Fred R. Volkmar, M.D. is the Irving B. Harris Professsor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, and Director of the Child Study Center. He trained at Stanford University and at Yale. He has a long standing interest in the assessment and classification of autism and related disorders. He was the coordinator of the International Field Trial for autism and related disorders, which developed the definition of autism used in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Fourth Edition,1994). He is also an Associate editor of Psychoses and Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence and, along with Drs. Paul, Klin & Cohen, of the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Third Edition.
Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor who completed his doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. He then undertook postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Work in Dr. Pelphrey's laboratory focuses on discovering brain mechanisms underlying the development of different aspects of social cognition. This work employs cognitive neuroscience methods including functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, imaging genetics, visual scanpath recordings, and virtual reality techniques. The laboratory conducts studies focused on fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of social cognition in children with and without autism. Dr. Pelphrey has received a Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a John Merck Scholars Award for his work on the biology of developmental disorders, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early career theoretical contributions to Developmental Psychology. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the National Science Foundation. To learn more about Dr. Pelphrey's work, visit the Yale Child Neuroscience Lab website.
Katarzyna (Kasia) Chawarska, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Yale Child Study Center with expertise in experimental developmental psychology and developmental disorders. She earned her graduate degree at the Yale Department of Psychology and completed her post-graduate training at the Yale Autism Program. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Director of Toddler Developmental Disabilities at the CSC. Dr. Chawarska's research has been focused on abnormalities in action monitoring, gaze perception, and face recognition in toddles with developmental disorders as well as in infants at risk for ASD. She leads the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab. She is an author of a number of articles on early syndrome expression and diagnosis of ASD. Recently, she co-edited a book on ASD in infants and toddlers focused on issues associated with assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. To learn more about Dr. Chawarska's work, visit the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab.
James McPartland, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, and Associate Director of the Developmental Electrophysiology Laboratory at the Child Study Center. He graduated magna cum laude in Psychology from Harvard University and obtain a doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington. He completed pre- and post-doctoral clinical fellowships at the Child Study Center and is a licensed child psychologist, currently leading a multidisciplinary team at the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. He co-teaches an undergraduate seminar addressing topics in autism and providing students with opportunities for direct clinical experience. Dr. McPartland's program of research employs electroencephalography and eye-tracking to investigate the integrity of brain systems supporting social information processing in both typical and atypical development. He is particularly interested in the developmental nature of social deficits in autism and the role that experience plays in shaping brain function and behavior over time. The objective of Dr. McPartland's program of research is to develop biologically-based tools for earlier identification of autism and for the objective assessment of response to intervention. Dr. McPartland's research has been recognized by a Clinical and Translational Sciences Scholar Award from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, a Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition and a Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Mental Health, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award. To learn more about Dr. McPartland's research, visit the McPartland Lab website.
Katherine D. Tsatsanis, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Child Study Center. Dr. Tsatsanis obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology in Canada and completed her clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. Her publications focus on assessment, neuropsychological profiles, and outcomes in ASD, in addition to several articles in the area of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. Her primary research interests lie in phenotypic expression, developmental trajectories and outcome in ASD. Her current work assessing developmental trajectories, predictors of outcome, syndrome expression and co-morbidity in ASD is federally funded (NICHD). In addition to her research, Dr. Tsatsanis is committed to clinical endeavors.
Kathleen Koenig, M.S.N. is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatry and an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. Kathy received her master's degree from the Yale School of Nursing and was the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Chronic Care Training Grant. Kathy has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings, with special expertise dealing with adults with chronic mental illness, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Since 1995, Kathy's work has focused on the clinical evaluation of children with developmental disabilities, including Fragile X syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been actively involved in intervention research to address behavioral impairments and core impairments of autism spectrum disorders.
Kathy is currently involved in a variety of research, clinical, teaching and consultation activities related to addressing the needs of children with developmental disabilities, particularly autism spectrum conditions. Kathy's current focus is on helping schools and communities develop intervention programs to address the complex needs of children with autism spectrum disorders. Additional special areas of interest include research on the efficacy of social skills intervention for children on the autism spectrum, as well as understanding sex differences in autism spectrum disorders, particularly as these issues relate to girls diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Suzanne Macari, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. She earned her doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Virginia and completed post-doctoral fellowships in autism research at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute with Dr. Sally Rogers and Dr. Sally Ozonoff, and at the Yale Child Study Center Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Chawarska. Currently, she is part of the assessment team for studies involving infants and toddlers. Her research focuses on visual attention and perception in infants and toddlers with autism, early behavioral markers of autism, and developmental changes in the phenotypic expression of autism over the first three years of life.
Julie Wolf, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Child Study Center. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, where she studied autism spectrum disorders (ASD) under the mentorship of Dr. Deborah Fein. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Chicago, including rotations in ASD and neuropsychology. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Schultz, during which time she was involved in a study investigating the effectiveness of a computer-based intervention (Let's Face It!) targeting face processing skills in children with ASD. Dr. Wolf currently conducts evaluations through the Developmental Disabilities Clinic as well as for various research projects. Her additional interests include social skills training and sibling support groups.
Pamela Ventola, Ph.D. earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut under the mentorship of Dr. Deborah Fein. She completed her post-doctoral work at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Ventola has vast experience conducting psychological assessments on children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Her current research focuses on neuropsychological processes in children with autism as well as response to intervention in preschool-aged children with ASD. Dr. Ventola has written numerous scholarly journal articles and book chapters on developmental disabilities.
Brent Vander Wyk, Ph.D. is an associate research scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. He earned his degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. He is interested in the basic cognitive and brain mechanisms involved in social cognition and how those mechanisms relate to those involved in nominally non-social skills, such as number processing. The aim is to develop explicit models of neural functioning that offer a better understanding of typical and atypical development. Working in collaboration with Dr. Kevin Pelphrey, he has recently begun a longitudinal investigation of these issues in children using fMRI, eye-tracking, and behavioral assessments.
Leah L. Booth, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an associate research scientist at the Child Study Center. As a speech-language pathologist, Leah has been designing and implementing visual supports for children with social disabilities for over fifteen years. Her areas of interest include evaluation; development of practical and measurable social and communication objectives; school consultation; family consultation; development of school programs; and teaching students, parents and teachers to employ visual strategies and technological tools as means to improved social and communication skills. In addition to providing assessment and treatment for preschool through high school aged students, Leah has extensive experience in working with families and serving as part of the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEP). Leah has been with the Developmental Disabilities Clinic since 2003, where she serves as a communication specialist for multi-disciplinary teams that provide diagnostic evaluations for children and young adults with a range of developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Michele Goyette-Ewing, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist and the Director of the Psychology Training program at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her doctoral degree in Child Clinical Psychology from Yale University under the mentorship of Dr. Edward Zigler and completed her clinical internship and research postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Goyette-Ewing's interests include longitudinal sequelae of autism, parenting and autism, clinical training, development of professional competence, and supervision. She has conducted research in the areas of child care quality, parenting interventions, and mental health consultation in early care and education settings. Dr. Goyette-Ewing has developed and implemented information and support programs for parents and teachers of young children. Her current research involvement focuses on evaluating the longitudinal sequelae of developmental disabilities and family functioning.
Brian Reichow, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. He completed his doctoral studies in Special Education at Vanderbilt University after receiving undergraduate training in Education and Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Reichow has led numerous investigations of interventions for young children with autism, including examination of the effects of wearing pressure vests and weighted vests on engagement and problem behaviors and comparisons of instructional arrangements of evidence-based techniques. Dr. Reichow is also focused on methodological issues of single subject research designs, identifying evidence-based practices and treatments for children with autism, and the translation of clinical and laboratory research findings into practice.
Frederick Shic, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Engineering and Applied Sciences from the California Institute of Technology. During his graduate work, Dr. Shic developed computational and mathematical approaches for analyzing eye-tracking data, with a focus on what these techniques can tell us about the social and cognitive development of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Previously, Dr. Shic was a researcher at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes where he conducted research in 1H and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), developing techniques for quantifying and visualizing brain metabolism and neurochemistry. Working together with Dr. Katarzyna Chawarska, director of the Infant and Toddlers Developmental Disabilities Clinic and the Yale Early Social Cognition Laboratory, Dr. Shic's current research interests include applications of eye-tracking to the study of the social and cognitive development in infants, toddlers, and children with ASD, the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in the investigation of the neurochemical bases of ASD, and the exploration of new technologies and methodologies for enriching both our understanding of ASD and the lives of children with ASD.
Karyn Bailey, M.S.W.received her master's degree in social work at the University of Kansas and completed post-graduate fellowships at Yale. As a member of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic research and assessment team, she provides clinical support for families, facilitates parent support groups, serves as a liaison between families and the community, consults with schools, and provides counseling in the areas of advocacy and special education law.
Daniela Helen Blum, M.S.W., is an Associate Research Scientist in the Developmental Disabilities Clinic Infant and Toddler Program. She received her A.B. from Harvard College, where she studied both the studio arts and psychology. She went on to receive her Social Work Degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice at Columbia University where her field of practice was Health, Mental Health and Disabilities. In April 2009 Daniela completed a post-graduate fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center's Autism Program. She has worked extensively with children with a wide variety of special needs in settings that include Wediko Children's Services (NH) and the Perkins School for the Blind (MA). She has also worked with medically fragile infants and their families, as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit social worker at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at New York Presbyterian Hospital. At the Yale Child Study Center she conducts structured interviews with parents, provides ongoing support and follow up to families, edits diagnostic reports and serves as a bridge between families and community providers.
Martha Kaiser, Ph.D.is an Associate Research Scientist in the Child Study Center. She earned her doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology at Rutgers University and completed her postdoctoral training in the Child Neuroscience Laboratory at the Yale Child Study Center. Her past work has examined individual differences in the visual perception of biological motion and faces in a variety of populations including children and adults with and without autism as well as individuals with acquired prosopagnosia. In addition, Dr. Kaiser helped to develop and implement a research informed intervention for young children with autism. Her current research is focused on understanding typical and atypical development of brain mechanisms for multimodal social perception and social cognition. Dr. Kaiser is examining these issues using fMRI, fNIRS, eye-tracking and behavioral methods.
Domenic V. Cicchetti, Ph.D. is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology (1965) and a minor in Statistics. He currently holds three academic positions in the Yale University School of Medicine. He is a Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Psychologist and Senior Biostatistician, with a primary appointment at the Child Study Center. He holds joint appointments in Psychiatry, and in Biometry, in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He also holds an international academic appointment as Professor at the College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Department of Mental and Public Health in London, U.K.; and a second appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
George Anderson, Ph.D., directs a research neurochemistry laboratory in the Child Study Center and is the Director of the Core Resource Laboratory of the Yale Inter-Disciplinary Research Consortium on Stress, Self-Control and Addiction. Dr. Anderson has a record of extensive collaboration with investigators at Yale University, a large number of national and international collaborations, and has authored or co-authored of over 250 publications in the fields of biological psychiatry, psychopharmacology and analytical chemistry. His research includes studies on the neurobiology of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, Tourette syndrome and ADHD, as well as adult depression, PTSD and addiction. He has special interests in stress response systems, serotonin neurochemistry and psychopharmacology, and early biomarkers. He has served on the scientific advisory boards of Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks, and presently serves on the editorial boards of Autism Research and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Roger J. Jou, M.D., M.P.H. is an Instructor at the Yale Child Study Center and specializes in autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan. Dr. Jou began his career in the field of autism as a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh (1999-2004) where he used neuroimaging to study differences in brain structure. He came to Yale School of Medicine to complete his training in adult (2004-2008) and child/adolescent psychiatry (2008-2011) with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan. During his training, he spent several years evaluating children through the Child Study Center’s Developmental Disabilities Clinic where he was supervised by Fred Volkmar, MD and Kathleen Koenig, MSN. During his training at Yale, he expanded his interest in neuroimaging to include diffusion tensor imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging. This ultimately led to his matriculation into Yale Graduate School’s Investigative Medicine Program (Ph.D. anticipated May 2012). Co-advisors of his doctoral dissertation include Fred Volkmar, MD and James Duncan, PhD (Diagnostic Radiology). Dr. Jou’s research is mentored by Kevin Pelphrey, PhD and involves characterization of abnormal neural connectivity in autism spectrum disorders using multiple neuroimaging modalities. Specific clinical interests include issues related to adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders.