I am a tenured Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. My program of research is examining the neurodevelopmental underpinnings of depression, self-injury, and suicide risk in adolescents and young adults. I have also been testing the efficacy and mechanisms of novel interventions (including neuromodulation, pharmacology probing oxidative stress and glutamate systems, and creative arts-based approaches) aimed at promoting recovery and thriving in these youth.
- Depression and non-suicidal self-injury
- Child and adolescent suicide
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
(for academic support only)
In the Media
- 2023: Featured in this Medical School article titled, “Keeping an Eye on Children's Mental Health During the Summertime.”
- 2023: Featured in this Medical School article about children’s use of social media titled, “Talking social media and mental health with U of M.”
- 2023: Featured in this article titled, “Strategic planning process in the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health creates a vision for the future.”
- 2023: The focus of this article titled, “Minnesota collaborators work with colleagues in Japan to create course aimed at increasing undergraduate well-being.”
- 2023: Featured in this UMN Giving article titled, “Creativity and the brain".
- 2022: Offers timely advice to parents & caregivers in this M Physicians article titled, "Back to School: Let's Talk Mental Health". She says, "School is the biggest challenge for children." She was also featured on MPR talking about recent studies that seem to delink serotonin levels from depression. “It’s complicated,” she said.
- 2022: Featured in this article titled, "Interprofessional collaboration at the U aims to improve mental health treatment for children and adolescents".
- 2022: Coauthor of a study featured (although not named) in this MIDB article: "First Study to Evaluate Neurobiological Predictors of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depressed Adolescents".
- 2022: Quoted in this Wall Street Journal article titled, "What Parents Can do When Kids Have Suicidal Thoughts".
- 2021: Interviewed for this piece titled, "Life at the new Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain brings integration in care and learning, and opens opportunities for collaboration".
Dr. Cullen's research primarily focuses on depression and self-injury in adolescents. Her research approaches include the use of brain imaging to examine the biology of depression and self-harm, elucidate the mechanisms of existing treatments, and develop novel treatments.
Dr. Cullen is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Clinic, which is housed in the Dept. of Psychiatry Clinic on the 2nd floor, West Building, on the Riverside campus. This clinic is designed to provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and evidence-based treatments to children and adolescents with mood disorders. Dr. Cullen also works on the adolescent subacute unit (Adolescent Crisis, Lodging and Stabilization Services) located on the 4th floor, West Building, on the Riverside campus.