Recognition and Prevention Program Research and Clinical Team - Home

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RAP Personnel

Research and Clinical Team

Barbara Cornblatt, Ph.D., M.B.A., Director of RAP Program

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Dr. Cornblatt is a Professor of Psychiaty and Molecular Medicine at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and the Director of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program. For more than 20 years, she has focused on research concerned with the causes and treatment of serious mental illness. She founded and currently directs the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) program in New York, one of the longest running centers for prevention of serious mental illness in North America.

The RAP Program, which was opened in 1998, is specifically dedicated to treating early warning signs of serious mental illness in adolescents and young adults. Over 500 youngsters have participated in both the research and treatment components of this program. Early treatment in the RAP Clinic has been consistently associated with a high rate of clinical improvement.

Dr. Cornblatt has authored or co-authored over 200 scientific articles and book chapters, has given many scientific talks nationally and internationally to a variety of prestigious scientific organizations, hospitals and consumer groups, and is the co-director of the International Prodromal Research Network which sponsors international collaborations and prevention studies. She is also a member of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) consortium, one of the largest and most successful prevention collaborations worldwide. She recently received awards from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Queens/Nassau) and from the Women's Health Institute, Katz Women's Hospital (Lorinda de Roulet Award) for the achievements of the RAP research program. The RAP program is supported by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and several additional private charitable foundations. E-mail:

Andrea Auther, Ph.D., Associate Director of RAP Program

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Dr. Auther, the Associate Director of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program, received her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from St. John's University in Queens, NY. Dr. Auther has been working with adolescent and young adult participants in the RAP Program since 2000. She supervises clinical diagnostic interviews, supervises and provides individual and group psychotherapy, and collaborates on a wide variety of research endeavors. Dr. Auther was a recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) to study the role of substance use in the development of psychosis, one of her main research interests. She has authored or co-authored numerous articles relating to the high-risk field. Dr. Auther has also co-authored several research instruments, including measures of social and role functioning, and prodromal bipolar symptoms. She has presented research and treatment findings to national and international audiences. E-mail:


Ricardo Carrión, Ph.D., Research Scientist

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Ricardo Carrión is a Research Scientist at the RAP Program. Dr. Carrión received his Doctoral degree in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2001 where his research focused on the neural basis of learning and memory. Currently, he directs the Event-Related Potential (ERP) Lab in The Zucker Hillside Hospital, which conducts the RAP Program's electroencephalography (EEG) research. The lab is equipped to collect 32-channel EEG/ERP data using the Biosemi Active Two System. Dr. Carrión is using EEGs and ERPs to examine the brain activity of adolescents and young adults who are at elevated risk for developing psychosis. He is currently focused on examining the relationship between neurocognition, social functioning and event-related potentials.

Christoph Correll, M.D., Medical Director of the RAP Program

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Dr. Correll is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Since 1998, Dr. Correll has been a member of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program that is located at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, Queens, NY, where he works clinically and conducts most of his research. In addition, since 2006, he has been the medical director of the RAP Program.

Dr. Correll completed his medical studies at the Free University of Berlin, and Dundee University Medical School in Scotland. After finishing his general psychiatry residency at The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Queens, N.Y., he also trained in child and adolescent psychiatry at Schneider Children’s Hospital, also in New York.

Dr. Correll’s research and clinical work focus on the identification, characterization and psychopharmacological management of adults and youth with severe psychiatric disorders. His areas of expertise include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychotic, mood and autism/disruptive behavior spectrum disorders, ranging from the prodrome to first episode, multi-episode and refractory patients. His work focuses further on the risk-benefit evaluation of psychotropic medications, including the interface between psychiatry and medicine and investigations of the extent and mechanisms of neuromotor and cardiometabolic adverse effects. He utilizes a wide array of research methods, including clinical psychopharmacology, meta-analyses, biobehavioral assessments, neurocognition, neuroimaging, genetics, and molecular biology.

Dr. Correll has authored or co-authored over 200 journal articles and book chapters. He has served on several expert consensus panels on the use of antipsychotics across a range of psychiatric disorders, is a reviewer for over 70 peer-reviewed journals and an editorial board member of nine scientific journals. Dr. Correll is the principal investigator or Steering Committee member of several large, federally funded grants and has received over two dozen national and international research awards and fellowships for his work. E-mail:

Claudine Higdon, M.D., Chief Psychiatrist of the RAP Program

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Dr. Higdon received her B.A. degree from Barnard College.  She then pursued her medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Dr. Higdon completed her adult psychiatry residency and her child psychiatry fellowship training at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program.  Dr. Higdon is the Physician-in-Charge of the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry division at The Zucker Hillside Hospital.  She is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.  Dr. Higdon has been working in the RAP Program since 2009.  E-mail:

Danielle McLaughlin, M.A., ABD, Senior Research Coordinator

alt=" "Danielle McLaughlin has been working with the RAP Program since 2002.  She supervises administration of the neurocognitive test battery and works closely with the Health System's Institutional Review Board to ensure our research studies are in compliance with human subject research guidelines.  E-mail:



Ruth Olsen, B.S., Research Administrator

alt=" "Ruth Olsen received her degree in Behavioral Science from the New York Institute of Technology and then attended New York University, enrolling in graduacte courses in Psychology.  Prior to coming to RAP in 2000, she worked for 20 years as a counselor, teacher, behavior modification specialist and administrator with special populations.  E-mail:





Heather Zyla, M.A., Research Coordinator

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Heather Zyla received her B.S. in Psychology from University at Buffalo and her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from St. John's University. She joined the RAP Program in 2015 after working for several years on research projects at Mount Sinai Hospital and City College at New York.  Currently, she conducts clinical diagnostic interviews and biological assessments, including MRI scans, for the research grants.