Sarah Sperry, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Dr. Sperry joined the Department of Psychiatry as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in September 2021. She 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. 

At the University of Michigan, Dr. Sperry is the director of the Emotion and Temporal Dynamics (EmoTe) Lab and is one of the key investigators within the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program. 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. This work will integrate seamlessly with the Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder, which will allow Dr. Sperry to continue to identify affective and cognitive mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of bipolar spectrum disorders. She hopes her work will integrate with the Bipolar Clinic, translating research findings into real-world interventions that improve the daily lives of people struggling. 

Dr. Sperry has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles 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 and personality journals, and was recently elected to the Early and Mid-Career Committee for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). Dr. Sperry is also actively involved in training and collaboration both within the University and internationally.


Areas of Interest

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Emotion Dysregulation
  • Impulsivity
  • Digital Phenotyping
  • Intensive Longitudinal Modeling

Clinical Interests

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Evidenced-based psychotherapy and assessment


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clinical Psychology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • APA Clinical Internship, The Charleston Consortium
  • B.S., Clinical Psychology, Tufts University

Published Articles or Reviews

Web Sites