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Supported students and postdocs

Critical advancements in the understanding and finding curative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases lie at the intersection of clinical and basic research. However, I strongly believe that the elevation, participation, and inclusion of minority and diverse voices is an important, yet overlooked aspect of this process, especially when it comes to patient-driven care.

LaShae Nicholson

Postdoctoral Fellows

Current fellows

  • Postdoctoral Associate in the Child Study Center

    Dr. Kelly received her training at Aston University, U.K. in Psychology (BSc), Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc) and Neuroscience and Computer Science (PhD). Her doctoral research investigated social interaction, specifically joint attention, between real and virtual humans. To do this, she combined virtual reality head-mounted displays with electroencephalography (EEG). Now working as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Before and After Baby Lab, she investigates the neural mechanisms of psychological risk on mother and infant adjustment in European- and African-American mothers.
  • Psychiatry Resident; Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale Department of Psychiatry

    I went to medical school with the intention of becoming an oncologist, building on knowledge I developed in biotech industry research making DNA sequencing assays for clinical research applications. That all changed when in medical school, during a research year-off working at the NIH, I discovered the emerging value of using genomics to uncover the neurogenetic mechanisms underlying serious mental illness.During that research year, working in Dr. Karen Faith Berman’s lab at NIMH, I conducted a neuroimaging-genetics study that showed for the first time a gene-dosage effect on regional white matter myelination in a clinical cohort of children with the 7q11.23 genetic Copy Number Variation (CNV). The knowledge, experience and amazing mentorship from Dr.Berman’s lab emboldened my desire to become a physician-scientist within psychiatry. For residency training, I chose Yale for it’s vibrant research community within the Psychiatry department and the Child Study Center, the ample protected research time provided during residency, and the opportunity for PhD or Master’s level training through the Investigative Medicine Program. At the start of my PGY-2 year, I joined the lab of Dr.Tom Fernandez which focuses on the genomics of childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders like Tourettes, OCD, ADHD and Schizophrenia. I am currently working on a project investigating genome wide differential gene expression in OCD patients, with the goal of identifying gene networks and distinct biological pathways that may underlie OCD pathology. In the future, I look to further develop research skills in genomics and transcriptomics with the long term goal of becoming an independent investigator working in translational psychiatric genomics. Having grown-up in Uganda, and done college in California, I’ve come to love and appreciate the season changes in the North East! I’m still discovering good running trails in the New Haven area and I continue to be amazed by the variety of restaurants with great food in such a small city.

Kavli Undergraduate Thesis Prizes


  • Makayla Conley (Benjamin Franklin College)
  • Dhruv Patel (Silliman College)


  • Jenna Salameh (Grace Hopper College)
  • Isabelle Top (Jonathan Edwards College)


  • Renee Jessica Tang (Ezra Stiles College)
  • Chika Victory Ogbejesi (Jonathan Edwards College)


  • Eren Kafadar (Davenport College)
  • Justin Chan (Davenport College)


  • Angus Fong (Timothy Dwight College)
  • Geeta Rao (Grace Hopper College)