Dr. Brenna Renn

( University of Nevada, Las Vegas )

  • Institution:University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Departments: psychology
  • Research Fields: Geriatrics, Depression, Psychotherapy
  • Disciplines: Behavioral Aspects of Health, Health Professions and Related Programs, Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Psychology
  • Funding:NIH - National Institutes of Health, Private Industry


As Director of the UNLV TREATment Lab, I currently mentor three (3) PhD students in our UNLV Clinical Psychology program, as well as a handful of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate research assistants and staff. I typically accept one student into our UNLV PhD program each academic year; it is typical for these students to have established research experience and an interest in training as a scientist-practitioner. During my time at the University of Washington, I also mentored post-baccalaureate research assistants who pursued careers in research and graduate school in clinical psychology and social work. I prioritize hands-on clinical research experience, which can include assessments of human subjects enrolled in our clinical trials, participation in graduate student and other lab research, and the potential to co-author professional conference presentations and manuscripts for students committing at least 2-3 semesters in the lab (e.g., assisting with literature reviews, manuscript writing, beginning data analysis).

Given the intensive nature of mentoring and experiences in my lab, I do not always have available positions for undergraduates. It is advisable that students reach out to me (treatment@unlv.edu or brenna.renn@unlv.edu) prior to their Junior year at UNLV, when they would be able to commit at least 3 semesters to the lab. I am also happy to meet with students and recent graduates to discuss career paths in mental health and related professions.


Dr. Renn is a clinical geropsychologist and mental health services researcher. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UNLV and the Director/Principal Invesigator of the TREATment Lab (Translational Research on Effectiveness and Accessibility of Treatment in Mental and Behavioral Health). Our team is passionate about overcoming obstacles that prevent effective behavioral health treatments from reaching underserved communities. We specialize in the behavioral health of older adults and work across adult populations broadly. Areas of clinical research tend to focus on common mental health conditions (depression and anxiety) as well as cooccurring disorder. Our work engages patients, providers, and community stakeholders to focus on:

• Translational research, which moves scientific discoveries more quickly into practice to produce meaningful, applicable results to directly benefit mental and behavioral health.

• Effectiveness research, which identifies which clinical and public health interventions work best for improving behavioral health. We focus on evidence-based interventions for depression and health promotion.

• Accessibility of treatment, in order to overcome barriers to care and improve the receipt and utilization of evidence-based interventions. We focus on improving access through primary care behavioral health integration and leveraging digital tools, like apps.

Our lab develops future scientist-practitioners through mentored training of doctoral students in clinical psychology, as well as select opportunities for undergraduate or post-baccalaureate research assistants.

Dr. Renn has over 45 peer-reviewed publications and has written 10 book chapters spanning topics in depression, geriatric mental health, mental health services, and other topics related to behavioral aspects of health. She collaborates with colleagues across UNLV as well as at the University of Washington and the Southern Nevada VA Medical Center.