Psychology

Director of Online Education

Co-Director/Research Director, Division of Medical Psychology Clinic

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dr. McNamara’s training includes the completion of Ph.D. programs in both Counseling and Developmental Psychology, an Internship in Clinical and Health Psychology, and Psychology Residency in the Division of Medical Psychology at the University of Florida. Over the course of his training, he sought out an array of clinical experiences in a variety of settings such as counseling centers, psychiatric outpatient facilities, and hospitals. These training experiences provided him with a solid foundation for treating a variety of disorders from a cognitive behavioral perspective.

Moreover, Dr. McNamara has worked with patients across the lifespan, ranging from ages 4 to 83. He treats both children and adults and has received additional training in Exposure-Response Therapy (ERT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). He has also received training in the treatment of insomnia. Within the teaching domain, Dr. McNamara is qualified to teach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), therapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders, therapeutic treatment of depression, psychotherapy, supervision, and typical development.

Dr. McNamara conducts clinical research with patients as part of daily, biweekly, and weekly outpatient CBT for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, and other anxiety related disorders. His research interests are concerned with the development of executive functioning, the role sleep plays in executive functioning, and the impact of executive function and sleep on treatment outcome. Currently, Dr. McNamara’s research team has both graduate and undergraduate students working on a several different research projects.



Amber Muehlmann, PhD

Amber Muehlmann, PhD
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Dr. Muehlmann completed her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University, majoring in Psychology. She then attended the University of Florida for graduate studies. She received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience under the mentorship of Darragh Devine studying psychostimulant-induced repetitive behaviors, including self-injurious behavior. Her graduate work was funded by a research grant from the American Psychological Association and by fellowships from the National Alliance for Autism Research and the National Institutes of Health.

She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Mark Lewis, PhD at the University of Florida in 2013 with the support of another National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. During this training she integrated her experience in psychopharmacology with molecular techniques to investigate basal ganglia pathology and targeted treatments for repetitive behavior in outbred and inbred strains of mice. At this time she also completed a M.S. (2013) in Clinical and Translational Science. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and her work continues to focus on the role of basal ganglia circuitry dysfunction as it relates to maladaptive behaviors that are phenotypic for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.



Melanie Nelson, PhD Associate Professor

Melanie Nelson, PhD
Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Dr. Nelson earned her BA in Psychology and Mathematics at Illinois Wesleyan University and received her MA and PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She completed an APA-approved internship at Wayne State University working with children and families in setting such as an inpatient psychiatric hospital, an outpatient clinic, and hospital-based medical clinics. She then completed a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida (UF) in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology focusing on treatment outcome research. Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), where she specialized in clinical practice, training, and research in disruptive behavior disorders and autism spectrum disorders from 2005-2012, before returning to Florida and joining the UF faculty.

Dr. Nelson directs the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) program in the Division of Medical Psychology. PCIT is an empirically supported therapy designed for young children who are displaying disruptive behavior that was developed by Dr. Sheila Eyberg, UF Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Dr. Nelson is a certified Master Trainer in PCIT and supervises PCIT training and treatment in the division. She is also developing a research program to add to the evidence base that supports PCIT. Clinically, she specializes in working with young children with a wide range of concerns (including disruptive behavior, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and their families.



Brian Olsen, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Olsen completed his doctoral degree in the clinical psychology program at the University of Cincinnati. He came to the University of Florida to complete his internship in the department of Clinical and Health Psychology. During his clinical training, Dr. Olsen specialized in working with patients with chronic medical conditions and their families across a variety of settings including pediatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, and schools. He then continued his training as a Psychology Resident and Postdoctoral Associate for the Division of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UF Health where gained specialty training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Dr. Olsen regularly supervises and teaches child fellows.

Dr. Olsen’s primary research focus is geared toward understanding how individual, peer, and familial perceptions impact children’s coping strategies and treatment adherence. Dr. Olsen is part of a mentorship team from a multi-site training grant which focuses on developing future clinicians and researchers in the field of mental health care in Diabetes. He is currently conducting research assessing the impact of parenting styles and online health information seeking on health outcomes among children with Type I Diabetes. He is also part of a team examining treatment outcomes for children with OCD.


Mariam Rahmani, MD

Mariam Rahmani, MD Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Program Training Director

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr. Rahmani has a multicultural background. She was born in Kuwait. She has lived in Kuwait, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, and moved to the US for college. She completed her undergraduate education in Environmental Engineering at the University of Central Florida. She completed her medical education, residency in General Psychiatry, and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Florida. She is board certified in both General Psychiatry and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Her clinical interests include child and adolescent depression and anxiety disorders, and treatment with Interpersonal, Psychodynamic, and Cognitive-Behavioral therapies as well as psychopharmacology. She has presented research at local and national meetings. She serves on the Women’s Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), multiple committees of the Florida Psychiatric Society, and on the executive board of North and Central Florida chapter of ROCAP (regional organization of child and adolescent psychiatry).

Dr. Rahmani is committed to advocating for mental health and serving the community. She provides psychiatric services to children in the foster care system through the Camelot Community Care (formerly Florida Mentor) clinic and is a regular volunteer provider at the local Helping Hands Clinic for Gainesville’s indigent population. She is passionate about education, whether it be undergraduate students, medical students, psychiatry residents, and child psychiatry fellows. As the Training Director, she is responsible for curriculum development for the Child Psychiatry Fellowship Program and for the Child Psychiatry lecture series provided to residents in UF’s General Psychiatry program. She has worked closely with colleagues to develop new and innovative learning opportunities for the Fellowship, and works tirelessly with the rest of the divisional faculty to ensure that our training program meets all ACGME standards and provides a comprehensive and nourishing experience to all our trainees.


Lalita Ramnaraine, MD

Lalita Ramnaraine, MD

Meridian Behavioral Health Center

Dr. Ramnaraine was born and raised in NYC. She completed her undergraduate training and first two years of medical school through the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education located on the CUNY campus in Manhattan, NY. She completed the remaining years of medical school at SUNY Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn NY, earning her Medical Degree (MD). Dr. Ramnaraine then migrated to Gainesville, FL, where she completed her Adult Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Florida. She is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Board Eligible for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Her clinical interests include child and adolescent depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD.. She also has experiencing with treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and disruptive behavior disorders. She uses a variety of treatment modalities including Interpersonal psychotherapy, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, Parent Management Training, and psychopharmacology.

Dr. Ramnaraine serves as the site supervisor for the Child Psychiatry fellows during their community mental health rotation at Meridian Behavioral Health Center, which allows for experience with treating under-served populations.



Michael Shapiro, MD

Michael Shapiro, MD Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Clinic Director, Child Psychiatry Clinic at Springhill Health Center

Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, UF Health Psychiatric Hospital

Compliance Officer, UF Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Shapiro completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Florida in 2013. He also completed Adult Psychiatry residency, medical school, and undergraduate training at UF.

He was named a Child PRITE Fellow from 2011-2013 and currently is a member of the PRITE Editorial Board. Dr. Shapiro was the recipient of the 2014 AACAP Rieger Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award and is a current Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Shapiro’s main interests include adolescent mental health, particularly in treating mood and anxiety disorders; he employs various modalities of individual and family therapy to improve communication and overall emotional well-being. Dr. Shapiro also has experience in treating ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorders.

Dr. Shapiro previously served as the site supervisor for Child Psychiatry at Family Preservations Services in Gainesville as well as the Alachua and Marion County Juvenile Detention Centers. In 2014, he was appointed the Medical Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at UF Health Psychiatric Hospital.


Dr. Daniel Tucker

Daniel Tucker, M.D.

Associate Professor

Director of Child Community Outreach in Vero Beach

As Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at his medical alma mater, he asserts a wealth of experience in general Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at all levels of the continuum of care, and brings his dedicated mission of keeping the best of “old” Psychiatry (talking and listening) to the best of “new” Psychiatry (modern diagnostics, psychopharmacology, inter-disciplinary collaboration, historic-socio-anthropologic perspectives, and a pragmatic, non-dogmatic approach) to treating children, adolescents, and their families.

His current research interests include post-infectious, immunologic aspects of Psychiatry, neuroimaging, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s disorder, ADHD, and the Autism Spectrum Disorders. In his commitment to teaching the next generation of psychiatrists and nurturing in them the truest flame of his accumulated expertise, he brings dedication to leaving no effort unspent helping his patients.