People

Katarzyna (Kasia) Chawarska, Director

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Katarzyna (Kasia) Chawarska, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Child Study and Pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine. She received her graduate degree from the Department of Psychology at Yale and completed her postgraduate training at the Yale Child Study Center. Her research focuses on (1) understanding mechanisms that underlie social and emotional abnormalities during prodromal and early syndromic stages of Autism Spectrum Disorders; and (2) improving early detection and diagnosis of ASD. Her research has been funded by private and federal agencies. She is the lead editor of the book titled, "Autism in Infants and Toddlers: Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment." She lectures nationally and internationally and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. She is the Director of the Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic at the Yale CSC Autism Program and the Chair of the Baby Sibling Research Consortium.

Frederick Shic, Associate Director

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Frederick Shic, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor specializing in computational approaches to eye-tracking analysis in ASD. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University, and a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Sciences from the California Institute of Technology. Previously, he was a researcher at the Biomagnetics group at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes where he conducted research in 1H and 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy; prior to that was a video game programmer for the Sony Interactive Studios of America. Read more about his work in the Technology and Innovation Lab (TIL) here.

Suzanne Macari, Associate Director

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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. 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.

Sophy Kim, Clinical Psychologist

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So Hyun "Sophy" Kim, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist and Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the Yale Child Study Center. She earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Lord. She also completed her clinical internship at the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) and the University Center for the Child and the Family (UCCF) specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD and other developmental disorders. Her research focuses on developing and refining diagnostic and language measures for ASD and identifying early autism phenotypes.

Kelly Powell, Clinical Psychologist

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Kelly K. Powell, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at the Child Study Center. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from American University in Washington, DC and completed her pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Powell specializes in the assessment and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), from birth to young adulthood, and their families. Her current research focus is in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based parenting interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In addition, she is actively involved in research projects focused on further understanding phenotypic expression, developmental trajectories, and outcome in ASD including co-morbid disorders. She is also invested in designing strategies for improving the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments into the community.

Katherine Tsatsanis, Clinical Psychologist

Katherine D. Tsatsanis, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Tsatsanis earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Windsor in Canada and completed her clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. Currently, she is part of the clinical and research assessment teams at the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Her primary research interests include phenotypic expression, developmental trajectories and outcome in ASD with publications in the areas of assessment, neuropsychological profiles, and outcomes in ASD, in addition to several articles in the area of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. Her clinical interests also include diagnostic and neuropsychological assessment of children with ASD.

Karyn Bailey, Clinical Social Worker

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Karyn Bailey graduated from the University of Kansas with a Master’s in Social Work and subsequently completed two years of advanced clinical training as a Social Work Fellow at the Yale Child Study Center prior to accepting a position as a faculty member. Currently, she serves as the Director of Social Work Training for the department and also as the lead Social Worker in the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Her interests include adult learning and family adjustment with regard to early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Areas of expertise include special education rights and advocacy.

Amy Carney, Clinical Social Worker

Amy Carney, L.C.S.W., is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She acquired a B.S. in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Connecticut, earned her Master's Degree in Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University, with a specialization in clinical work with children and families, and completed a post graduate fellowship within the Yale Child Study Center's Autism Program. Amy provides clinical support to families with an emphasis on advocacy and serves as a liaison between families and the community. Previous experience includes work with children with autism spectrum disorders, as well as children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders and behavioral and emotional challenges.

Elizabeth Schoen Simmons, Speech and Language Pathologist

Elizabeth Schoen Simmons, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Yale Autism Program. She received her M.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and completed her clinical fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Rhea Paul. Within the autism program, Elizabeth coordinates the Infant Treatment Study and SpeechPrompts Treatment Research Study. She also provides speech, language and communication evaluations for infant, toddlers and preschoolers as part of the Infant and Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic and the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab.

Megan Lyons, Clinical Social Worker & Speech and Language Pathologist

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Megan Lyons, MSW, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Laboratory for Developmental Communication Disorders conducting speech, language and communication evaluations for several studies. In addition, Megan conducts speech and language evaluations for the Academic Skills Clinic. Megan is also a part time Clinical Instructor in the Harris-Provence Child Development Unit providing developmental assessments and psychotherapy to young children and their families as well as supervises fellows in training. Megan currently provides speech and language evaluations at the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic.

Nita Vaswani, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow

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Dr. Nita Vaswani graduated cum laude from New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences. She then earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She went on to complete her residency in pediatrics at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Vaswani is currently a fellow in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. Her research project at the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab is focused on temperament characteristics in younger siblings of children with ASD.

Sharlene Lansiquot, Developmental and Computational Social Neuroscience Fellow

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Sharlene Lansiquot graduated in 2013 from New York University with a B.A. (Honors) in Psychology and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. While at NYU, she was a member of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates. She worked as a research extern at NYU’s Family Translational Research Group and worked in Dr. Ali’s lab, using the PhotoCLUB intervention- a manualized, therapeutic digital photography-based approach which can help empower children and adolescents in domestic-violence shelters and from disadvantaged urban areas. She was also a research assistant in Dr. Doucet's lab at NYU working on a project focused on children and families in Haiti. She is currently a fellow in developmental and computational social neuroscience at the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab.

Lilli Flink, Developmental and Computational Social Neuroscience Fellow

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Lilli Flink graduated cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in Psychology and magna cum laude from the Albert A. List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) with a B.A. in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation. Lilli was a student teacher at the Barnard Center for Toddler Development, where she conducted a senior research experiment under the instruction of Dr. Tovah Klein and Dr. Jeanette Sawyer Cohen. She also worked as an intern at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, facilitating play therapy groups. She spent many summers at camp working with high-functioning adolescents with ASD. She is currently a fellow in developmental and computational social neuroscience at the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab.

Lauren DiNicola, Developmental and Computational Social Neuroscience Fellow

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Lauren DiNicola graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology from Harvard University in 2014. While at Harvard, she was a research assistant in the Systems Neuroscience of Psychopathology (SNP) Laboratory under Dr. Joshua Buckholtz, and she conducted a senior thesis project on the cognitive processes underlying cooperation. She also contributed to research projects on memory processes in the Schacter Memory Laboratory, on primate cognition and decision-making in the SNP Lab, on avian cognition in the Pepperberg Avian Laboratory, and on bottlenose dolphin bioacoustics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is currently a fellow in developmental and computational social neuroscience at the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab.

Gabby Greco, Developmental and Computational Social Neuroscience Fellow

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Gabriella (Gabby) Greco graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Art History in 2014. While at UW, she was accepted into the Psychology Honors Program where she designed and carried out a research study under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Faja in a clinical neurophysiology lab. Her honors thesis was on narrative ability and executive function among school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. She is currently a fellow in developmental and computational social neuroscience at the Yale Early Cognition Lab.

Evelyn Pomichter, Administrative Assistant

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Evelyn Pomichter is the Administrative Coordinator at the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She provides a high level of administrative and clerical support with regard to all aspects of clinical and research functions. She conducts clinical intake interviews, coordinates clinical schedules, and is responsible for the management of clinical fees. Ev has over 20 years experience working with families of children and adults with developmental disabilities, having previously worked at the Yale Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs and the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.

Amy Margolis, Program Manager

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Amy Margolis is the Project Manager of all the research projects at the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab. Amy manages and directs the day-to-day activities at the lab, as well as serves as the primary contact for families entering the research program. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Union College, and has done graduate work at UCONN and Southern Connecticut State University. She has more than 20 years of experience in Pediatric Research at Yale, coordinating various clinical studies both here and at associated research sites across the country. Previous areas of research include: efficacy studies of pediatric immunizations and social and educational investigation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).



Megan Krak, Student Assistant

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Megan Krak is an undergraduate at Yale pursuing a degree in Psychology. She works as a research assistant at the Yale Child Study Center and is interested in clinical psychology with a focus on mood disorders and LGBTQ issues.

Kaitlyn Rechenberg, Student Assistant

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Kaitlyn Rechenberg, M.A., is a graduate student at Yale and works on numerous projects in the lab.


Alumni

Judah Koller, Psy.D.Assistant Professor of Psychology | Hebrew University
Rebecca Doggett, Ph.D.Clinical Psychologist | New York University Child Study Center
Daniel Campbell, Ph.D.Senior Analyst | Amgen, Inc. 
Emily PrincePh.D. Student in Developmental and Clinical Psychology | University of Miami
Justin Rowberry, M.D.Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician | Mike O'Callaghan Federal Medical Center
Alexandra DowdPh.D. Student in Clinical Psychology | University of Texas, Austin
Eugenia GisinM.D. Student | Penn State College of Medicine
Kerry O'LoughlinPh.D. Student in Clinical Psychology | University of Vermont
Jessie GarzarekM.A. Student in Speech Pathology | University of Georgia
Grace ChenM.A. Student in Education | Stanford University
Anne Snow Gallagher, Ph.D.Clinical Psychologist | Boston Children's Hospital
Michelle Villalobos, Ph.D.Clinical Assistant Professor | University of North Carolina
Amanda Steiner, Ph.D.Clinical Psychologist | San Francisco, CA
Ty Vernon, Ph.D.Director, Autism Assessment Clinic | Santa Barbara, CA
Tina Goldsmith, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Psychology | University of New Mexico
Grace Gengoux, Ph.D.Clinical Assistant Professor | Stanford University School of Medicine
Caley Schwartz, Ph.D.Assistant Clinincal Professor | Yale Child Study Center
Lindsay SzauterM.P.H. Student | Yale University School of Public Health
Caitlin ClementsMassachusetts General Hospital
Marika CoffmanPh.D. Student in Psychology | Virginia Tech
Mairin Meltvedt, M.A.M.A. Student in Speech Pathology | University of Maryland
Ben OaksSoftware Developer | Hedgeye Risk Management
Jessica BradshawPh.D. Student in Clinical Psychology | University of California, Santa Barbara
Brittany ButlerM.A. Student in Social Work | University of Chicago
Jessica ReedPh.D. Student in Psychology | Temple University
Joslin Latz, M.S.M.A. Student in Speech and Language Pathology | Charlotte, NC
Paula Ogston, Ph.D.Evaluation Coordinator | Virginia Commonwealth University
Sarah HannigenPh.D. Student in Clinical Psychology | University of Pittsburgh