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Lab Members


  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology); Director, Pediatric MS Program

    Dr. Makhani completed her child neurology training and a formal multiple sclerosis fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. She also completed a Masters' Degree in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Makhani's clinical and research interests are in pediatric multiple sclerosis and other childhood brain inflammatory diseases. She is funded by NIH and the Charles H Hood Foundation to carry out studies to determine risk factors for clinical multiple sclerosis in asymptomatic children with brain MRI findings suggestive of multiple sclerosis.


  • Alexandra is a first-year medical student at Yale and investigates high-frequency blood pressure data during endovascular thrombectomy. Her previous research at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia pertained to pediatric stroke. She now uses custom MATLAB scripts and SPSS to study granular temporal dynamics of blood pressure fluctuations before, during, and after mechanical clot retrieval for large-vessel occlusion ischemic stroke. Her summer research is funded by the NIH-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and she is more than happy to discuss her experience with YCVL with interested medical students.
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics (General Pediatrics) and of Biostatistics; Biostatistician

    Dr. Shabanova is a faculty member in the department of Pediatrics and Department of Biostatistics at Yale University. Prior to that she was one of the senior biostatisticians at the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences (YCAS). With over 20 years of experience as a researcher and statistician in academia and industry, she acquired expertise in statistical and epidemiological methods related to a variety of studies, including development of testable hypotheses, selection of study designs, randomization algorithms, and analytical considerations that correspond to particular study designs. Her statistical expertise are in survival and multi-level/longitudinal techniques. Dr. Shabanova's work has primarily been focused on collaborations with other researchers, including physicians and academicians, in the field of maternal and child health at Yale.
  • Catherine is a second-year MPH student in Chronic Disease Epidemiology. In June 2018, she graduated from the University of Toronto where she studied public health and discovered her passion for pain medicine by assisting research on virtual reality ability to reduce patients’ anxiety. Catherine is particularly passionate about disability as a social determinant  of health and how people with disabilities navigate ableist spaces and interactions. She co-founded the Implementation Science Group at Yale (ISG) where members discuss how best we can translate evidence into practice so that the newest health research findings can best serve various populations and their unique needs. She currently is a research associate at the Sports Equity Lab at Yale where she does research into the unique challenges faced by para-athletes.
  • Rachna Vipparla is a student at Washington University in St.Louis studying Neuroscience and Studio Art. She is a peer counselor trained in crisis intervention and risk assessment. She volunteers at the Alzheimer's Association, Yale New Haven Hospital, and the Milford Health and Recreational Center to aid the nursing home patients that struggle with Dementia. Her passion for neurology, medicine, and mental health has inspired her to invent a product that improves cognitive responses in Alzheimer’s patients. Rachna intends to pursue a major in Neurology and plans to attend Medical School.
  • Melissa Zhou graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and biology. As an undergraduate, Melissa did research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Research at the Perelman School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Lee characterizing a novel TDP-43 mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Currently her research interests include child development and the use of noninvasive brain stimulation techniques in autism spectrum disorder.