Kym Ahrens interests are in promoting positive physical and mental health outcomes in at-risk youth. Some of her past research has focused on the influence of adult mentors on the adult outcomes of youth in foster care and youth with learning disabilities. Dr. Ahrens is currently conducting a series of NIH-sponsored research studies focused on developing an intervention program to reduce risk of sexually transmitted infections including HIV among adolescents in the foster system.

Cari McCarty focuses on understanding risks and pathways to the development of depression in adolescence. Her research takes a preventive approach by identifying skills and competencies that may help young people cope more successfully with stress and negative emotions. She has developed a school-based intervention program “Positive Thoughts and Actions” which strives to help middle school students improve their relationships, school performance, and health behavior, with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of depression in young adolescents. Dr. McCarty is also interested in the role of emotionality in other problem behaviors of adolescence, including alcohol and substance use. 

Pooja Tandon is interested in developing, studying and advocating for programs and policies that promote the health of children by focusing on modifiable environmental risk factors for obesity. She is studying the impact of nutrition menu labeling on restaurant food purchasing for children. Her research also includes studying the physical activity and nutrition environments of child care settings. Dr. Tandon supervises residents in continuity clinic at the UW Pediatric Care Center.