Roxanne Rockwell, PhD
Director of Adolescent Services
Dr. Roxanne Rockwell is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the UC San Diego Adolescent Eating Disorders Service. She has experience in the treatment, evaluation and research of eating disorders and obesity since 1999. She was one of the founding members of the UCSD Eating Disorders Program in 2005, and has been integrally involved in its development and expansion. Dr. Rockwell played a primary role in devising and building the innovative individual and multi-family Intensive Family Therapy (IFT) programs and the adolescent and young adult day treatment and intensive outpatient programs. As a certified Family Based (i.e., “Maudsley”) Therapist, she served as the IFT program director for several years, and currently provides training and supervision in this modality for staff and faculty. She founded the UC San Diego Parent Advisory Council (PAC) in 2012 and continues to develop this important service. Dr. Rockwell graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, and completed pre-doctoral internship at Rady Children’s Outpatient Psychiatry which involved working with children and families dealing with various psychiatric illnesses. Her clinical and research work focuses primarily on eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder) and weight management issues. She serves as a LEAD Fellow and Diversity Champion for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UC San Diego.
Emily Gray, MD
Emily Gray M.D. is the medical director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCSD School of Medicine. She is board certified in adult and child/adolescent psychiatry and completed her undergraduate, medical school, and adult psychiatry residency training at the University of California, San Diego. She received specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/McLean Hospital and after graduating, became faculty at Harvard Medical School with an appointment at MGH where she specialized in the treatment of eating disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, and the overlap between psychiatric conditions and gastroenterology.
Venus Estepa-Morse, RN
Venus Estepa-Morse, Registered Nurse welcomed the opportunity to work for the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program in December 2012. Her career as an RN includes sub-acute care, travel medicine and experience with adult, adolescent and pediatric eating disorder patients in a partial hospitalization setting. At UCSD, she attends to the medical needs of the patients in the Pediatric Program along with assisting the physicians to coordinate care throughout the patient’s treatment process. Venus enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
Leslie Anderson, PhD
Director of Training, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Leslie Karwoski Anderson is a clinical associate professor, training director at UCSD Eating Disorders Center, DBT- Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™, and trainer for Behavioral Tech. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center. Before coming to UCSD, she held a clinical faculty appointment at the University of Washington, was a supervisor in Marsha Linehan's DBT training clinic, and was a staff psychologist at the DBT Center of Seattle. She currently oversees the training and clinical supervision of the UCSD EDC staff, and conducts individual, family and group therapy for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS. Her research interests are in treatment development, evaluation, and outcomes, especially with regards to adaptations of DBT and FBT, and she has published many journal articles and two books in this area (including the Clinical Handbook of Complex and Atypical Eating Disorders). She frequently gives talks and workshops on DBT, eating disorders, suicidality, and related topics in the community and at national conferences. She has served in several leadership roles within the Academy of Eating Disorders, and is the co-editor-in-chief of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention.
Sarah Archer, LMFT
Graduating from USD in 2005 with her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Sarah is a licensed clinician with over 15 years of experience in the treatment of Adolescents and Families. After completing her clinical training at Rady Children's Outpatient Psychiatry , Sarah transitioned to UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research in 2011, where she currently serves as Adolescent Program Manager. Sarah oversees all patient admissions, supervises MFT practicum students and interns and acts as liaison between San Diego Unified School District and patient's academic needs. In addition, due to her own experience as multi-sport athlete and recognizing the positive role Athletics can play in both a patient's identity and recovery, Sarah serves as Director of Athletic Programming and with colleagues created a evidence based protocol to safely return athletes to movement and sport.
Anne Clarkin, LCSW
Anne Clarkin is a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience in the treatment of eating disorders. Anne has been at UCSD Eating Disorders Program since 2009, working in the Adult Program, the Medical Behavioral Unit and now provides group therapy, FBT family therapy and clinical supervision in the Adolescent Day Treatment Program. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Psychology and received an MSW from San Diego State University. Anne has designed and directed inpatient and outpatient eating disorder programs in San Diego hospitals and has treated adults, adolescents and families dealing with eating disorders in private practice. Anne has also written a chapter on the treatment of eating disorders for Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, a nursing textbook.
Ana Ramirez, PhD
Dr. Ana Ramirez is a licensed psychologist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research and a program manager of the Adolescent Treatment Program. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Clinical Psychology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research. Her research experience includes the development of an eating disorder prevention program and her current research interests include treatment development, evaluation, and outcomes, and the adaptation of available treatments for culturally diverse patient populations. Dr. Ramirez has training in family-based treatment, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Her clinical experience includes treatment of eating disorders across the diagnostic spectrum and ages in inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Ramirez emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and is fully bilingual. Her passion is working to ensure that ethnic minorities have equal access to evidence-based treatments. Dr. Ramirez provides therapy to Spanish-speaking patients and their families within the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research.
Christina E. Wierenga, PhD
Associate Professor/Supervising Psychologist
Dr. Wierenga is an Associate Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego. She is an expert in the neurobiology of eating disorders, in particular related to the neural circuitry supporting cognition and behavior. She Co-Directs the Research Program at the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program, where she conducts neuroimaging and neuropsychological research examining the brain basis of disordered eating, with an emphasis on cognitive control, reward processing, and interoception. She is also heavily involved in treatment development efforts for eating disorders guided by a neurobiological understanding of behavior, as well as treatment outcome studies. She is a CA licensed Clinical Psychologist and supervises clinical trainees in the Adolescent Program and conducts neuropsychological assessments in both the Adolescent and Adult Programs. She serves as faculty in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and the UCSD Clinical Psychology APA approved Internship and is actively involved in training graduate students, pre-doctoral clinical interns, and post-doctoral fellows. She has been funded by the National Eating Disorders Association, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Christin Conkle, LMFT
Christin is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As one of the primary therapist and Clinical Supervisor's in the Adolescent Program she conducts family therapy, milieu therapy, and helps to manage the Multi-Family day on Saturday. Specific training is in Family Based Therapy-Anorexia (FBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Co-Occurring Disorders.
Cassandra Detgen, M.Ed.
Cassandra received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Miami University and a Masters of Education degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Kent State University. She has previous experience working with adults and adolescents in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient settings. Her role at UCSD includes working closely with the staff and patients throughout the treatment process. Outside of work, Cassandra enjoys traveling and being outdoors.
Carly Hadjeasgari, Psy.D.
Dr. Carly Hadjeasgari is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research in the adolescent program. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University, San Diego in 2017 and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Dr. Hadjeasgari has extensive eating disorder treatment experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and their families at all levels of care. She has been trained in the neurobiologically-mediated temperament of eating disorders as a pre-doctoral practicum student in the adolescent program of the UCSD Eating Disorders Center. Here she learned how to guide clinical interventions by helping her patients redirect their temperaments in more effective ways. Dr. Hadjeasgari’s clinical interest and practice has been primarily rooted in FBT, DBT, CBT, and exposure and response prevention for anxiety disorders. Her clinical and research interests are in the development of innovative treatments and prevention programs for eating disorders. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her puppy Rialto.
Alyssa Chimiklis, PhD
Dr. Alyssa Chimiklis is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research in the Adolescent Program. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York and completed her APA Accredited Pre-Doctoral Internship at MercyFirst, working with adolescent males within the juvenile justice system. Dr. Chimiklis has extensive experience utilizing evidence-based treatments for a range of mental health disorders including eating disorders, ADHD, and complex trauma across the life span. She is delighted to be joining the Adolescent Program to enhance her clinical training within the areas of DBT and FBT treating youth affected by a range of eating disorders. Dr. Chimiklis’ research interests include better understanding the neurobiology of eating disorders to develop more individualized treatment interventions for these youth. She is also interested in exploring how yoga/mindfulness interventions influence higher order executive functions, as well as emotion regulation. She participated in overseeing a two-year pilot study examining the efficacy of a yoga/mindfulness program in children with increased levels of inattention and emotion dysregulation. She earned her B.S. in Communication from Boston University and her M.A. in Psychology from Queens College. When she’s not at work, she enjoys exploring San Diego (as she is a former east-coaster) and spending time by the ocean.
Julie Melekian, LMFT
Julie Melekian is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with families and individuals in the adolescent eating disorder program and facilitating the Parent Training and DBT Multifamily groups. Julie graduated with her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego where she also previously received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She has been working at the UCSD treatment program since 2013 and has taken on various roles in the clinic including time spent on the adult and admissions teams. Julie is certified in the Kazdin Method of Parent Management Training and has participated in intensive training in both DBT and FBT. She has a diverse background working with adolescents and their families in a variety of settings, and her interests lie particularly in the areas of risk assessment, behavior modification, and contingency management. When not in the clinic, you can find Julie spending time at the beach with her family.
Natalie Heller, LMFT
Natalie has been working with the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program since July 2015. Natalie graduated with a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, where she previously received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Prior to becoming a milieu therapist, Natalie completed her practicum traineeship with the adolescent program at UCSD, providing individual and group therapy for teens struggling with eating disorders, self-injurious behaviors, and suicidality. Following her practicum year, Natalie spent time working as a therapist in UCSD’s adult program, where she had the opportunity to enhance her practice as a DBT therapist, both through individual and group therapy. Natalie ultimately returned to UCSD’s adolescent program due to her interest in working with families under the framework of Family Based Treatment (FBT). Since then, Natalie has spent recent years providing individual, family, and group therapy for teens and their family members. Additionally, Natalie created the body image group for the adolescent program, due to her interest in better understanding mechanisms of change in body image experiences and overall appearance satisfaction.
Salma Soliman, MSW
Salma is an Associate Social Worker in pursuit of her clinical license. Salma graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 with a BA in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy. Salma holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Salma began her clinical experience as a behavioral health counselor for adults providing life skills training. In 2011, Salma started her training in DBT and was an affiliate of an intensively trained team. Her clinical experience includes program development, counseling to probation and parole populations, and short term counseling and crisis intervention for at-risk adult populations. Salma currently works in the Adolescent Treatment program providing individual and group therapy.
Emily Whipple, BA
Emily received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She came to the program with experience treating eating disorder patients in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient settings. As a Milieu Therapist at UCSD, she works with the Adolescent Day Treatment program to assist with needs of the patients and their families, along with assisting the clinical staff to coordinate care throughout the patients' treatment.
Kathryn Woodward, MA AMFT
Kathryn, a native San Diegan, received her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego. Kathryn graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2013. She has taken on various roles within the clinic including completing her practicum training in the Adolescent program, and providing milieu management and individual and group therapy in both the Adolescent and Pediatric programs as a milieu therapist. She began her clinical experience working with children, adolescents and adults with chronic and severe mental illness in inpatient hospital settings in San Diego County. When Kathryn is not in the clinic, she is exploring San Diego with her friends and dog, Mochi.
Anna M. Karam, PhD
Dr. Anna Karam is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UC San Diego Health’s Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research (EDC). Dr. Karam received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2020. Her predoctoral clinical internship was comprised of rotations at Rady Children’s Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (i.e., an inpatient unit for the medical stabilization of eating disorders) as well as the EDC. Dr. Karam has received broad and comprehensive training in the evidence-based treatment of psychological disorders including eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders, with an emphasis in the areas of eating and weight-related disorders. Her research interests include examining predictors, moderators, and mechanisms of evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, as well as the best methods for dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments for eating disorders, with the ultimate goal to enhance and increase access to eating disorder care. Dr. Karam is passionate about combining her research and clinical interests in the area of eating disorders.
Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern
Rachel is a Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center and the Medical Behavioral Unit at Rady Children’s Hospital. Rachel received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Occidental College and Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from The University of Tulsa, where she continues to pursue her doctorate in the same field. Rachel is passionate about providing evidence-based treatment to individuals with eating/feeding disorders and associated comorbidities. In addition to dedicated training in this area, she has also received training in treating anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Rachel's research interests include exploring abnormal interoceptive processing in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, and examining the utility of interoceptive exposure in the treatment of eating disorders.
Michael is a graduate student in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Prior to coming to San Diego, Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology from UCLA and worked for the YMCA as an Assistant Director of Childcare. Michael has experience delivering CBT, DBT, FBT, and mindfulness based interventions to children, adolescents, and their families. Michael’s research interests include the development and dissemination of evidence-based interventions in pediatric populations, with a particular interest in health behavior change. In his free time, Michael enjoys going to the beach and exploring San Diego.
Ana is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego where she also previously received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in 2017. She began her clinical experience in 2018 working with youth and families as a case manager at Rady Children’s Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry. As a case manager Ana worked in collaborative care with primary physicians, schools, wraparound teams and other behavioral support specialists to provide continued support to children and families. While completing her practicum training in the adolescent program, Ana is interested in developing skills and training in Family DBT Skills Group as well as Adolescent Group Therapy.
Claire is originally from the Bay Area in Northern California and has been living in San Diego for 8 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from San Diego State University in 2017 and worked as a student teacher for 2 years before deciding she wanted to become an MFT. Claire is currently working toward receiving her Masters in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego while completing her practicum hours here in the Adolescent Treatment program. Within the treatment program she provides individual and group therapy. When Claire is not in the clinic, she enjoys going on hikes and reading at the beach.
Rebecca DeHamer, RD
Rebecca is a registered dietitian and is certified as an intuitive eating counselor, personal trainer, and strength coach. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from California State University, Chico and started her career working as an adolescent health, physical education teacher, and athletic director in Berkeley, California. Continued research brought her to San Diego State University where she earned her master’s degree in Nutritional Science. While at SDSU, she was the recipient of multiple awards, including a science scholarship from the Association for Women In Science in 2013 for research, and has since published multiple papers. While in graduate school, Rebecca worked in Public Health for UCSD, Nutrition Counseling for SDSU, and taught as an Adjunct Professor at Miramar College. She went on to complete a year-long dietetic internship at UCSD Medical Center and then accepted a position with our outpatient program.
Rebecca is a member of multiple local and national nutrition practice groups, and served on the 2015-2016 executive board of the San Diego chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has been in the field of athletics and movement for over a decade, and solely in the field of eating disorders since becoming a registered dietitian. With UCSD, she works as a primary PHP and IOP dietitian and as the sports dietitian for our adolescent athlete track.
Erin Reeves, RD
Erin Reeves is a Registered Dietitian who works in the Adolescent and Adult PHP and IOP programs. Erin began working in the field of eating disorders, while earning her Bachelors of Science degree at California State University Long Beach. After graduation, she completed a yearlong dietetic Internship which lead to the Registration Examination for Dietitians through Long Beach State and received her RD. She has experience in working with adolescents, adults and families and has worked at all levels of care including inpatient, partial, intensive outpatient as well as private practice. Erin really enjoys working with patients to work through food fears and not miss out on wonderful life experiences. After moving to San Diego in the Fall of 2013 she is really thrilled to be a part of the UCSD team and enjoying the SD life. She especially loves taking her two wiener dogs to the beach and going on outdoor adventures with her husband.