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Gopalan received her doctoral training at the Columbia University School of Social Work in 2009.
Through the doctoral program, Gopalan focused on mental health service program development, implementation, and dissemination for inner-city, minority youth, and their families. Since graduating from Columbia, she has participated in two NIMH-funded intervention research training institutes, the NIH Loan Repayment Program, and a three-year, NIMH-funded National Research Science Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Gopalan’s interests focus on family-level interventions to improve youth mental health and reduce youth risk behavior, particularly for families with intensive service involvement and extreme psychosocial needs (such as those involved in the child welfare system). She is the principal investigator of an NIMH-funded study to implement a Multiple Family Groups (MFG) intervention originally provided by advanced mental health practitioners (Masters or PhDs) to reduce child disruptive behavior difficulties, so that it can be delivered by caseworkers providing placement prevention services to child welfare-involved families.