Post Doctoral Research

The UMass Department of Psychiatry is committed to providing exciting and dynamic research opportunities to the next generation of innovators in psychiatry, psychology, and behavioral science. The department is home to a diverse, international team of early-career professionals who work toward honing their expertise under the guidance of their mentors. These post-doctoral researchers are integral to the vast array of research projects that are being conducted within the department, including:

  • Mindfulness-based interventions and wellness initiatives
  • Innovative clinical interventions for patients with first break psychosis
  • Trauma Studies
  • Addiction
  • Organizational change
  • Many others

Current Post-Docs

Kostova, ZlatinaZlatina Kostova, PhD is a third year Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. With a strikingly multidisciplinary and multicultural education obtained in Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland and the US, she has a strong background in clinical psychology and her main interests lie in the area of child and adolescent psychology and trauma studies. Dr. Kostova obtained her Masters degree in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Bologna in Italy, where she has been a licensed clinical psychologist since 2008. That Masters degree included a cross-cultural study on risky behaviors and protective factors among Bulgarian and Italian adolescent. Her connected interest in trauma was fostered during her doctoral study at the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, investigating the process of acceptance among patients with medical trauma (chronic pain) and their social support needs.

Dr. Kostova's post-doctoral appointment at UMass involves clinical training alongside work on several clinically-focused research projects. She is collaborating with the Child Trauma Training Center at UMass, working on a SAMHSA-funded project aimed at improving the identification of childhood trauma and to increase access to evidence based trauma treatment for at risk and underserved populations of local children and families. She is also involved in an NIH-funded project in the field of eMental Health, implementing an online tool aiming to increase the health literacy of people with severe mental illnesses. Her clinical work and training involved several rotations in inpatient and outpatient clinics, including the Adolescent Units at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital and the Outpatient Ambulatory Services at UMass.

The depth and diversity of Dr. Kostova's training has shaped her ability to understand and approach childhood trauma from multiple perspectives, including top-down (trauma-focused CBT, psychodynamic psychotherapy), and bottom-up (mindfulness-based) approaches. She is currently involved in certification programs in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for kids and adolescents (TF-CBT) and in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

Celine Larkin, PhD is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Emergency Medicine at UMass Medical School. She completed her PhD in Health Services Research at University College Cork, Ireland in 2013, focusing on self-harm presentations to emergency departments and associated risk factors for repetition. Dr Larkin was a senior researcher for four years at the National Suicide Research Foundation in Ireland and coordinated several research studies, including a cross-national implementation study of internet-based interventions for depression and a case-control study of suicide using psychological autopsy methods. In 2016, Celine joined UMass Medical School as a postdoctoral researcher in implementation science. She is supervised by Dr Ziedonis of the Department of Psychiatry and Dr Boudreaux of the Department of Emergency Medicine and works on several ongoing studies, including Open Dialogue and ED-SAFE 2.

Research Interests
Celine's research interests reflect the multidisciplinary nature of health services research. Her research topics of interest include innovative interventions and processes of care for depression, suicidality, and psychosis, as well as broader organizational change and implementation research. The methods she has applied include systematic reviewing, intervention evaluation, registry-based research, in-depth interviews, and qualitative analysis.

Nicholas Olendzki, PsyD earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at Baylor University and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of South Carolina's counseling center. His past work includes research and publication in the field of mindfulness and mind-body medicine, he is a contributing author to The Handbook of Medical and Psychological Hypnosis, and his dissertation involved the co-creation and implementation of a novel mindfulness intervention for stress and anxiety in college students.

Currently, he is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His duties include a variety of research projects in addition to his clinical work at Student Counseling Services and Ambulatory Psychiatry Services. Dr. Olendzki's research in the Department of Psychiatry includes pioneering projects such as the Mindful Physician Leadership Program and various studies involving Open Dialogue, which is an innovative approach to caring for individuals with psychosis. His professional interests include mindfulness, anxiety, trauma, and depression.