Tonya Palermo, PhD

Tonya Palermo PhD square  

Professor of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry

Dr. Tonya Palermo is a professor of anesthesiology, pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She serves as associate director for the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. Palermo’s longstanding NIH-funded research program has focused on assessment and treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents. She is specifically interested in cognitive-behavioral interventions; delivery of psychological treatment via eHealth and mHealth interventions; sleep disturbances; and parent/family factors as they relate to pain treatment. Through her work as program director for the University of Washington Anesthesiology T32 program and for the Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Pain Research, Palermo is active in training clinician–scientists at the postdoctoral and junior faculty level.

Palermo serves on the executive boards of the Society of Pediatric Psychology and the American Pain Society, serves as editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and has been elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association. She also serves as a member of the advisory council for the Center for Scientific Review at NIH.

Contact Dr. Palermo.

Rachel Aaron, PhD

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Rachel Aaron is a postdoctoral research fellow advised by Tonya Palermo at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She is funded by the T32 Anesthesiology Postdoctoral Research Training Program at University of Washington. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University in 2016. Aaron completed her pre-doctoral internship training in rehabilitation psychology at the University of Washington, working at Harborview Medical Center with children and adults following physical trauma. Her graduate research sought to understand how aspects of bodily and emotional awareness contribute to health outcomes; she looks forward to extending these interests by investigating mechanisms of the development of chronic pain in the Palermo lab.

Lauren-Ashley Daley, BA

Lauren-Ashley Daley  

Clinical Research Associate I

Lauren-Ashley Daley is a clinical research associate I in the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab and coordinates several projects. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in biological basis of behavior and a minor in international development. Her previous research interests include examining early intervention outcomes for toddlers with autism.

Rocío de la Vega, PhD

Rocío de la Vega  

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Rocío de la Vega is a postdoctoral research fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and a member of the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab, led by Dr. Tonya Palermo. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington under the supervision of Dr. Mark Jensen in 2017. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain) in 2014, and completed a master’s in treatments in clinical and health psychology at the University of Málaga (Spain). Her research interests are mainly focused on the development and testing of self-administered interventions for the management of pain using smartphones (mHealth) and how to improve their efficacy. She is also interested in the interrelations between sleep and pain.

Cornelius (Neels) Groenewald, MB ChB

Groenewald  

Acting Instructor

Dr. Cornelius (Neels) Groenewald is an attending anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an acting instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2002. He completed his anesthesiology residency at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, and his pediatric anesthesiology and pain medicine fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. His research interests include pain, quality of life and activity limitations after major surgery and critical illness in children.

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick, BS

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick 2  

Research Supervisor

Tricia Jessen-Fiddick is a clinical research supervisor. She oversees and provides direct support for the many studies being conducted within the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab. In 2006, she received her BS in psychology and a minor in biology from DePaul University in Chicago. She joined Seattle Children’s Research Institute in 2008. She enjoys the complexity, excitement and rigor of working on a research study from the beginning stages to the end.

Yeon Joo Ko, BS

Yeon Joo Ko  

Clinical Research Associate

Yeon Joo Ko is a clinical research associate in the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab. She helps coordinate multiple projects involving the use of online programs to help children and adults with chronic pain. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a BS in psychology and a minor in global health. Her previous research experiences include using EMA (ecological momentary assessment) to measure impulsivity and emotional responses to stress in young adults. She is interested in mobile health interventions and wearable technology especially to help patients with chronic illness.

Emily F. Law, PhD

Emily Law 2  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Emily F. Law is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a pediatric psychologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She provides clinical services in the outpatient pain management clinic and inpatient pain rehabilitation program at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2010 and completed her pre-doctoral internship in pediatric/child clinical psychology at UCLA Medical Center. Law completed her post-doctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Tonya Palermo at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Her research focuses on pediatric chronic pain with a particular interest in pediatric chronic headache. Her current projects include evaluating psychosocial treatment needs among youth with chronic headache, and developing and testing behavioral interventions for parents of children receiving intensive pain rehabilitation.

Caitlin Murray, PhD

Caitlin Murray  

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Caitlin Murray is a postdoctoral research fellow at Seattle Children’s Hospital under the mentorship of Dr. Tonya Palermo. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago and completed her predoctoral internship training in pediatric psychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, Ohio). Her primary research interests include elucidating unique health and developmental issues facing adolescents and young adults with chronic painful conditions, with the long-term goal of creating tailored cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions that target outcomes of highest importance and interest to this population.

Michaela Patton, BS

Michaela Patton  

Clinical Research Associate

Michaela Patton is a clinical research associate in the Pediatric Pain and Sleep Innovations Lab. In 2016, she graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS in psychology. She was previously a site coordinator at the University of Washington for a large-scale, multi-site study of the natural history of concussion in college athletes. Her research interests include psychosocial risk and resilience; effectiveness of eHealth and mHealth interventions; and shared decision-making between interdisciplinary medical teams, parents and youth with chronic medical conditions.

Jennifer Rabbitts, MB ChB

Jennifer Rabbitts MB ChB  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jennifer Rabbitts is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an attending anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received her medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2002. She completed her anesthesia residency, pediatric anesthesia fellowship and translational research fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Her research focuses on postsurgical pain and recovery in children after surgery. She is conducting an NIH-funded study examining biopsychosocial risk factors for poorer outcomes after surgery. She is particularly interested in the impact of sleep on recovery from surgery.

See Wan Tham, MB BS

See Wan Tham 2  

Acting Assistant Professor

Dr. See Wan Tham is an acting assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a pediatric anesthesiologist and pain physician with the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received her medical degree in Sydney, Australia, in 2001. She completed her anesthesiology residency at the State University of New York (Syracuse) and subsequent pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She went on to pursue post-doctoral research training in Dr. Tonya Palermo’s lab. Her research interest lies in identifying the mechanisms underlying the relationship between pain and sleep in pediatric populations, and in functional outcomes in children with pain conditions.

Research Affiliates

Sarah Beals, PhD

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Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor at Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City

Dr. Sarah Beals is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor.

Jessica Fales, PhD

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Assistant Professor

Dr. Jessica Fales is an assistant professor at Washington State University Vancouver.

Amy Lewandowski Holley, PhD

Amy Lewandowski Holley, PhD  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Amy Holley is assistant professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University.

Melanie Noel, PhD

Noel  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Melanie Noel is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.