People

Here you can read about our Lab Director, Research Scientists, Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, Full-time Research Assistants, Research Assistants, and Lab Alumni. We remember Camila Caballero in the section entitled In Memoriam.

Lab Director

Dylan Gee

Associate Professor

Dr. Gee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. She received her B.A. in Psychological and Brain Studies from Dartmouth College in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 2015. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale, Dr. Gee completed her clinical internship at Weill Cornell Medical College and a research fellowship at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Her research focuses on developmental psychopathology, with primary goals to delineate typical and atypical brain development, elucidate how early environments influence sensitive periods in neurodevelopment and risk for anxiety and stress-related disorders, and translate knowledge of brain development to optimize clinical interventions for children and adolescents.

Download: CV
Website: Faculty Page

Research Scientists

Taylor Keding

Associate Research Scientist

Taylor is an Associate Research Scientist working jointly with the CANDLab and the BRAVE Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the mentorship of Dr. Ryan Herringa (Department of Psychiatry) and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Yale’s Child Study Center under the mentorship of Dr. Gee, Dr. Michael Crowley, and Dr. Michael Bloch. His research broadly focuses on the interplay between child brain development, environmental adversity, and psychiatric risk. More specifically, he investigates patterns of typical neurodevelopment during childhood and adolescence, how neurodevelopment is altered by experiences of early-life adversity, and how neurodevelopment can be used to predict psychiatric symptoms, disorders, and treatment efficacy (e.g., pediatric PTSD). His work makes extensive use of structural and functional MRI, DTI, behavioral and clinical assessments, computational modeling, and data science/machine learning approaches.

Graduate Students

Emily Cohodes

Ph.D. Student

Emily is a doctoral student at Yale. After receiving her B.A. from Stanford University, Emily spent three years at the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program, where she coordinated intervention trials testing the efficacy of Child-Parent Psychotherapy and studied children’s development of executive function and parental emotion socialization in trauma-exposed families. Emily’s current research focuses on the neurobiological underpinnings of children’s development of self-regulatory capacities and psychopathology in high-risk developmental contexts, as well as the family-level and environmental factors that influence these pathways. She is particularly interested in investigating whether targeted intervention can mediate the impact of early life stress on children’s neurobiological development. 

Jordan Foster

Ph.D. Student

Jordan is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Yale. Jordan graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2020, where he was a member of Dr. Kim Ferguson’s Infant Development and Environmental Analysis Lab, studying biological and cognitive correlates of infant development in largely low-income and racially marginalized contexts. Jordan’s research focuses on identifying psychological and biological factors that contribute to negative mental health outcomes following exposure to traumatic stress in children and adolescents. A current focus of this research is the use of behavioral and brain-imaging techniques to examine how affective learning and memory processes are associated with the onset and treatment of pediatric Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Outside of the lab, Jordan spends his time practicing yoga, dancing, seeing theatre, and engaging in racial justice oriented work.

Bailey Holt-Gosselin

Ph.D. Student

Bailey is a doctoral student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale being co-mentored by Dr. Jutta Joormann and Dr. Dylan Gee. After receiving a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Vermont in 2017, she participated in the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Life and Biomedical Sciences (SPUR-LABS) at UCLA, where she investigated effort-based decision making in adolescents under the mentorship of Dr. Adriana Galván. Afterwards, Bailey worked as a research lab manager in Dr. Leanne Williams' clinical neuroscience lab at Stanford for three years, where she led neuroimaging studies and clinical trials in adults with anxiety and depression. Bailey is interested in elucidating the neural, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence depression and anxiety symptom development in children and adults. Outside of the lab, she likes to explore nature, shop at trader joes, hip-hop dance, and listen to podcasts.

Elizabeth Kitt

Ph.D. Student

Elizabeth is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Yale. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Yale, where she worked with Dr. Alan Kazdin and started her work with Dr. Dylan Gee. After graduating, she spent two years as a research assistant in Dr. Daniel Pine’s Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she used a multi-modal approach to study stress reactivity in pediatric anxiety. Elizabeth is interested in exploring the neurobiology of stress reactivity, particularly as it relates to the onset and maintenance of psychopathology. She is also interested in investigating neural and cognitive mechanisms of treatment for psychopathology in children and adolescents.

Lucinda Sisk

Ph.D. Student

Lucinda is a doctoral student at Yale. After graduating from Whitman College with a B.A. in Biology, she spent 3 years as a research assistant and lab manager in Dr. Ian Gotlib’s lab at Stanford University. There, she worked on projects investigating how stress during early life affects the developing brain in both infants and adolescents, and how such neurobiological changes may in turn be related to the onset of psychopathology. Lucinda’s current research focuses on how traumatic events may affect brain structure and function, and how individual differences may contribute to a person’s vulnerability to or resilience from adversity. She is also interested in the flexibility of structural and functional networks in the brain, and how they change in response to behavioral changes and interventions.

Valerie Karl

Visiting Scholar

Valerie is a PhD fellow in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oslo, Norway, and a Visiting Graduate Student at Yale. She received her B.Sc. Psychology from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and her M.Sc. Psychology from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Since 2022 Valerie is part of Christian K. Tamnes’ lab at the University of Oslo and studying the relationship between functional brain circuits underlying emotion perception and regulation and psychopathology in children and adolescents. She is primarily interested in effects of parental psychopathology on the development of emotion-related brain circuits and mental health in children. Outside of the lab, Valerie enjoys traveling, listening to podcasts, painting, spending time with friends, and cross-country skiing. 

Lab Manager

Gillian Ho

Lab Manager

Gillian holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her time there, she conducted research on the neuroscience of distress and emotion regulation as a member of Dr. Florin and Sanda Dolcos' lab. Following her graduation, she worked as the project coordinator and assessment specialist at Northwestern University in Dr. Vijay Mittal's lab, focusing on the neuroscience of clinical high-risk for psychosis in adolescence. Gillian is primarily interested in studying the effects of early life trauma and adversity on neurodevelopment, risk for psychopathology, and response to treatment. When she's not in the lab, Gillian enjoys snowboarding, making pottery, and working on graphic design projects.

Full-time Research Assistants

Sebastian Franck Love

PREP Scholar

Sebastian is a Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program scholar at Yale. After graduating from the University of Mary with a B.S. in Psychology, he spent 2 years pursuing his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgia State University. During his time at Georgia State, he was a member of Dr. Cirleen DeBlaere's research team and Dr. Laura Shannonhouse’s Helping Others Provide Empathy lab. In the HOPE lab, he served as grant coordinator for a study seeking to equip the aging network to address social isolation, suicidality, and loneliness among vulnerable populations. Sebastian is interested in identifying early life neurobiological factors that contribute to negative mental health outcomes following exposure to stress, and utilizing that information to aid in the development of individual and systemic interventions. Outside of the lab, Sebastian enjoys running, boxing, practicing guitar, and reading inside on rainy days.

Research Assistants

Ariana Reichler

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ariana is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Psychology. She is interested in child and adolescent development as a function of familial relationships and early life trauma, especially as it relates to affective and anxiety disorders. On campus, she is on the board of the Migration Alliance at Yale and co-leads its direct service women’s group, works as a copy editor for the YDN, and volunteers with SNUGS to provide swim lessons to local children with special needs or disabilities.

Mariana Castrillon

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mariana is a Visiting Scholar from the University of Toronto, where she is pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Science with a Research Specialist in Psychology. Over the past three years she has worked in Dr. Meg Schlichting's developmental cognitive neuroscience lab. Mariana will soon begin her Honours Thesis on investigating the impacts of child and parental depression on the developmental origins of decision making, under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Sommerville. Mariana’s primary research interest is examining how specific dimensions of stress exposure differentially impact neurodevelopment, risk for psychopathology, and resilience in the face of adversity. She is particularly interested in the effects of trauma during sensitive and transitional periods throughout childhood and adolescence. Outside of the lab, Mariana loves playing the cello, travelling with family and friends, and spending time with her dog.

Gillian Gold

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Gillian is a rising sophomore in Benjamin Franklin College, majoring in Cognitive Science and pursuing a Certificate in Programming. She is interested in using computational approaches to explore the association between stress exposure and brain structure. On campus, Gillian teaches computer science to middle school students in New Haven Public Schools, plans events for a women’s mental health and wellness organization at Yale, and is on the outreach team for Yale’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. In her free time, she enjoys baking, hiking, and exploring coffee shops in New Haven.

Yvette Ma

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Yvette is a junior visiting student from the University of Hong Kong, majoring in Psychology and Art History. During her time at Yale, she is a member of Benjamin Franklin College. She is interested in understanding the origins of psychological disorders in youth and exploring effective intervention strategies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Proust, Sartre, and Camus.

Maddy Wong

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maddy is a junior in Pierson College majoring in Neuroscience. She is interested in how early life trauma, such as stress, can affect the neurological development of children and how the trauma may lead to future neurological disorders. Outside of the lab, Maddy is a member of Yale’s Varsity Field Hockey team. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano, spending time with friends and drinking a good cup of coffee. 

Safa Sheik

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Safa, a biology major at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, is currently in her senior year. Her research focus centers on studying the effects of stress and early adversity on children, specifically examining how early life experiences shape their long-term outcomes. Safa is driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact on children's lives through her research. Safa also harbors aspirations of attending medical school, aiming to merge her interests in medicine with her research pursuits. Outside of her studies, she volunteers at Lenox Hill Hospital and finds joy in exploring Central Park, discovering new food spots in New York City, and spending quality time with her friends. In addition, she is an avid fan of Taylor Swift and thoroughly enjoys listening to her music. 

Amara Greenshpun

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amara Greenshpun is a sophomore in Silliman College hoping to major in Cognitive Science. She is interested in exploring the intersections of language, music, and cognition and understanding the ways in which these areas are developed. Music has always been a big part of her life, a passion she has continued to pursue through her involvement with the Yale acapella group Shades of Yale. As a New Haven local, Amara firmly believes that New Haven pizza is easily the best.

Tessa Stewart

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Tessa is a first year in Pauli Murray College planning to major in Psychology. She is interested in the impact of childhood trauma on social development and mental health, especially in terms of clinical treatment. She is also passionate about education and educational policy. Tessa is involved in Yale Outdoors as well as volunteer organizations that work with kids in the New Haven area. Tessa enjoys running, knitting, and being outside. 

Kathryn Rodrigues

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kathryn is a rising junior in Davenport College, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in how adolescent life stressors, possibly those exacerbated by the ever-growing social media environment, may contribute to psychological disorders. Outside of the CANDlab, Kathryn is a member of Yale’s varsity cross country and track teams where she runs the 5k and 10k races. She is also a sportswriter for both teams and updates the Yale Athletics website. When she is not running or studying, she can be found listening to music, watching movies with her suitemates or grabbing snacks at Good Nature Market.

Wendy Cruz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Wendy is a first-year in Grace Hopper College, planning to major in psychology on the neuroscience track. She is interested in child and adolescent development, particularly how childhood trauma affects mental health and the overall psychological development of adolescents. Outside the lab, Wendy pursues music by being involved in Yale's Precision Marching Band and the Mariachi de Yale. Additionally, Wendy is a member of Christian Union Lux, Yale Student for Christ, and Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association. 

Hemakshi Gordy

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hemakshi is a junior in Ezra Stiles College majoring in Psychology and pursuing the Education Studies Certificate. She is interested in the role of family in treating childhood psychopathology, particularly as it relates to communication, stress, and resilience. Outside of the lab, Hemakshi sings and manages finances for Magevet, Yale's Jewish a cappella group. She also enjoys poetry, color-coding anything, and spending time with her dog.

Mary Margaret Schroeder

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mary Margaret, a New Jersey native and member of Berkeley College ’24, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Certificate of Advanced Language in Spanish. She previously worked in the Yale Memory Clinic studying executive function in geriatric patients with dementia and anxiety. She is especially interested in psychopathology as it relates to children and children with genetic disorders. Outside the lab, Mary Margaret holds leadership positions at the Yale Catholic Center and on the Club Running Team, as well as serving as a Yale Tour Guide, special education teacher at the Cedarhurst School, and member of the Triathlon Team and Club Tennis Team. In her free time, she enjoys catching up with her five siblings, jamming out to Taylor Swift, and raving about Jersey bagels!

Lab Alumni

Ka Ip

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ka is a Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale working in the labs of Dr. Dylan Gee and Dr. Maria Gendron. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Science and Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. His research integrates developmental psychopathology, neuroscience and cultural psychology to understand the development of emotion regulation and related processes (e.g., emotion knowledge) in children. In particular, his research aims to elucidate a) how environments (e.g., early life stress) influence the bio-behavioral mechanisms underlying emotion regulation and risk for psychopathology (i.e., behavioral problems and anxiety) from early childhood to adulthood, and b) socio-cultural factors (e.g., language, cultural contexts and socialization) that shape how emotions are acquired, expressed and regulated across development.

Kelley Gunther

Postdoctoral Fellow

Kelley is a Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale working with Drs. Dylan Gee and Jutta Joormann. She completed her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Maryland working with Dr. Nathan Fox, and post-bac training with Dr. Dima Amso at Brown University. She completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Penn State University in 2022, working with Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar and Dr. Charles Geier. Kelley is interested in the interaction between temperamental, attentional, and contextual risk factors for anxiety disorders in children. She also aims to emphasize ecologically valid testing paradigms to better understand how these processes unfold in the "real world" and beyond laboratory environments. Outside of work, Kelley enjoys hiking, traveling, and rock climbing. 

Alexis Broussard

Full-Time Research Assistant

Alexis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020 with a B.A. in psychology. During her time there, she was a member of Dr. Rebecca Waller's Emotion, Development, Environment, and Neurogenetics Lab, where she studied callous-unemotional traits and temperamental deficits related to their development, such as fearlessness and low social affiliation. She also spent a year in Dr. Ayelet Ruscio's Boundaries of Anxiety and Depression Lab studying psychophysiological responses to threat in anxiety and depression. Alexis is particularly interested in exploring the neurodevelopmental origins of aggression and violence, with the ultimate goal of using that knowledge to inform preventative interventions. Outside of the lab, she enjoys traveling, baking, and listening to true crime podcasts.

Maddie Notti

Lab Manager

Maddie graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2020 with a B.A. in psychology. As an undergraduate, she was a member of Dr. Monica Luciana's Brain and Behavioral Processes Lab, where she assisted in the goal of further understanding the behavioral and neural impacts of heavy marijuana use in young adults. After graduation, she served as a research assistant for the Human Connectome Project on Aging. Maddie is particularly interested in exploring how psychopathology influences decision-making, and how environments can be adapted to change and improve outcomes. Outside of the lab, she enjoys mountain biking, photography, and supporting Minnesota United.

Sahana Kribakaran

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Sahana is a fifth-year student in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Yale and is completing her Ph.D. in the CANDLab. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles, where she worked in Carlos Portera-Cailliau’s lab studying cortical circuitry in mice. Sahana then spent one year at UCSF doing research in Vikaas Sohal’s lab investigating prefrontal cortical circuits underlying cognitive flexibility in the context of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Sahana’s current research interest is in understanding the developmental impact of early life stress on neural circuits in children and adolescents. She is particularly interested in exploring whether new preventive and interventional measures can address maladaptive neurobiological changes in children and adolescents following early life stress. 

Alexis Brieant

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alexis is a Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale and a member of the CANDLab. She completed her B.A. at the State University of New York at Geneseo and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Virginia Tech. Alexis’s research focuses on how adversity and social determinants of health shape neurodevelopment and mental health during childhood and adolescence. She aims to identify factors that exacerbate risk for psychopathology, as well as factors that promote resilience and adaptation in youth. Alexis’s work is embedded within a developmental psychopathology framework, and she leverages interdisciplinary approaches, multiple levels of analysis, and longitudinal modeling to understand and mitigate disparities in youth mental health. You can learn more about her work here.

Paola Odriozola

Ph.D. Student

Paola was a Ph.D. student in the CANDLab from 2016-2022. She is now a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA in the Developmental Neuroscience Lab directed by Dr. Adriana Galván. Paola completed her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California Berkeley in 2013, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration from Yale University in 2022. She is broadly interested in how the brain supports the development of emotional behavior and cognition during the transition from childhood to adolescence, with a focus on developmental trajectories of brain maturation underlying anxiety.

Erik Nook

Postdoctoral Fellow

Erik was a NSF-funded Postdoctoral Fellow in the CANDLab 2021-2022. Erik is interested in how language shapes emotion across development. Erik's research investigates how people use words to represent and regulate their emotions, how children and teenagers learn about emotions, how emotions go awry in psychopathology, and how these processes are manifested in the brain. Before joining the CANDLab, Erik completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, worked as a lab manager at Stanford University, received his PhD from Harvard University, and completed his predoctoral clinical internship at Weill Cornell Medical College. Erik is now an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department of Princeton University, where he directs the Logic of Emotion Laboratory.

Michael Vanderlind

Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael was a pediatric neuropsychology fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine from 2019-2021 and conducted research in the CANDLab during that time. His work focused on individual differences in emotion preferences (i.e., what people prefer to feel) and their relation to trait and state anxiety symptoms using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods. Before joining the CANDLab, Michael earned his B.S. in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University in 2019. Michael now works as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He works with children and adolescents with a history of acquired brain injury in need of neuropsychological evaluation.

Bahar Bouzarjomehri

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Bahar is a freshman in Ezra Stiles College, planning to major in Psychology on the Neuroscience track. She is also pre-med and aims to pursue a career in Psychiatry specializing in Pediatrics after medical school. Bahar is primarily interested in the cross section of genetics and intergenerational trauma, as well as the role that early childhood trauma plays in cognitive and social development. Outside of the lab, she is also a member of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project and the Yale chapter of Volunteers Around the World which focuses on global medical outreach. In her free time, she enjoys hiking to East Rock, baking, and traveling.

Rachel Ababio

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachel is a junior in Silliman College, double majoring in Psychology and English. Her primary interests involve exploring cross-cultural impacts on adolescent cognitive development and behavior. After graduating, Rachel intends to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. On campus, Rachel is a mentor for Project Access, a college-prep service for low-income students based domestically and abroad. She sings with the Yale Glee Club and the New Blue of Yale. Outside of school, Rachel writes weekly articles for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Arts Paper.

Stephan Oliveira

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Stephan is majoring in a Bachelor of Science in Psychology as part of the class of 2024 in Trumbull College. Aside from clinical psychology, he is interested in the arts, particularly illustration, writing, and dance. He hopes to pursue graduate school with the intention of being a clinical psychologist with a focus on trauma, psychosis, and personality disorders. An additional interest is intersectional justice for marginalized populations and how the field of psychology has to remedy its practices to accommodate diverse individuals. 

Landon Allen

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Landon is a sophomore in Timothy Dwight College, planning to double major in Psychology and English. His primary interests involve the impact of childhood/adolescent experiences on behavior and cognitive development. Landon has not yet decided his post-graduation plans; however, he is interested in a variety of fields such as education, law, or of course, psychology. On campus, Landon is involved in Splash, an educational outreach organization that invites middle school and high school students to Yale, where undergraduates teach classes on virtually anything. Outside of school, Landon enjoys creative writing, tennis, and spending time with friends and family.  

Brandon Lopez

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Brandon is a senior in Saybrook College, majoring in Psychology and completing the pre-med requirements. They are interested in preventative measures for psychiatric disorders and the role of parents in the development and treatment of anxiety. After Yale, they would like to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. On campus, Brandon is involved with groups at La Casa Cultural: Latino Cultural Center and is a Saybrook First-Year Counselor. In their free time, they like to read fantasy novels, cook with friends, and go on runs.

Danielle de Haerne

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Danielle is a junior in Pauli Murray, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in how early life trauma resulting from poverty and similar stressors affects brain development and mental health outcomes, and the relationship between all of these on social development. After graduation, Danielle hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology to eventually work with children and adolescents on treating such issues as these. Outside of the lab, Danielle can be found working at one of her several part-time jobs or writing for student publications. In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading, working on her novel, yoga, and hiking.

Adrian Lin

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Adrian is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College pursuing a B.S in Psychology. He has had a lifelong interest in early childhood development and education. In the CAND Lab, he is currently helping with a project investigating the impact of early childhood stress on adolescents’ ability to regulate emotions. Adrian plans to apply to medical school next fall, with the goal of exploring more about the psychosocial impacts on physical health. Outside of the CAND Lab, Adrian is captain of the Yale Men’s Swimming and Diving Team and is also a Consent and Communication Educator on campus. When he is on break, he finds any opportunity he can to surf and spend time on the water.

Zoë Hopson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zoë is a sophomore in Davenport College and is planning to major in Political Science while completing pre-med requirements. She is interested in exploring non-biological factors that affect mental health such as income or geographic location. Her goal is to pursue a MPH/MD and eventually pursue a career focused on the neurological effects of mental disorders in under-represented communities. Outside of the lab, she is on the Black Solidarity conference board and on Yale's club soccer team. In Zoë’s free-time, you can find her in the African American Cultural Center, making cards with the Davenport Printing Press, or listening to podcasts. 

McKenna Christmas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

McKenna is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College pursuing a major in Psychology and Global Affairs. She is interested in the impact of trauma and stress on frontolimbic circuitry and how education responses in refugee camps and immigration centers can be informed by this neuroscience research. After graduation, she hopes to earn an M.Ed. and work as an education officer for an international relief NGO. Outside of the lab, she is involved in the Yale Human Rights Journal, Lowenstein Human Rights Project, Yale International Relations Association, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative. In McKenna’s free-time, you can find her teaching for IRIS or still searching for the best chai latte in New Haven. 

Mayerling Colin

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mayerling is a sophomore in Silliman College double majoring in Neuroscience and History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health on the pre-med track. She is particularly interested in the intersection of intergenerational trauma and child neurodevelopment. Outside of the CAND Lab, Mayerling is a Spanish-English interpreter for HAVEN Free Clinic. She also is a member of Matriculate’s leadership team, an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to empower first-generation, low-income high school students to find and transition into their best match colleges. In her free time, you can find Mayerling dancing cumbia, strolling through a museum, or sipping on a latte. 

Sarah McCauley

Lab Manager

Sarah graduated from Yale in 2018, where she majored in Psychology. Her interests lie in trauma-informed care, child welfare, and the effects of social and familial relationships on development throughout early life and adolescence. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career as a clinical social worker. Outside of the lab, she volunteers at Hall House Early Learning Center, worked at Calvin Hill Day Care Center & Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten, and was a member of the varsity women's soccer team at Yale.

Neida Moreno

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daphne Zhu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daphne is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles, majoring in Neuroscience. She is particularly interested in the intersection between social cognition and stress-induced neural pathways to psychiatric disorders and hopes to pursue a career in neuropathology in the future. Outside of the lab, Daphne plays clarinet in various ensembles on campus and volunteers with the Hypertension Awareness & Prevention Program at Yale. In her free time, Daphne can be found taking photographs or watching videos.

Seth Finkelstein

Research Assistant

Seth is a rising senior at the University of Michigan, studying Psychology with a minor in Community Action and Social Change (CASC). His main research interests revolve around internalizing disorders in children and adolescents, childhood trauma and how it predicts to mental health outcomes, suicide, and the effect that family dynamics have on the development of psychopathology. After graduating, Seth plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, taking walks, and spending time with friends and family.

Eliya Ahmad Herskowitz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Eliya is a sophomore in Trumbull College, planning to major in psychology with a certificate in education. She is interested in social and developmental psychology, with a particular focus on clinical applications and the intersections with social services. Outside of the lab, Eliya is the Chapter President of Circle of Women, a member of the Yale Ultimate Frisbee team, and an intern for the Political Research Associates. In her free time, she likes thrift shopping, playing board games, and going on excessively long walks. Ask her about her gap semester working on a commune with people with developmental disabilities! 

Drew Ward

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Drew is a Psychology major with a focus on neuroscience at Yale in the Class of 2023.  He is interested in the many facets of a child's life that affect their cognition and brain functioning and investigating important questions such as how socioeconomic status influences literacy and educational attainment. Drew wants to go to medical school and loves working with children. Outside of academics, Drew plays rugby at Yale and he enjoys playing video games and reading as well.

Ashley Sottosanti

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ashley is a sophomore in Pierson college and is majoring in neuroscience. She is interested in how different environments can affect how children’s brains develop. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation. Outside of the lab, she is a captain of the Yale Women’s Club Volleyball team and a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team, and volunteers with SNUGS, helping kids with disabilities learn how to swim, and at blood drives with the Red Cross. You can also often find her baking, reading a book, or, as a San Diego native, getting a little too excited about New England snow.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Adelson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth is a junior in Jonathan Edwards college and is pursuing a major in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. She is primarily interested in the emergence and treatment of mental disorders in adolescence and the role the family plays in abnormal development. She plans to either attend Medical school and specialize in pediatric psychiatry or pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. On campus, she is a high jumper on the Varsity Track and Field team.

Beatriz Horta

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Beatriz is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. She is interested in how early-life trauma can affect brain structure, and lead to socio-emotional challenges for children and adolescents. After graduation she plans on going to graduate school and possibly pursuing a PhD in Neuropsychology. On campus, she volunteers with the Community Health Educators, works as a mentor with Project Access, writes for the Scitech desk of the YDN and for Yale Scientific Magazine.

Lauren Quintela

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lauren is a senior in Pierson College, majoring in Psychology on the Neuroscience Track and pursuing a Spanish language certificate. She is interested in how we can optimize treatments and interventions for anxiety- and stress-related disorders, particularly in children and adolescents. After graduating, Lauren plans to attend dental school and pursue a career in orthodontics, pediatrics, or dental public health. On campus, Lauren is a tutor for Bridges ESL and a volunteer for Yale Alzheimer's Buddies. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

Julia Ditzer

Visiting Graduate Student

Julia is a Master's student in Psychology at Leipzig University and Visiting Graduate Student at Yale. She received her BS in Psychology from Martin-Luther University Halle. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Julia has worked in various labs, including Heide Glaesmer's at Leipzig University, focusing on the consequences of sexual violence against men in the context of war and migration. Currently, Julia is part of the Trauma Group at the Stanford Psychophysiology Lab where she investigates the long-term effects of childhood maltreatment on emotion processing and body perception. Julia is particularly interested in how experiences of neglect and abuse impact survivors' representations of their body. Outside of the lab, she loves to dance, swim, explore nature, and teach her sons to snorkel.

Ioann Popov

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ioann is a sophomore in Silliman College, planning to major in Neuroscience. He is interested in the relationships between neural structures and behaviors. He is especially interested in the effect of environmental factors on neural circuitry in children. After graduation from Yale, he hopes to attend medical school and become a psychiatrist.  In addition to working at the CAND Lab, Ioann works at the YCBA as a research assistant, is a project manager for the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association and is the assistant conductor of the Yale Russian Chorus. In his free time, Ioann can be found debating on the floor of the Independent Party, playing in online chess tournaments, or reading philosophy. 

Cailin Arechiga

MPH Student

Cailin is a 1st year MPH student at Yale.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.  Her interests include exposure to adversity and toxic stress in childhood and adolescence and the development of chronic autoimmune disease later in life, particularly gastrointestinal diseases.  In the future, she hopes to help children in Hispanic communities who are affected by anxiety and trauma.  Cailin enjoys reading, yoga, tap dancing, and Facetiming her dog Hadley who lives in California.

Emily Micciche

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emily is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Cognitive Studies and minoring in scientific computing and quantitative methods. She is interested in the role of emotion and emotion regulation in affective disorders, the neural correlates that underly these processes, and the way these processes affect treatment outcomes. Emily plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is currently working on a thesis evaluating a dimensional approach to distress disorders through the lens of emotion regulation. Outside of the lab, Emily loves singing, songwriting, embroidery, and spending time on the water. 

Mikah Covelli

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mikah Covelli is a junior at Yale University from Long Island, New York. She is pursuing a B.A. in psychology, and is also a member of the Yale Education Studies Program. Mikah is interested in the impacts of early trauma and educational experiences on the development of anxiety in children and adolescents. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. Outside of the lab, you can find her leading Yale’s American Sign Language club, ASLaY, binge-watching tv dramas, and spending time with her loved ones. 

Belle Morris

Summer Research Assistant

Belle is an upcoming senior at Sewanee: The University of the South, majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She is part of the Developmental Science Summer Internship at Yale. Belle is interested in the effects of early developmental factors such as early life stress on the brain development of children and adolescents. After graduation, Belle hopes to attend medical school. On her home campus, Belle is a lead proctor of her University as well as a Canale Intern where she volunteers for Grundy County Safe Baby Court. In her free time, Belle loves to read fiction, ride horses, and spend time with her young siblings. 

Georgia Spurrier

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Georgia is a first-year in Benjamin Franklin college majoring in Psychology. She is particularly interested in the psychological and behavioral effects of early-childhood trauma and attachment disorders as well as the effects of parenting on development. She hopes to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology and work with children and families to mitigate the effects of trauma. Outside of the lab, Georgia is an intern at the Yale New Haven Hospital Children’s Psychiatric Inpatient Unit and dances with the Peristalsis Dance Group. In her free time, Georgia can be found babysitting, at club gymnastics with friends, or reading nonfiction.

Marisa Rogers

Research Assistant

Marisa is a junior at the University of New Haven majoring in Community Clinical Psychology. She is particularly interested in neuropsychology and ways in which early life stressors affect brain development. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school and ultimately help children as a neuropsychologist. In her spare time, you can find her reading, baking, or spending time with family and friends.

Nisan Sele

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nisan is a rising senior in Amherst College, majoring in Neuroscience. She wishes to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and her research interests include developmental neurobiology, specifically the way environmental factors such as early-childhood stress can affect neural wiring and function. This summer, she is also beginning her Honors thesis on the relationship between zinc regulation and proteins involved in synapse development. In her free time, she likes attending Pilates classes and writing poetry.

Isabel Santiuste

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Isabel is a junior in Berkeley College, majoring in Psychology on the Neuroscience Track. She is particularly interested in how early life stressors and trauma affect neurodevelopment. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in psychiatry. On campus, she is involved in Y2Y New Haven, a project to open an overnight program for young adults experiencing homeless in New Haven, and volunteers as an interpreter for HAVEN Free Clinic. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and cooking.

JP Ditto

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a junior Psychology major in Silliman College at Yale. I am a pre-med student who is interested in learning more about research methods in neuroscience and psychology related to pediatric anxiety. As a west coast native, my hobbies include surfing, skateboarding, and making avocado toast. In addition to my studies, I am a diver on Yale’s Varsity Men’s Swimming and Diving team.

Zhiliang Fang

Summer Research Assistant

Zhiliang is a rising senior in Pauli Murray College and a visiting student from The University of Hong Kong. She is majoring in Linguistics and is interested in learning about children’s early development and neuroimaging. In the future, Zhiliang hopes to pursue a career in medicine, focusing on the effects of trauma on pediatric populations and possible interventions in emergency response settings. In her free time, she enjoys making art, being involved in theatre productions, and volunteering in the community. 

Caryl Behmoiras

Research Assistant

Caryl is in her first of a three year masters’ program with Yale School of Nursing. She is pursuing her licensure as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurse. Caryl is interested in working with children who have chronic illnesses. She is particularly interested in learning how to minimize anxiety and PTSD and improve overall mental health outcomes for these children. Outside of Yale, Caryl volunteers with her family at the Ronald McDonald House, practices Irish Dance, and loves going to the movies. 

Daniella Ferranti

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daniella is a rising senior at Quinnipiac University where she majors in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Clinical Science. She is also pursuing minors in Sociology and Spanish. In the future, Daniella hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in children and adolescents with anxiety and mood disorders. On campus, Daniella works as a student ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and holds positions on the College of Arts and Sciences Council, Psi Chi Honor Society, and Honors Leadership Board. In her spare time, Daniella enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her dogs Papi and Brady. 

Gabrielle Martin

Summer Research Assistant

Gabrielle is a junior psychology major and biology minor on the pre-med track at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Broadly, Gabrielle is interested in neurobiological and endocrine interactions, particularly in how these interactions impact communities of color. She is working with the CANDLab through Yale University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) on a study focusing on associations among trauma exposure, psychopathology, and frontolimbic circuitry in young adults. Gabrielle hopes to attend medical school, gain her MD/PhD, and become a physician-scientist. 

Iqra Shahzad

Summer Research Assistant

Iqra is a fourth-year undergraduate student from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata, majoring in Biological Sciences. She is interested in Cognitive Neuroscience. At IISER Kolkata, she works under Dr Koel Das and is interested in pursuing a PhD to focus on her research interests.

 

Olivia Meisner

Ph.D. Student

Olivia is a first-year graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University where she worked with Dr. Jocelyne Bachevalier to study socio-emotional development in juvenile rhesus macaques. After graduating, she worked at MIT for 3 years with Dr. Guoping Feng and Dr. Bob Desimone to study the typical neurodevelopmental trajectory of wildtype marmosets as well as ASD-like phenotypes in Shank3 marmosets. She is currently rotating in the CANDLab and is interested in studying the neural circuitry underlying typical and atypical emotional development and what factors contribute to resilience to the adverse effects of early life stress.

Yasmin Schrom

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Yasmin is a sophomore honors student at the University of Connecticut, majoring in Psychological Sciences on the pre-med track. She is interested in how both biological determinants and early developmental experiences cause differences in neural wiring, neural functioning, and mental health later in life. After graduation, Yasmin hopes to work toward a career in psychiatry. On campus, Yasmin is a peer-facilitator for incoming first year students and is also involved in Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys traveling, skiing, swimming, singing, and working as a lifeguard as well. 

Janice Dean

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a rising Junior in Timothy Dwight College, majoring in Psychology. I am a Yale Education Studies Scholar and have had a great interest in early childhood education and early adversity effects on future outcomes. In the near future, I plan to attend graduate school for a Ph.D. in social psychology or developmental psychology. In the distant future, I hope to work in education policy, altering our current pedagogies to benefit our students and those struggling with mental health. Outside of the classroom, I am very involved in the Education Studies program and my local Boys and Girls Club. I enjoy hiking, gardening, photography, and drawing in my freetime.

Ashna Aggarwal

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ashna is a sophomore in Trumbull College, majoring in Cognitive Science while fulfilling pre-med requirements. She hopes to obtain an MD/PhD in the future, and pursue a career focused jointly on clinical practice and neuroscience research. She is particularly interested in the neural basis of mental disorders in children and adolescents, and the factors that can contribute to the onset of mental disorders. Outside of CANDLab, she can be found volunteering with Yale Demos, which teaches science workshops in low-income elementary schools, or dancing with Yale Rangeela. She also enjoys reading, painting, photography, and traveling. 

Uma Raul

Summer Research Assistant

Uma is a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh and is majoring in Psychology. She further wishes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology. She is interested in learning about neuroimaging and wishes to acquire a deeper understanding of the interactions between the brain and its behavioral responses. She has been working as a research assistant with Dr. Horton since the past year. Their research is focused on the dysregulation of the heart rate variability (HRV) and stress in first-degree relatives of people with Schizophrenia. In her free time, she loves dancing and is on a dance team at Pitt. She also enjoy watching movies and spending time with friends.

Nicholas Ruiz-Huidobro Magdits

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nico is a junior in Trumbull College in the Cognitive Science and Human Rights programs. He is interested in psychopathology and its effects on memory systems, as well as the social and environmental determinants of mental health. He is considering going to graduate school for law and public health, and is planning to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future. Outside of lab, Nico works with a few student publications, is involved in the Peruvian club, and tutors with the Center for Language Study. In his free time, he can be found reading, napping, or exploring the Yale University Art Gallery.

Cecilia Livingston

Summer Research Assistant

Cecilia Livingston is a senior in Amity Regional High School, once she graduates from high school in the spring of 2020, she plans on attending University. While she hasn't decided on her major yet, she enjoys learning about neurosciences, political science, and psychology, and will likely pursue a major relating to one of those topics. Outside of CANDlab, Cecilia works at Ashley's Ice Cream in New Haven and enjoys painting and drawing. This summer she will also be attending the Institute for Environmental Journalism in New York City.

Reta Behnam

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Reta is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College, pursuing a degree in Psychology on the Neuroscience track with aspirations of attending medical school. She’s primarily interested in the role that early childhood trauma plays in the development of mood and personality disorders. Her main population of interest is victims of war and refugees specifically from regions where mental health is not well understood. Beyond the lab, you can find Reta working in the Ezra Stiles Head of College Office. She also is an Outreach Coordinator and camp counselor for Camp Kesem (a summer camp for children whose parents have cancer) and volunteers at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Elizabeth Calabresi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth is a rising senior in Trumbull College, pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. She has worked as an RA in The Mind and Development Lab for two years researching the rise of moral thought and action in children throughout development. She is interested in developmental psychopathology as well as how environmental and socio-cultural factors interact with the development of self-regulatory capacities. On campus, Elizabeth is the Drum Major of The Yale Precision Marching Band, a member of Women’s C1 Club Soccer, and works with The Yale Prison Education Initiative. In her free time, she likes playing board games and spending time with friends and family.

Christine Ramirez

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Christine is a junior in Saybrook College, majoring in Neuroscience and pursuing a Spanish certificate. She is interested in understanding the effect trauma and stress have on brain structures and brain connectivity in adolescents and how it affects people long-term. She is also interested in learning about more effective ways for people to cope with their trauma and emotions. On campus, she is a violinist and the community service outreach coordinator in the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and is on the board in groups in La Casa Cultural. In her free time, she enjoys running, listening to music and playing music, and spending time with her friends and family.

Sumedha Mishra

Research Assistant

Sumedha graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Mumbai in 2022. She finds herself curious about the various long-term effects of childhood maltreatment, interpersonal violence and emotion regulation. In the near future, Sumedha plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology to further explore her interests and in the longer run, she hopes to excel as a trauma researcher. Outside of the lab, you can find her cafe-hopping across Bombay, going on long drives and cooking cuisines from around the world!

Nisha Sridhar

Summer Research Assistant

Nisha Sridhar is a rising junior at the University of Oregon majoring in human physiology.  At Oregon, is involved as research assistant in the Stress Neurobiology and Prevention (SNAP) Lab as a part of a study examining child-caregiver interactions using electroencephalogram (EEG).  After graduating she plans on attending medical school to pursue a career in pediatric neurology.  In her free time she enjoys biking, and spending time with family, friends, and her chocolate labradoodle.  

Alissa Wong

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alissa is a junior in Pierson College who is majoring in neuroscience. She is particularly interested in brain development and how environmental factors impact behavior and cognitive function, more specifically the neural mechanisms. She is also interested in learning more about neurodegenerative diseases. This summer, she worked with Neuroethics Canada at the University of British Columbia, researching the neurologic manifestations of COVID-19. After Yale, she hopes to attend graduate school and continue in the field of neuroscience. In addition to her studies, Alissa is also a part of the Yale Women's Field Hockey team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with friends. 
 

Dori Guzman Garcia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Dori is a senior in Hopper College, majoring in Cognitive Science. Her interests lie in developmental psychology, particularly in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral changes and psychopathology in children and adolescents, and she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuroscience after graduation. Over the summer, Dori worked at the Yale Cognition and Development Lab. Outside of the lab, she is a member of the varsity women's crew team, as well as an interpreter for the Yale-Partnered HAVEN Free Clinic and the New Haven Legal Assistance Association.

Medha Illindala

Summer Research Assistant

Medha is a junior at Choate Rosemary Hall, and once she graduates, hopes to pursue a major in fields relating to psychology and neuroscience. Although her career path isn’t fully planned out, she developed an interest in going into medicine and specializing in neurology or psychiatry after volunteering in the neurology ward at a hospital. She is also interested in robotics, and was accepted into the Advanced Robotics Concentration at her high school. Outside of academics, Medha has been taking karate for over 10 years, and has received her third degree black belt. 

Haley Hegefeld

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Haley is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College, majoring in Psychology. Last year, she worked in the Social Cognitive Development Lab, also known as the Tiger Lab, studying how children conceptualize the social groups around them. She is particularly interested in how psychological disorders emerge in adolescence and what mechanisms can protect them from this. She hopes to one day work as a clinical psychologist for adolescent women. In her free time, Haley helps run Christian Union at Yale, dances with Groove Dance Company, and watches lots of movies at the Bow Tie Criterion.

Alice Dyer

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alice is a member of Benjamin Franklin College ’24.5 from Cambridge, Mass. She is a Psychology major on the Neuroscience track. Within the field of Psychology she is interested in psychopathology and the development of psychiatric disorders. In particular she is interested in ADHD and its effect on childhood behaviors and cognitive performance. Outside of academics, she is a captain of the Women’s Club Lacrosse Team and a manager of the Beanjamin Cafe. She enjoys running, hiking, and travel in her free time.

Sterling Strother

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sterling is a junior in Ezra Stiles College majoring in Psychology. His primary interests include the development and treatment of mental disorders in children and the roles family members can play in the development of mental disorders. After Yale, he would like to explore opportunities in applied psychology, and potentially look into a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. Sterling plays offensive line for the Yale football team, and enjoys playing music on the trombone, playing basketball, and reading nonfiction in his free time. 

Sarah Bakirci

Master's Student

Sarah is a second-year student in the Yale – University College London joint Master of Research in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology. She received a BSc in Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada during which she completed an internship at the Institute of Medical Sciences at University of Toronto. At U of T, she investigated grief, loss, and vicarious trauma in healthcare professionals and received a Research Undergraduate Opportunity award based on academic merit to carry out her work. During the first year of her Masters at UCL, she worked as a research assistant helping young survivors seeking asylum with the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile. Her research interests lie in early-life adversity and latent vulnerability of trauma, with the goal of elucidating neural correlates of adversity and implementing novel interventions to improve later-life outcomes. At CANDLab, she is completing her thesis on emotion regulation in anxious and non-anxious populations.

Jenny Wang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jenny is a final year student at the University of Cambridge, reading Education, Psychology and Learning. She is interested in the way environmental factors such as early-childhood stress and adversity affect children’s brain development and mental health later in life. Her goal is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with her twin sister, family and friends.

Rosalia Rojas

Research Assistant

Rosalia Rojas graduated from California State University, Northridge ('20) with a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in applied science. She is the Bilingual Postgrad Associate at the Zigler Center at Yale University. Broadly, she is interested in studying mental health and associated health disparities in children and adolescents by also implementing research into policy. More specifically, in how early life adversity affects social emotional learning, and ways to prevent anxiety and depression resulting from early life adversity. Her postgrad plans include pursuing a PhD in psychology. Outside of research, she enjoys exploring different ethnic foods, dancing, and dinner parties with friends.

Madeleine Loewen

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Madeleine is a third-year undergraduate in Trumbull College who is majoring in Psychology and pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Language in French. She is interested in the development of anxiety disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Outside of the lab, she is involved in the Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities at Yale. She has featured in several theatrical productions on campus, including Twisted and Much Ado About Nothing. She also enjoys both creative and academic writing.

Lindiwe Mayinja

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lindiwe is a rising senior in Silliman College majoring in Psychology. She is interested in how early life stressors and parental experiences affect the neurobiology underlying emotional regulation development in children. Lindiwe hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in  Clinical Psychology after college, and endeavors to work with children and adolescents. In addition to her work in the CANDLab, Lindiwe is a school intern at the Yale New Haven Hospital Children's Psychiatric Inpatient Unit. In her free time, Lindiwe sings in Magevet, Yale's Jewish a cappella group, tutors math and literacy at Fair Haven School, and will be a First-Year Counselor for Silliman beginning this fall.  

Ashley Talton

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ashley is a sophomore in Branford College, majoring in Psychology on the Neuroscience track. She is interested in the information that neuroimaging can provide to better understand the onset of anxiety and depression and how that can translate to a clinical setting. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and work with children as a pediatrician or neonatologist. Outside of the lab, Ashley is involved in the Christian community at Yale and volunteers as a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line. She also enjoys baking and playing tennis.
 

Sean McCauley

Summer Research Assistant

Sean is a rising senior at Masuk High School. Upon graduating in the spring of 2020, he plans to attend college and is not sure what major he will pursue. He enjoys classes in mathematics and social studies and looks forward to having such a wide range of college courses to choose from. Outside of CANDLab, Sean plays on the varsity volleyball team at Masuk and is the captain of his travel volleyball team. He also manages another sports team at Masuk and will be working at several camps during summer 2019.

Cristina Nardini

Full-Time Research Assistant

Cristina graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2018 with a B.A. in psychology and specialization in biopsychology. While at TCNJ, she contributed to studies examining the neural underpinnings of learning and memory during her three years in the Event-Related Potentials Lab under Dr. Andrew Leynes. At Yale, Cristina has largely contributed to research exploring the neural and behavioral responses to a novel parent-based treatment for pediatric anxiety. She is also involved in work examining the relation between dimensional features of early life adversity and child development, which is related to the work she hopes to pursue in graduate school. In her free time, Cristina enjoys visiting new coffee shops, teaching spin classes, and babysitting her nephew, Anthony, and fur-nephew, Remy!   

Aviva Abusch

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aviva is a senior in Pierson College, majoring in Cognitive Science. She is most interested in the societal response to various forms of mental illness, and particularly disorders that impair social behavioral development, such as autism spectrum disorder and anxiety. Over the summer, Aviva studied at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences at the University of Trento, Italy, through their partnership with Harvard Summer School. She hopes to eventually work on changing public policy to increase widespread access to mental health resources. In her free time, Aviva can often be found in a theater, though she occasionally emerges to give tours of Yale and write articles or work on layout for the Yale Scientific Magazine.

Selen Amado

Summer Research Assistant

Selen is a rising senior at Brandeis University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education Studies and Music. She is interested in developmental psychopathology and the treatment of childhood disorders. At Brandeis, Selen works in Prof. Gutchess’s Aging, Culture and Cognition Lab, where she works on research about the effects of culture on memory mechanisms. She wants so pursue a PhD. in Clinical Psychology and work with children with anxiety disorders. In her free time, Selen likes singing with her acappella group, playing the piano, and travelling.

Brittany Clarke

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Brittany Clarke is a sophomore in Saybrook College, hoping to major in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. She is interested in how neuroscience and social-behavioral psychology can help make sense of how early life events and environments can affect individuals' brains at differing stages of life. In her post-Yale future, Brittany hopes to explore applied psychology and pursue an advanced degree in this field. Outside of academics, Brittany can be found mentoring for New Haven REACH, having a good time at Danceworks practice, enjoying a savory meal or sweet snack at her favorite local restaurants, taking an energizing nap, or catching up with family and friends.

Clare Beatty

Summer Research Assistant

Clare is a rising senior at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Psychology. At Vanderbilt, Clare works in Dr. Judy Garber’s lab, researching social-cognitive and environmental factors that contribute to the onset of mood disorders. Clare is interested in studying the neural basis of anxiety and depressive disorders. After graduating, Clare hopes to pursue a Ph.D in clinical psychology. She would love to research anxiety disorders through a biological lens and study treatment intervention. Clare is fascinated by the idea that we may tailor treatment based on neural connectivity patterns. Beyond this, Clare is interested in researching the interaction between brain function and genetics in mental health issues like psychopathology and antisocial personality disorder. Outside of the lab, Clare loves to bake, take photographs, draw and spend time with family & friends. 

Rob Colgate

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rob is a senior in Morse College, majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. His main interests lie in the risk factors involved in the development of affective disorders and exploring different treatment methods, particularly dialectical behavioral therapy. Before working in the CANDLab, he spent time as a research assistant at the Northwestern University Project on Child Development as well as the McNally Lab at Harvard University. He hopes to one day work as a clinical or school psychologist. On campus, he is the co-president of the Yale Undergraduate Mindfulness Education Initiative, which teaches mindfulness workshops in local schools, as well as being a coxswain on the varsity lightweight crew team. Outside of school, he enjoys running, going to concerts, and writing poetry. 

Juan Contreras

Summer Research Assistant

Juan graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) in 2017 with a B.A in Psychology. Prior to joining the CANDLab, he has been a research assistant to Dr. Jason Moser at MSU and Dr. Ethan Kross at the University of Michigan. Additionally, Juan has gained research experience in Dr. Niall Bolger’s lab at Columbia University in the City of New York. Juan’s research interests involve examining salutary placebo effects in emotion regulatory processes with a primary focus on the influences of placebo mechanisms in affective disorders like anxiety and depression. Looking forward, he hopes to contribute scientific basis for novel interventions. Ultimately, Juan hopes to pursue a Ph.D. Clinical Psychology in the near future to focus on his research interests. 

Madeleine Conlin

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maddi is a junior in Davenport College, majoring in Psychology. She is most interested in understanding the underlying neural and behavioral mechanisms of clinical psychopathology, especially in children. Prior to the start of this academic year, Maddi spent her summer working at the Harvard Vision Lab, run by Talia Konkle, where she spent time examining high-level visual representations in the mind, with a primary focus on objects, actions, and scenes. She hopes to pursue a career using applied psychology to create novel treatment options for children as disordered functioning emerges over the course of development. Outside of her academic interests, Maddi is passionate about skiing, traveling, and the outdoors.

Sadie Zacharek

Research Coordinator

Sadie graduated in 2018 with a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied Neuroscience and Behavior. There she was involved in developmental psychology research focusing on children's language development and statistical learning. She is particularly interested in pediatric psychopathology and the efficacy of early interventions. In the future, she intends to attend graduate school to study either clinical psychology or neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Sadie enjoys running, good coffee, reading, hiking, and skiing.

Catrin Zharyy

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Catrin is a junior at Northeastern University, where she is majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience. She is interested in how social and environmental factors affect brain development and cognition. Her career goal is to do research that informs public policy that supports global brain health. At Northeastern, she is part of the neuroscience research club, Nu Rho Psi honor society, and writes for the science magazine. Outside of school, she loves to read (especially fiction and memoirs), watch movies, and try her hand at various crafts!

Rebecca Crystal

Summer Research Assistant

Rebecca Crystal is a rising senior at Barnard College with a major in Psychology and minor in Education Studies. She is most interested in studying predictors of anxiety disorders in youth populations. Rebecca intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a career in research and/or as a clinical child psychologist.

Ana Greenberg

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ana is a junior at Yale University and a Neuroscience major. She is pre-med and hopes to pursue a career in neurosurgery in the future. In the past, she has done research at Rockefeller University on the molecular mechanism responsible for sex discrepancies in stress susceptibility, and she is interested in continuing work on the effects of stress on the developing brain. She has also worked at a biotechnology startup creating a brain-to-computer interface, and is currently working on a technology for early Alzheimer’s detection. In her free time, she volunteers at Yale New Haven Hospital, and helps to run a women’s mental health and wellness organization at Yale.

Jordana Gardenswartz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jordy (Timothy Dwight ’18) is a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies major with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Politics. She is interested in issues of social inequality and how they intersect with mental health and wellness. After her sophomore year, Jordy worked in the foster care system in New York City and witnessed the importance of effective, accessible mental health care firsthand. On campus, Jordy works as a Peer Wellness Champion and is active in the Slifka Center for Jewish Life. In her free time, she enjoys running, watching Gilmore Girls, and eating froyo.

Emma Goodman

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emma is a senior in Saybrook College majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. She is particularly interested in how early life trauma enhances susceptibility to developing psychopathology in children and adolescents. Emma plans to attend medical school after graduation and specialize in psychiatry. Outside of the CANDLAB, she serves as co-president of Mind Matters, Yale’s undergraduate-run mental health organization, where she organizes student panels, speaker events, and other mental health awareness programming. In her free time, Emma can be found playing her ukulele and singing at open-mics, reading Victorian novels, or planning her next travel adventure. 

Cristian Hernandez

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Cristian is a senior in Saybrook College, hoping to major in Cognitive Science while fulfilling pre-med coursework. Prior to the CANDLab, he was a research assistant in the Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Lab. His research interests include brain development and how genetics, environment, and other factors play a role in cognition and psychopathology. Outside of the lab, Cristian can be seen performing with his comedy group, serving on the Yale College Council Events Committee, and teaching local high school students about abuse with the Community Health Educators.

Nancy Lu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nancy is a sophomore in Pauli Murray College, hoping to major in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. Her interests include understanding how early life trauma affects disorders such as depression in adulthood. Her interest in psychology arose from working in an epidemiology lab at the Magee-Womens Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied how early life physical and sexual abuse correlated with adulthood disorders such as obesity and depression. Currently, she has a dream of attending medical school and becoming a psychiatrist. She is also a member the Living History Project at YNHH, the treasurer of the New Haven AIDS walk, and an assistant editor of the Yale Journal of Medicine and Law.

Luise Prüßner

Fulbright Scholar

Luise joined the Psychology Department as Yale’s 2016-2017 Heidelberg Exchange Scholar and a Fulbright grantee. Luise is currently obtaining her M.Sc. in Developmental and Clinical Psychology from Heidelberg University, Germany. After graduating from the University of Hildesheim with a B.Sc. in Psychology, she worked at the Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim on a project on the biological causes of autism spectrum conditions and at the Department of Developmental and Biological Psychology in Heidelberg using EEG, eye-tracking and fMRI techniques. Luise is especially interested in the neural bases of adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies in both typical and atypical development.

Jessica Grauberd

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jessica is a sophomore at Emory University majoring in psychology and minoring in Italian Studies. She is primarily interested in how familial relationships and home life can contribute to child and adolescent development, especially related to developing mental health issues and disorders. On campus, she is on the Public Relations committee of Atlanta Pediatric Cancer Outreach club and volunteers for the Young Democrats of Emory. In her free time, she can be found drawing, cooking, baking, or skiing.

Lexi Hopkins

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lexi is a junior in Pauli Murray College, majoring in History of Science, Medicine and Public Health while fulfilling pre-med requirements. She hopes to obtain a MPH/MD in the future and pursue a career in pediatric psychiatry. She is particularly interested in how early childhood trauma leads to mental disorders later on in life. Over the summer Lexi worked in the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program at Yale’s Child Study Center researching treatment methods and maternal influence on childhood anxiety. In her free time, Lexi volunteers with Yale Alzheimer’s Buddies, teaches spin classes on campus, and contributes to the Title IX Advisory Board.

Amy Kwarteng

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amy is a senior in Pauli Murray College, majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. Her interests include understanding how psychiatric disorders emerge in adolescents and learning about specific adaptations the brain creates to ensure proper function in the presence of stressful stimuli and abused substances, both natural and synthetic. She hopes to attend medical school in the near future and specialize in psychiatry or neurology. Outside of the lab, Amy is a dancer in Dzana, Yale’s premier African dance group, a logistics coordinator for the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale, and a Pre-frosh advisor, as well as a Student Ambassador for the Yale College Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Audrey Huang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Audrey is a rising senior in Branford College, majoring in cognitive science with a specific interest in early adversity effects on neurocognitive development. She is also part of the 5-year BS/MPH program and will continue an additional year at Yale to pursue a Master’s in Public Health in Social & Behavioral Sciences. In the future, she hopes to pursue work in clinical social work, street psychiatry, and/or youth development. Outside of classes and lab, Audrey works as a student intern at the Connecticut Mental Health Center through the Community Mental Health Fellowship and is involved in Christian community on campus. She also loves to paint, write, and spend time outdoors.

Jasmyne Pierre

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jasmyne is a sophomore in Trumbull College, majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. She is interested in the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral changes and psychopathology in children and adolescents, and she hopes to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. On campus, Jasmyne is on the Women's Center board and involved in groups based out of the Afro-American Cultural Center. In her free time, she can be found reading, knitting, crocheting, or making music with friends.

Hannah Logan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hannah is a Senior in Branford college and is pursuing a major in Psychology. She is primarily interested in anxiety and the different ways that it can affect adolescent brain development. Although not yet entirely sure of her post-graduation plans, she is interested in applying her psychology background in consulting or advertising. Hannah played defense for the Yale Women's Lacrosse team for 3 years, and is a Senior Mentor for the Psychology Department. She enjoys skiing, reading psychological thrillers, and spending time with friends and family.

Nathalie Eid

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nathalie is a junior in Davenport College pursuing a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is fascinated in the intersection of evolutionary biology and psychology and wants to learn more about adaptations of the brain in response to stress. She is interested in studying the effects of trauma on the neural circuitry and function of the developing brain, and how this can be linked to behavior and psychopathology. She hopes to go to medical school after graduation. Outside of the CAND lab, Nathalie is a distance swimmer for the Yale Swimming and Diving team and helps run the Special Needs Undergraduate Swim Lessons club.

Sophie Rader

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sophie is a senior in Branford College majoring in Psychology. She is interested in understanding how childhood adversity, particularly in the medical realm, contributes to the development of anxiety in adolescence and beyond. Last year, Sophie worked in the Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain lab. Outside of the lab, she is the director of fundraising for Circle of Women, a student-run non-profit organization. She transferred to Yale from Pomona College, and is a counselor for new transfer students at Yale. In her free time, Sophie can be found painting, running, watching cooking shows, or running while watching cooking shows.

Hopewell Rogers

Research Assistant

Hopewell graduated from Yale in 2018, where she studied English and was pre-med. Her main interest is psychological trauma, and particularly the role that narrative and storytelling can play in helping individuals and communities in the aftermath of violence. Outside of school, she splits time between central Baltimore and rural Florida, but New Haven feels like a real home to her as well. While at Yale, she’s enjoyed an off-campus job as a writer and editor at Love146, a non-profit that serves survivors of child trafficking here in Connecticut and abroad. She also spends time babysitting for kids in the local foster system, workshopping essays with fellow students as a Writing Partner, coming up with food-related study breaks as a Chaplaincy Fellow, watching nature documentaries, and riding her bike to friends' houses in Westville or Beaver Hills.

Janeen Thomas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Janeen is a senior in Morse College, majoring in Neuroscience and completing pre-med coursework. Her interests lie in understanding how early-life stress affects neurobiological development, and she hopes to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. Outside of the lab, she is involved with Yale Students of Christ and the Chaplain's Office as well as serving as a peer liaison for visiting international students. She is also a mentor for the Bridges of Hope program in New Haven.

Mackenzye Smith

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Mackenzye is a senior in Pierson College, majoring in the Neuroscience track of Psychology and completing pre-nursing coursework. Before joining the CANDLab, Mackenzye participated in the Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) program and worked as a research assistant in Dr. Steve Chang's lab. Her research interests include studying the development of anxiety disorders and its relationship with intellectual and developmental disorders, in particular autism spectrum disorders. Aside from working in the CANDLab, Mackenzye serves as the President of Yale's Special Olympics chapter, volunteers with the Initiative for Girls and Women with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center, is a member of Students for Autism Awareness at Yale (SAAY), and works as a Student Ambassador for the Yale College Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She hopes to attend a Master's of Science in Nursing program in order to become a Nurse Practitioner after graduating from Yale. 

Jason Haberman

Lab Manager

Jason is a former Lab Manager for the Clinical Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab. He graduated with a B.A. from Brandeis University in 2015, where he double-majored in Psychology and Health: Science, Society and Policy. In order to gain varied clinical research experiences, Jason worked in multiple youth-focused labs as an undergraduate, including the Child and Adolescent Research on Development Lab at Brandeis with Ellen Wright and the Harvard Lab for Youth Mental Health with Nancy Lau (Ph.D. candidate) and John Weisz. As a post-bacc, he gained exposure to neuroimaging and cognitive mechanism research in affective disorders through working in McLean Hospital's Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research with Isabelle Rosso and Scott Rauch. Jason is interested in studying the neural and behavioral predictors of treatment outcomes for youth affective disorders, specifically in comorbid populations, so as to improve upon current evidence-based practices.

In Memoriam

Camila Caballero

In December 2021, the CANDLab lost a beloved friend, colleague, and labmate. Camila Caballero was a brilliant, compassionate, generous, funny, genuine, and deeply loving person who brought immense light to the world. Camila was pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the CANDLab, where her work was deeply motivated by her desire to support children impacted by trauma. She was a brilliant researcher, talented clinician, gifted leader, and a cherished mentor and friend to so many.

Camila approached all she did with vigor, love, and a deep commitment to improving the lives of children and fostering equity. Camila earned her bachelor’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. Alongside her academic pursuits and contributions to neuroscience research on mechanisms of plasticity in the visual and motor systems as an undergraduate, Camila co-founded Amphibious Achievement, a dual athletics-academic mentorship program for high school students in the greater Boston area that continues to thrive at MIT more than ten years later. Following her undergraduate work, Camila earned her master’s degree in education at Boston University while serving as a special education math teacher with Teach for America at Spark Academy in Lawrence, MA. Reflecting her longstanding dedication to social change and the tremendous impact of her work, Camila was awarded the Priscilla King Gray Award for Exceptional Commitment to Public Service at MIT and the Sontag Prize in Urban Education for outstanding teaching in mathematics by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Prior to beginning her doctoral work at Yale, Camila worked as a research assistant for two years in the Gabrieli Lab at MIT where she was a beloved lab member and made pivotal contributions to the group’s research on neurocognitive development and school-based interventions.

In the CANDLab, Camila’s research broadly focused on the development of emotion regulation among youth experiencing highly stressful environments. Motivated by her experiences working in the classroom, Camila was especially interested in understanding heterogeneity in emotion regulation at the behavioral and neural level to inform how interventions can be better tailored for specific children based on their strengths and areas for growth. Camila brought incredible depth of thought to these questions, approaching her studies with great nuance and consideration for the multifaceted nature of emotion and the environments in which children develop. She was highly creative, both in her scientific approach to designing clever studies to tackle challenging questions that the field has long struggled to answer, and in her design of research materials that are engaging, effective with children and adolescents, and specifically suited for use with youth who have experienced adversity. During her four years in the CANDLab, Camila made invaluable contributions to the lab’s line of research on emotion regulation, using fMRI and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to better understand how specific dimensions of emotion regulation develop as a function of changes in corticolimbic circuitry. This work was recognized and supported by a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and Camila was posthumously awarded an APA Dissertation Research Award. In addition to her doctoral research, Camila was passionate about mentoring and served as a brilliant and committed mentor to the lab’s team of undergraduates working to implement EMA, many of whom conducted impressive senior theses with her thoughtful guidance.

Beyond her major research contributions in the lab, Camila significantly affected the lab’s culture and community in ways that will be felt for years to come. Camila was deeply committed to equity and justice, and she thought deeply about how we conduct science, as well as the real-world impact our studies have on the lives of children and families. Camila’s approach to her research was beautifully human-centered, and was often inspired by the experiences of particular children she had worked with as a teacher or therapist. Camila often referenced Tupac Shakur’s famous quote in her work: “You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary we would all celebrate its tenacity.” She recognized and honored the humanity and immense potential and strengths in every child. Camila called her students “game changers,” always celebrating their strengths and seeking to empower them. At the same time, she recognized the immense need for structural changes to dismantle systems that oppress and perpetuate trauma. Camila was centrally involved in efforts related to diversity and inclusion in academia and was relentless in her efforts to promote equity and justice in society more broadly. In the CANDLab, she co-founded the Social Justice Series, providing a space for important discussions about the intersections of our research with society, policy, history, and culture. In all she did, Camila was a deeply empathic, generous, and supportive labmate, fundamentally shaping the lab in ways that will impact its members for years to come.

Camila was extraordinary in so many ways. Her brilliance was perhaps only eclipsed by her incredible empathy and kindness on a personal level. She was a deeply loving, supportive, and thoughtful friend, an amazing plant parent, and a comedic genius when it came to bad puns. It is impossible to capture in words how brightly she shone, or how much she is missed.

Camila’s contributions to psychology will continue to reverberate through the many contributions she made to children’s mental health, her lasting influence on the CANDLab’s research, and the immeasurable impact that she had on her labmates in the CANDLab, the Yale Psychology community, and colleagues across the field. Our lives have been forever shaped by the light that Camila brought to our community. We love and miss her deeply, and always will.