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  • Katarzyna Chawarska

    Emily Fraser Beede Professor of Child Psychiatry; Director, Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study Center; Director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic

    Research Interests
    • Attention
    • Autistic Disorder
    • Mental Disorders
    • Developmental Disabilities
    • Child Psychiatry
    • Human Development
    • Pediatrics
    • Perception
    • Psychophysiology
    • Technology
    • Prodromal Symptoms

    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.

  • Suzanne Macari

    Research Scientist; Co-director, Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program, Child Study Center

    Suzanne 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 Associate 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.


  • Kelly Powell

    Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center; Co-director, Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic

    Kelly 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.

  • Karyn Bailey

    Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work

    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 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.

  • Amy Giguere Carney

    Social Worker Child Study Center; Clinical Social Worker

    Amy 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. 

  • Megan Lyons

    Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work; Speech and Language Pathologist

    Megan 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.  

  • Angelina Vernetti

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Associate Research Scientist

    Angelina 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.

  • Chelsea Morgan

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Chelsea is a Postdoctoral Associate 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. 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.

  • Amy Margolis

    Program Manager, Research Associate.

    Amy Margolis is a Research Associate at the Yale Child Study Center and the Program Manager at the Infant and Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic and Yale Early Social Cognition Lab. Amy directs the day-to-day activities of the lab and serves as the primary contact for outreach, recruitment and dissemination of research activity, helping to build connections in the Autism and clinical pediatric communities. She oversees the management of multiple clinical studies with collaborating groups and manages the regulatory requirements for the protection of human participation in research. Amy joined the Child Study Center in 2009 with more than 20 years of experience in Pediatric Research at Yale School of Medicine. As part of her work in the department, she has initiated the organization of the Postgraduate Associates Committee at the Child Study Center, providing our postgrad fellows with educational and enrichment opportunities to expand their training experience. Previous research includes: coordinating, staffing and training various clinical studies at Yale and at associated sites across the country, efficacy studies of pediatric immunizations and social and educational investigation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). She received her Bachelor's Degree from Union College, and has done graduate work at UCONN and Southern Connecticut State University.

  • Evelyn Pomichter

    Research Assistant 2 HSS

    Evelyn Pomichter is the Administrative Coordinator at the Developmental  Disabilities Clinic for Infants and Toddlers. She provides a high level of administrative and clerical support with regard to all aspects of clinical and research functions. In addition, she is a central source of information to both families and members of the developmental  disabilities clinical/research teams. She responds to patient concerns and requests ensuring smooth resolution. She is responsible for the management of clinical fees, including preparation of evaluation summary statements, provided to families upon request, for submission to their insurance provider for possible reimbursement. Ev has many years experience working with families of children with disabilities, having previously worked at the Yale Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs and the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.

  • Carolyn Gershman

    Postgraduate Associate

    Carolyn Gershman graduated with distinction from University of Rochester in the spring of 2018 with degrees in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and American Sign Language. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant at Gallaudet University’s Brain and Language Neuroimaging lab under the direction of Dr. Laura Ann Petitto and Dr. Barbara Manini, focusing on the benefits of early acquisition of sign language in infants as well as how sign language is processed in the brain using fNIRS, thermal IR imaging and eye-tracking technology. She also worked at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Language and Cognition group under the direction of Dr. Judith Holler and Dr. Stephen Levinson focusing on multimodal pragmatics, specifically creating coding schema to dictate how interlocutors in dialogic interaction use speech and co-speech gestures in referential communication in director-matcher tasks. Additionally, she worked as a research assistant for Deaf x Lab at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf under the direction of Dr. Matthew Dye focusing on a study comparing phonological similarity and priming effects elicited using either video of avatar animation of American Sign Language. Other research experience includes working under the direction of Dr. Bradford Mahon at the University of Rochester analyzing and presenting fMRI data about the neural processing of whole word form and phonological reading in a neurosurgery patient. Carolyn is passionate about the intersection of social learning, communication, and language. She is currently a research fellow in Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience at the Yale Social and Affective Neurodevelopment of Autism Lab at the Yale Child Study Center. 

  • Chaela Nutor

    Postgraduate Associate

    Chaela Nutor graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. During her time at Penn, Chaela was a research assistant at the Treatment Research Center where she used neuroimaging and eye-tracking to study underlying causes of the sex difference in nicotine addiction. She also did psycholinguistics research, specifically working with children to administer word-learning and eye-tracking studies. Other fieldwork includes involvement in the Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race (EMBRace), a research program that uses clinical therapy and racial socialization to help parents and their children cope with racial stress and trauma. Chaela is passionate about mental health dissemination and hopes to continue to work in the field by pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

    She is currently a Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience Fellow at the Yale Social and Affective  Neuroscience of Autism Program. 

  • Nicole Powell

    Postgraduate Associate

    Nicole Powell graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Carolina University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Child Development and Family Relations. During her time at ECU, she became a research assistant in the Healthy Living Lab working under Dr. Robert Carels, who is committed to better understanding and combating weight stigma in its many forms. She designed and carried out an honors thesis project that had an ecological focus in which she examined how maternal self-perception, race, and cultural perspectives shape an individual’s self-worth. Additionally, Nicole worked at the Autism Society of North Carolina as a Direct Support Professional, providing one-on-one services to individuals with ASD. She was also granted the opportunity to have an internship at ECU’s Family Therapy Clinic, which provides teaching and learning among professionals and students to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Nicole also interned at the Yale Child Study Center the summer of her junior year under the leadership of Dr. Kasia Chawarska. She is interested in pursuing a career in public health and social work with a focus on prevention/intervention for adverse childhood experiences. She returns to Yale as a Developmental and Psychopathology Social Neuroscience Fellow at the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program.

  • Postgraduate Associate

    Eukyung Yhang graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emory University with a B.S. in Quantitative Sciences. At Emory, she performed statistical programming and analysis for multiple cognitive development studies, including meta-analyses on topics such as gender differences in spatial reasoning and gender-typed toy preferences in infancy. She is currently a Translational Technologies in Development fellow at Yale Early Social Cognition Program. 

  • Postgraduate Associate

    Maureen graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with a bachelor’s in psychology. During her time at UW, she worked in Dr. Seth Pollak’s Child Emotion Research Lab studying emotional development and the effects of early childhood stress. Her senior year, she completed an independent project on a randomized controlled trial of a training paradigm designed to alter negative attentional biases. Additionally, Maureen studied for a year at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where she focused her efforts on Spanish fluency. Maureen has also worked as an applied behavioral analysis technician, where she administered in home ABA therapy with children and their families. She is currently a research fellow in Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience at the Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Lab at the Yale Child Study Center.

  • Hannah Feiner

    Postgraduate Associate

    Hannah recently graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Davis and received Bachelor's degrees in Cognitive Science (neuroscience emphasis) and Spanish. During her time in Davis she worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Corina Laboratory at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain researching language processing in children with cochlear implants. Hannah later interned at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento with the Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program to screen and enroll emergency department patients in research. Hannah currently works at the Yale Child Study Center in the Chawarska Lab as a Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience Fellow. Upon completion of the fellowship she looks forward to pursuing a degree in Speech Language Pathology.

  • Postgraduate Associate

    Diogo Fortes graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 2019 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. During his time at UVa, Diogo worked as a research assistant in collaborative projects between the labs of Dr. Jessica Connelly and Dr. James Morris, examining epigenetic and neural markers of individual variability in human social perception. He also worked on an ergonomics project with Dr. Rupa Valdez, incorporating the experiences and preferences of parents and educators in designing a device for monitoring and preventing self-injurious behavior in children with ASD. Diogo is particularly interested in investigating developmental changes in individual brain connectivity, along with their cognitive and perceptual correlates, and wishes to pursue an MD-PhD dual degree. He is currently a Developmental Psychopathology and Social Neuroscience Fellow at the Yale Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism Program.