Sarah Sperry, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan
Director, Emotion and Temporal Dynamics (EmoTe) Lab


Dr. Sperry is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where she directs the Emotion and Temporal Dynamics (EmoTe) Lab. She is a key investigator with and an Associate Director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program. Dr. Sperry joined the Prechter team as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in September 2021. 

Dr. Sperry began researching the affective and cognitive correlates of bipolar disorder as an undergraduate at Tufts University and research coordinator at McLean Hospital. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where her research focused on characterizing the temporal dynamics of emotion and impulsivity in daily life. Dr. Sperry then completed her APA accredited clinical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Addiction Sciences Division and Sleep Treatment and Research Program where she received both clinical and research training in co-occurring bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and substance use disorders. Following residency, Dr. Sperry completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Sperry’s broad mission to improve early detection, predict illness trajectory, and develop personalized interventions for bipolar spectrum disorders. Within this broader mission, she uses mobile technology (smartphones, wearable devices) and intensive longitudinal modeling to characterize and understand intraindividual variability in emotion and behavior in real-world contexts. Dr. Sperry has several extramurally and intramurally funded research studies aimed at using mobile technology and affective neuroscience methods to identify affective and cognitive mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of bipolar spectrum disorders. She hopes to translate her research findings into real-world interventions that improve the daily lives of people struggling.

Dr. Sperry has published extensively in the field of emotion, impulsivity, and bipolar disorder, presented at national and international scientific conferences, serves as consulting editor at several premiere clinical psychology journals, and was recently elected to the Early and Mid-Career Committee and Psychological Interventions Taskforce for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). Dr. Sperry is actively involved in training and collaboration both within the University and internationally.

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