Innovation in Mental Health (iMH) Lab
iMH Lab Leadership
Dr. Bunnell directs the iMH Lab and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of South Florida. He received his PhD in 2015 from the University of Central Florida. He completed his pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology and NIMH F32-funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Florida (License Number: PY 10497).
Dr. Bunnell's research focuses broadly on improving access and quality of care in mental health services. His main areas of research include: using multimodal approaches to the empirical assessment of anxiety and related symptomatology (e.g., depression, PTSD, stress, sleep) across the developmental spectrum; improving measurement and prediction of these conditions and associated functional impairment; evaluating health technology intervention and dissemination initiatives with respect to efficacy feasibility, acceptability, accessibility, and usability; and using iterative and user-centered approaches to develop and evaluate new health technology solutions to improve access and quality of health care. He is currently broadening his expertise in biomedical informatics, implementation science, and multi-level and longitudinal data analysis through his ongoing NIMH K23 Career Development Award.
Dr. Bunnell has a long history leading and co-leading grant-funded research initiatives. He has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on several grants from agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency. His current grant-funded research from the National Institute of Mental Health aims to develop and preliminarily evaluate a web-based mobile application to assist mental health providers in assigning and assessing homework, or between-session practice of skills learned during therapy; and increase patient engagement in homework exercises assigned by providers.
Phone: (813) 644-2674
Ms. Barrera is the Research Coordinator and Manager for the iMH Lab. She received her MPH in 2018 from the University of South Florida, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health, where she also became Certified in Public Health (CPH) and a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Ms. Barrera’s research interests work towards achieving health equity by using health technology to eliminate access-to-care barriers and promote culturally competent care, in efforts to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in marginalized populations. She has worked on several research studies funded by agencies such as the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She has experience conducting community-based participatory research through evaluating an e-health and patient navigator-based interventions for prostate cancer and a m-health solution to improve implementation and engagement of homework in therapy. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and has presented her research at several local, national, and international conferences.
Ms. Barrera manages the day-to-day research activities of the iMH lab. These include designing and developing new health technology solutions, serving as an intermediary between the research and development teams, constructing and managing databases and study protocols, recruiting and consenting research participants, conducting assessments and user-testing, and a host of other tasks. She also supervises the iMH lab staff and assists research assistants with their respective research while continuing to conduct her own research. In addition to these roles, she continues to be active in the Hillsborough County community through local non-profit organizations.