Our Research

The NCVRTC 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. 

Published Research

Cover of Child Abuse & Neglect The International Journal Vol. 129 July 2022

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with Puerto Rican youth in a post-disaster context: Tailoring, implementation, and program evaluation outcomes




Orengo-Aguayo, R., Dueweke, A. R., Nicasio, A., de Arellano, M. A., Rivera, S., Cohen, J. A., Mannarino, A. P., & Stewart, R. W. (2022). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with Puerto Rican youth in a post-disaster context: Tailoring, implementation, and program evaluation outcomes. Child abuse & neglect, 129, 105671. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2022.105671

Research Wins

Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D. received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and gave his presentation, entitled: My Adventures in the Traumatic Stress Field: Lessons Learned and Thoughts about the Future at the annual meeting in Seattle on Saturday Nov 18th.

Dr. Carla Kmett Danielson was the recipient of the Robert. L. Laufer, Ph.D. Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) – received at the annual conference in November 2023.

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 NCVRTC 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 NCVRTC Faculty and their research areas of focus.