Sarah Szymkowicz, M.S.


Sarah M. Szymkowicz, M.S., is a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. She received both her Bachelor of Science (Psychology & Sociology: Social & Criminal Justice; 2007) and Master of Science (Experimental Psychology: Behavioral Neuroscience; 2009) degrees from Central Michigan University. After graduation, she worked at the Cleveland Clinic as a clinical research assistant for their Mood Disorders program, investigating long-term outcomes for primary mood disorders, as well as the use of repeat ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant depression. Sarah is currently in the Clinical Neuropsychology track and she works in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Depression lab under the mentorship of Vonetta Dotson.

Research Focus

Broadly, Sarah’s research interests include using both behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques to identify structural and functional neurological changes and their associations with cognitive functioning and emotion processing in healthy aging and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Active Grants

Age-Related Mechanisms of Emotion Anticipation and Perception

Principle Investigator

APA Division 40’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology Early Career Pilot Study Award

July 2014 – current

$11,000 Research Grant

Physical, Cognitive, and Mental Health in Social Context

Research Fellow/Trainee (PI: Marsiske)

NIH/NIA 2T32 AG020499-11

February 2014 – present

Professional Memberships

American Psychological Association, Division 20

American Psychological Association, Division 40

Society for Neuroscience

Association for Psychological Science

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McLaren, M. E., Szymkowicz, S. M., O’Shea, A., Woods, A. J., Anton, S. D., & Dotson, V. M. (In press). Symptom dimensions of subthreshold depression and cingulate volumes in older adults. Translational Psychiatry.

Dotson, V. M., Szymkowicz, S. M., Sozda, C. N., Kirton, J. W., Green, M. L., O’Shea, A., McLaren, M. E., Anton, S. D., Manini, T. M., & Woods, A. J. (2016). Age differences in prefrontal surface area and thickness in middle aged to older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7:250. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2015.00250

Szymkowicz, S. M., McLaren, M. E., Kirton, J. W., O’Shea, A., Woods, A. J., Manini, T. W., Anton, S. D., & Dotson, V. M. (In press). Depressive symptom severity is associated with increased cortical thickness in older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi: 10.1002/gps.4324

McLaren, M. E., Szymkowicz, S. M., Kirton, J. W., & Dotson, V. M. (2015). Impact of education on cognitive deficits in subclinical depression. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30, 387-393. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv038

Dotson, V. M., Szymkowicz, S. M., Kirton, J. W., McLaren, M. E., Green, M. L., & Rohani, J. Y. (2014). Unique and interactive effect of anxiety and depressive symptoms on cognitive and brain function in young and older adults. Journal of Depression and Anxiety, S1:003. doi: 10.4172/2167-1044.S1-003.

Szymkowicz, S. M., Finnegan, N., & Dale, R. M. (2014). Failed response to repeat intravenous ketamine infusions in geriatric patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 34(2), 285-286.

Szymkowicz, S. M., Finnegan, N., & Dale, R. M. (2013). A 12-month naturalistic observation of three patients receiving repeat intravenous ketamine infusions for their treatment-resistant depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 147(1-3), 416-420.

Zhu, T., De Luca, V., Gallaugher, L. A., Woldeyohannes, H. O., Soczynska, J. K., Szymkowicz, S., Muzina, D. J., Kennedy, S. H., & McIntyre, R. S. (2012). Admixture analysis of age at onset in major depressive disorder. General Hospital Psychiatry, 34(6), 686-691.

Oh-Lee, J. D., Szymkowicz, S. M., Smith, S. L., & Otani, H. (2012). Metacognitive performance, the tip-of-tongue experience, is not disrupted