Christopher G Beevers
— Ph.D., University of Miami
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (512) 232-3706
- Office: CLA 4.528
- Campus Mail Code: E9000
Christopher Beevers received his doctorate in adult clinical psychology from the University of Miami in 2002. His clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship were completed in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Beevers' primary research interest focuses on the cognitive etiology and treatment of major unipolar depression. He believes that understanding normal cognitive processes provides an important foundation for identifying how these processes go awry in clinical depression. Further, he is very interested in using experimental psychopathology methods to understand why treatments work and translating these same methods into effective interventions for depression and related psychopathology (e.g., anhedonia, negative affect). Dr. Beevers is particularly interested in the interplay between biology (e.g., variants of the serotonin transporter gene) and cognitive risk and maintaining factors for depression. Current project utilize behavioral, eye tracking, and EEG methodologies to measure cognitive bias combined with smart phone methods to measure negative affect in its natural environment. He collaborates with numerous faculty at UT, nationally, and internationally.
See Google Scholar profile for more information.
Dr. Beevers plans to admit a clinical doctoral student into his laboratory for Fall of 2015. See Info for Prospective Students for further detail.
My laboratory conducts translational research on the etiology and treatment of depression. We are particularly interested in the intersection between cognitive models of depression, genetics, and neuroscience. The Mood Disorders Lab focuses primarily on the collection of phenotypic data, such as cognitive vulnerability to depression, measured with a variety of different approaches. Central techniques include behavioral reaction time tasks and psychophysiology, including eye-tracking and more recently electroencephalography. In close collaboration with geneticists, we are then able to explore the genetic underpinnings of vulnerability to depression and its correlates. We are particularly interested in whole genome approaches and epigenetics.
We have numerous ongoing projects within the lab. Here is a current sampling of projects:
- We are conducting a therapygenetics study, which examines whether genetic variation can predict response to internet delivered psychotherapy. This project is funded by the Brain and Behavior Foundation and is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Brown University (J. McGeary).
- We are exploring different approaches to cognitive training, in an effort to reverse the cognitive biases that are believed to maintain the disorder. This work falls under the category of Cognitive Bias Modification. This is an exciting new area of research that promises to merge basic psychopathology research with treatment development.
- We are also conducting research that examines decision making in healthy and depressed individuals. This work is in collaboration with Todd Maddox and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Info for Prospective Students
Frequently Asked Questions
Will you be taking a graduate student into your lab this year?
I do plan to admit a graduate student in the Fall of 2015. This is pending budgetary approval, which has not been finalized yet.
What makes a good grad student?
First and foremost, good graduate students are passionate about their work. This is important because the research process can take a long time from start to finish, there is often not much positive reinforcement along the way, and it can be easy to get distracted. Passion for what they do helps sustain students through this process. Good students are also highly motivated to succeed and willing to work very hard. Being smart, curious, a good writer, and having good quantitative skills also helps.
What are your top tips for students interested in applying to a psychology graduate program?
- Fit between your research interests and those of the advisor you are applying to work with is probably the most important aspect of your application. Not just in terms of your stated interests, but also in terms of your experiences. For instance, if someone is interested in studying alcohol disorders in graduate school, the most competitive students often have worked in an alcohol research laboratory as an undergraduate.
- I would also recommend doing as well as possible on the GREs, particularly the verbal section. This is one of the few ways faculty can compare students across a level playing field.
- Remember that most people do not get into graduate school the first time they apply. Our doctoral program in clinical psychology only accepts 3-5 students from approximately 350 applications every year.
- I would also recommend verifying that the faculty member you would like to work with plans to accept a graduate student that year.
Do you take people straight out of undergrad?
It is somewhat unusual for me to take someone who just received their undergraduate degree. I like to admit people who have worked as post-bac RAs for a year or two because if they still want to do research after working full time for a couple of years, that is a good sign.
When (if ever) is the best time to get an email from an applicant asking: 1) if you are taking students next year; and 2) just expressing interest in your work as a way to say please look at my application?
A month or two into the fall semester. Too early and faculty won't know if they are able to admit a student. I think it is OK to express interest in my work--just try to be concise. It is useful to say specifically why you are interested, rather than just saying you admire it etc. I also think it is a great idea to attach a CV, as that is a good way for me to quickly see what sorts of experiences a student has had.
Do you hate these emails? Do you like them?
I don't mind them.
When (if ever) is the best time to get an email from a faculty mentor suggesting that I should look at a particualr applicant closely?
Probably right around the application deadline. Much earlier than that, and I would likely forget! So, best to catch the advisor near the time when he/she starts looking at applications. And, at least at Texas, we don't start looking at applications until after the deadline (which is usually early to mid Dec, which means I usually don't look at them until after Christmas early Jan).
Other useful resources: