Department of Psychology
Assistant Professor

Sarah Levin Allen, PhD, CBIS


Office: 215-871-6435
Research Page

Sarah Levin Allen, PhD, CBIS is assistant professor of psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and executive director of Neuropsychology at Brain Behavior Bridge.

She received her PhD in clinical psychology with a concentration in pediatric neuropsychology from the APA-accredited program at Drexel University, where she worked with biomedical engineering on functional imaging tools such as the functional near infared spectroscopy as well as new software for assessing navigation abilities in men and women. Throughout her doctoral experiences, Dr. Allen trained at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Bancroft NeuroHealth, and other outpatient neurology clinics. In addition, her post-doctoral education working in schools has enabled her to apply her neuropsychological assessment and intervention skills to a school setting.

Prior to PCOM, Dr. Allen held an administrative and clinical position directing the Medford, Mansfield, and Northern Burlington campuses at the Y.A.L.E. School, which serves children who learn differently than their peers due to brain injuries, learning disabilities or other social or executive deficits. In addition, she has established programs to promote the academic, social, and emotional development of students. As a member of the Child and Adolescence Committee of the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ as well as through her clinical work, she has also worked closely with medical and school professionals to design and implement "return to school" programming for students with concussions as well as other brain injuries.

Dr. Allen is currently a New Jersey licensed psychologist, a certified Brain Injury Specialist, and a New Jersey Certified School Psychologist. She specializes in the area of evidence-based interventions for schools as well as in school-wide concussion management and recovery programming. Her work focuses on translating medical and neuropsychological intervention to schools, specifically promoting and integrating brain based learning approaches into the classroom. She has a primary interest and expertise in building executive functioning skills through interventions that combine neuropsychology with behavioral approaches. In her practice and scholarly work, Dr. Allen focuses on bridging the gap between neuropsychology and behavioral sciences by promoting research into neuropsychological recommendations in the school setting.


  • Education

    PhD in clinical psychology with a concentration in Pediatric Neuropsychology from Drexel University

    Certified Brain Injury Specialist

  • Courses

    Neuropsychology in Schools
    Physiological Basis of Behavior
    Physiology, Health, and Psychology
    Practicum, Neuropsychology in Schools

  • Research

    The clinical management of brain injuries and concussions is a relatively new area of research, so the evidence-based data hasn’t caught up yet with what we know clinically.

    Our lab seeks to learn more about brain injuries from both a biological and clinical standpoint. We do this by exploring a number of factors including certain forms of RNA; sense of smell; images of the brain that track activity; as well as psychological and neuropsychological outcomes.

    Clinically, we’ve seen that symptoms can be used as a determinate for when to return to school and we work toward helping students access appropriate accommodations and return to school plans. From the research side, we work on studying the brain to see a potential disruption in normal communication between nerve cells.

    By looking at the interplay of all these factors, we can begin to fill in the gaps, in order to develop better treatments and improve outcomes.

  • Publications


    LeGoff, D., Kraus, G.W., Levin Allen, S. (2012) LEGO-Based Play Therapy for Improving Social Competence in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In L. Gallo-Lopez & L.C. Rubin (Eds.), Play-Based Interventions For Children And Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Routledge, NY, NY.

    LeGoff, D., Kraus, G.W., Levin Allen, S. (2010). "Lego Club:" A peer based and naturalistic group for enhancing social competence. In A. Drewes & C. Schaefer (Eds.), School-based Play Therapy: Second Edition. Wiley.

    Barakat, L.P., Levin Allen, S., Nicolaou, D.C., & O'Hara, E. (2009). Sickle cell disease. In W. O'Donohue & L. Tolle (Eds.), Behavioral Approaches to Chronic Disease in Adolescence. Springer.

    Gur, R.C., Levin, S.L., Irani, F., Panyavin, I.S., & Platek, S.M. (2007). Neural correlates of sex differences in spatial cognition. In Platek, S. Keenan, J & Shackelford, (Eds.) Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.


    Mintz, M., LeGoff, D.B., Scornaienchi, J., Brown, M., Levin Allen, S., Mintz, P. & Smith, C. (2009). The under-recognized epilepsy spectrum: The effects of levetiracetam on neuropsychological functioning in relation to subclinical spike production. Journal of Child Neurology.

    Levin Allen, S., Riggs Romaine, C., & Hoffman, K. (2008). Mental Health in the Classroom: A Community Service, Teacher-Training Project. The Pennsylvania Psychologist, 68 (6), 22-23.

    Ayaz, H., Platek, S.M., Levin Allen, S.L., & Onaral, B. (2008). MazeMaker Suite: A new tool for the easy creation of 3-dimensional environments. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers. 40(1), 354-360.

    Levin, S.L., Mohamed, F.B, & Platek, S.M. (2005). Common ground for spatial cognition: A behavioral and fMRI investigation of sex differences in sex-specific spatial cognition. Evolutionary Psychology, An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior (http://human-nature/ep), 3, 195-223.

    Platek, S.M. & Levin, S.L. (2005). Only the Mean Survive: Commentary on Keenan et al., Cortex, Special Issue: Brain, Cognition, and Mind, 41(5), 705-707.


    Levin, S.L., Patel, S., Thomson, J.W., & Platek, S.M. (2005). Functional optical imaging: A new tool for human neuroethology and ecological neuroimaging. Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Austin, TX.

    Levin, S.L., Mohamed, F.B., Platek, S.M. (2005). Common ground for spatial cognition? A behavioral and fMRI study of mental rotation and spatial working memory. Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

  • Memberships


    2014 NASP Program Approval Reviewer, National Association of School Psychologists
    2012-2013 Children & Adolescents Committee, Brain Injury Alliance of NJ

    2008 Community Night and Brain Safety Fair Volunteer: Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

    2005-2006 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Volunteer: Florida – 2005, Texas – 2006.

    2005 Bike Helmet Fitting at the Franklin Institute Volunteer: Brain Injury Association of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    2003 Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Volunteer: Neuro-Rehabilitation Floor, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Other

    Project Initiatives

    Neuoro-behavioral Intervention and Prevention Group (N-BIP) (2014-present): PCOM initiative for departmental collaboration between Biomedical/Biosciences and School Psychology/Neuropsychology. Objectives include translational research, clinical training, and education.

    Cynergi Grant

    Project: (2012-2013): A collaboration between Children's Regional Hospital at Cooper, Cooper Learning Center, and the Y.A.L.E. Schools. Submitted to NJ state brain injury grant and currently in the process of collecting pilot data for future grant submissions. "Return to School" Concussion Programing (2013- 2014): A collaboration between Y.A.L.E. Schools and Northern Burlington Regional High School to provide return to school services for students with concussions.


    Regular Contributor, Healthy Kids Blog

    How Long is too Long for Concussion Recovery WHYY, The Pulse 

    Faces of CityAve, Dr. Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS -

    Baking as a frontal lobe workout: how scientists use their skills at home WHYY, The Pulse 

    Returning to Life After the Olympics: Taking Home More Than the Gold? Psychology Behind It All, PCOM Blog 

    Workshops/Training Presentations


    • School-wide Programming for Students with Concussions (March 2013) Burlington County Directors' of Special Education
    • Educating students with Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving cognitive skills within a PBS framework (November 2013) Rovinsky Lecture, PCOM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Teaching Tips & Techniques (2013) Y.A.L.E. Schools Teacher Training, Medford, NJ.
    • Concussions in Students (2013) Brain Injury Alliance Webinar
    • Classroom Strategies to Support Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries (2013) Brain Injury Alliance of NJ Annual Conference (with Dr. Jessica Glass Kendorski).
    • Programming for Students with Brain Injury: Classroom Accommodations (2013) Northern Burlington Regional School District.
    • Brain Injury in Students (2012 & 2013), Directors Meeting, Burlington County, NJ & Hainsport Elementary School.
    • Executive Functioning and Students with Brain Injury (2012), Northern Burlington Regional School District Staff.
    • Executive Functioning: Best Practices in Classroom Interventions (2012), Medford Public School District Special Education Department
    • School Neuropsychological Assessments (2011), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), Philadelphia, PA.
    • The Brain! (2010 & 2011), 6th Grade Science Classes, Arthur Rand Elementary School, Galloway, NJ.
    • Mental Health in the Classroom: Teacher-Training. A review of strategies for managing behavior, learning, and attention problems in the classroom. (2008), Public Elementary School, Philadelphia, PA
    • Brain Injuries and Sport-related concussions (2008). Junior Health Classes, Lenape High School, Medford, NJ.
    • Brains and Brain Injuries: What's it all about? (2006). Junior Health Classes, Lenape High School, Medford, NJ
    • Brains...What happens when they get injured?
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (2004 & 2005). Cranberry Pines Elementary School, Medford, NJ Traumatic Brain Injury & The Brain (2004). Bring your child to work day, Psychology Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA