Our Research

The NCVC conducts research focused on investigating the scope, nature, and impact of criminal victimization and other traumatic events on adults, children, and their families. The goal of this research is to identify causes and consequences of trauma and violence as well as to develop and evaluate effective therapeutic interventions for those suffering victimization-related emotional and behavioral problems. 


Check Out What We Did This Quarter

January 2022 - March 2022


By The Numbers


Published in Peer-reviewed Journals


Papers Submitted


Research Funding Awarded

Hot Off the Press!

Cover of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science 

Neighborhood Disadvantage Associated with Blunted Amygdala Reactivity to Predictable and Unpredictable Threat in a Community Sample of Youth, Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science





Ashley A. Huggins, Lisa M. McTeague, Megan M. Davis, Nicholas Bustos, Kathleen Crum, Rachel Polcyn, Zachary W. Adams, Laura A. Carpenter, Greg Hajcak, Colleen A. Halliday, Jane E. Joseph, Carla Kmett Danielson

Accepted Published Issue Date

03 March 2022  17 March 2022 2022

Research Wins

Dr. Carla Danielson 

  • Groundbreaker Award for Innovative Impact on Human Trafficking

Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force, South Carolina
This award was in recognition of her work in developing and evaluating (through research) RRFT and for efforts in bringing this treatment into our community for young people who have been trafficked.  
  • Top 8% for NIH PI Funding across U.S. Psychiatry Departments

Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research


Dr. Hannah Espeleta

  • Child Intervention, Prevention, Services (CHIPS)

Acceptance to Research Training Institute

Faculty Highlight

Dr. Tina Lopez is smiling wearing a white and orange blouse. 

Dr. Cristina Lopez

Associate Professor

We are excited to highlight our newest faculty member, Dr. Cristina Lopez, who joined the NCVC in January as an Associate Professor. Dr. Lopez received part of her clinical training through the NCVC’s NIMH T32, focusing on Traumatic Stress. Her primary research and clinical foci have been the short- and long-term effects of stress, trauma, and PTSD on youth and underserved populations, as well as strategies to increase engagement in evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related mental health problems. She has gained additional experience in the conduct of clinical research with high-risk groups. These projects include a NIDA-funded RCT examining efficacy of a community-based family treatment for co-occurring substance abuse and internalizing problems among adolescents (R01 DA025616; PI: Sheidow) and a SAMHSA-funded project to enhance engagement of high-risk minority youth in evidence-based HIV prevention programs (SAMHSA minority AIDS initiative U79 SP015156; PI: Danielson). She was the PI on an NIH funded (BIRCWH K12) study of dissemination of an HIV prevention program that increased emotion regulation among African American girls living in rural areas, another very high-risk population (4K12HD055885-10). Through her research and clinical experiences with these groups, Dr. Lopez has become passionate about developing, evaluating, and implementing evidence-based interventions that target trauma-related correlates that proximally or distally serve as barriers to healthy behaviors in trauma-exposed populations (i.e., mechanisms). Dr. Lopez is starting her second year on her current R34 (NIMH): Development and Feasibility Testing of an Integrated PTSD and Adherence Intervention Cognitive Processing Therapy-Lifesteps (CPT-L) to Improve HIV Outcomes. This study aims to enhance acceptability of a tailored PTSD treatment for people living with HIV (PLWH) and test the feasibility of a randomized controlled protocol to test the integrated intervention as a pathway for increasing antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Her long-term research goals are to investigate effective interventions and implementation strategies for engaging underserved populations in mental health and examining how trauma-related interventions enhance adherence to co-morbid treatment (e.g., ART adherence in PLWH with PTSD). Dr. Lopez also serves in a leadership role as Co-director of MUSC’s Clinical & Translational Science Award’s Special Populations Core to help increase underserved populations’ (i.e., ethnic minorities, sexual minorities and PLWH) involvement in MUSC research.


Learn more about other NCVC Faculty and their research areas of focus.