Emily Fraser Beede Professor of Child Psychiatry; Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study Center; Director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic
- Professor Chawarska has received her clinical and research training at Yale. She is a leading expert in research on identifying early diagnostic markers and novel treatment targets in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She leads the NIH Autism Center of Excellence at the Yale Child Study Center. In her clinical practice, Dr. Chawarska specializes in early diagnosis of ASD as well as developmental follow-up of infants at risk for ASD due to familial factors (e.g., having an older sibling with ASD), genetic factors (e.g., having a syndrome related to ASD such as Fragile X), or due to prenatal or perinatal complications such as premature birth.
Research Scientist; Co-director, Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study CenterSuzanne Macari, Ph.D., is a 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 and at the Yale Child Study Center Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Currently Co-director of the Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Lab, Dr. Macari has been a PI and investigator on several federally- and privately-funded projects. Dr. Macari’s research focuses on the prodrome and early phenotype of ASD in the first year of life in infants at high risk for the disorder, innovations in early screening, as well as emotional reactivity and temperament in very young children with ASD. She is currently working on projects utilizing mobile technology to test a novel multimedia screening system in diverse local communities. In addition, Dr. Macari is collaborating with colleagues in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine to conduct secondary screening in infants born prematurely and with other risk factors for ASD.
Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center; Co-director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities ClinicKelly K. Powell, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Child Study Center. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, RI majoring in both Psychology as well as Human Development & Educational Studies. She earned 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 Disorder (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.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Social WorkKaryn 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 Associate Director of Social Work Training for the department and also as the lead Social Worker in our Autism and 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.
Training Program AdministratorKaren Franchi is the Program Administrator of the Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, and the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Karen is responsible for the day-to-day management of the programs, collaborating with the Project Directors and Investigators, Clinicians and Research Fellows to ensure smooth integration of the ongoing projects. Karen works closely with the Yale Child Study Center’s Business Office, the Yale Grant and Contract Administration, the Yale Human Investigation Committee, and the NIH officers as needed. She conducts outreach to community partners and potential participants, and serves as a central source of information to both families and members of the clinical teams. Karen has more than 20 years of experience in management and spent nearly a decade working with families within the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch.
Social Worker Child Study Center; Clinical Social WorkerAmy Giguere Carney is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Developmental Disabilities Clinic for Infants and Toddlers. 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 clinic. Currently, Amy provides clinical support to families during and after their visits, and serves as a liason between families and the community. In addition, she writes and edits clinical documents, administers developmental testing to very young children, and conducts parent interviews for both clinical and research purposes. In addition to her extensive experience working with families affected by autism spectrum disorders, Amy is interested and experienced in working with individuals with anxiety disorders.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work; Speech and Language PathologistMegan Lyons, LCSW, M.S. CCC-SLP is a part time Clinical Instructor in the Harris-Provence Child Development Unit. Her clinical expertise includes working with young children and families who are dealing with the effects of trauma and disrupted attachment as well as extensive clinical practice supporting caregivers in their capacity to understand their child’s early development. She has also supervised and mentored many future clinicians in the field of social work. Ms. Lyons is also a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She provides speech-language evaluations for several studies involving children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Likewise, she conducts comprehensive clinical evaluations for infants and young children suspected of having autism. She has published on topics including prosodic development in childhood, supporting mainstream educational success for children with autism and on assessing communication.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Child Psychology in the Child Study CenterChelsea is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Track, at the University of Hartford in 2019. Chelsea completed her Predoctoral Internship at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, with a focus on children and adolescents, and her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her B.A. in History and Psychology from Fordham University in 2009, and her Ed.M in Human Development and Psychology in 2010 from Harvard University. Her clinical interests are in the assessment of ASD; her research interests are focused on earlier and more accurate diagnosis of ASD.
Assistant ProfessorMariana Torres-Viso is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Child Study Center. She is a licensed psychologist and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Torres-Viso earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development at Cornell University, and her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. Moreover, Dr. Torres-Viso completed her doctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Torres-Viso specializes in the assessment and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, with a particular emphasis on evidence-based behavioral and developmental frameworks of intervention. Furthermore, expanding access to clinical care, and doing so in a culturally sensitive manner, has been a guiding principle behind her professional endeavors. Therefore, Dr. Torres-Viso holds a strong commitment towards data-driven and evidence-based training and capacity building of caregivers and clinicians working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Associate Research ScientistAngelina Vernetti is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. Her doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology from Birkbeck, University of London investigated the social modulation of cue-reward associations. Using gaze-contingent paradigms, Angelina Vernetti examined how gaze direction, emotion, referential cues and motivational value influence the allocation of attention in young typically developing children and adults as well as children with autism. She is currently working in the Yale Early Social Cognition (YESCog) Program under the mentorship of Dr. Katarzyna Chawarska. Her research focuses on gaze processing, emotional reactivity and motivation, in early development and autism using behavioral, eye-tracking and physiological methodologies.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterKatherine All is a Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience Fellow at the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program in the Yale Child Study Center. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology. Her interests include developmental psychopathology and externalizing disorders in children.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterCatherine Bianco is a research fellow in Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience at the Child Study Center. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from NYU in 2020, then worked as a lab manager with Professor Dima Amso at Columbia for two years. Her research characterizes the relations between perceptual, cognitive, and motor development in infancy and early childhood, working with typically-developing infants and those with elevated likelihood of neurodevelopmental disorder.
Research Assistant, Clinical PsychopathologyAlex is a Research Assistant in Clinical Psychopathology at the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism (SANA) Program at the Yale Child Study Center. She graduated Cum Laude from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in 2020, with departmental honors and a B.S. in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish. Her research interests include links between early neurodevelopment and later clinical and behavioral outcomes in typically and atypically developing populations.
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study Center
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Child Study CenterElizabeth V. Edgar is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her doctorate in Developmental Science from Florida International University in Miami, FL. Elizabeth's dissertation investigated infant multisensory attention to social events as a foundation for later language, cognitive, and social development in typically developing infants.
Research Assistant - Clinical Psychopathology
Postgraduate Associate in the Child Study CenterEmily Hong is a Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience Fellow in the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program (SANA) at the Yale Child Study Center. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022.