CORE MEMBERS - The "Dry" Lab
Dr. Elena L. Grigorenko received her Ph.D. in general psychology from Moscow State University, Russia, in 1990 and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and genetics from Yale University in 1996. Currently, Dr. Grigorenko is Associate Professor of Child Studies and Psychology at Yale and Associate Professor of Psychology at Moscow State University.
Dr. Grigorenko’s primary interest is in understanding the co-contribution of genetic and environmental risk factors to the manifestation of developmental and learning disabilities in children. She is especially interested in how children with special needs, such as those infected with intestinal parasites or diagnosed with autism, succeed by capitalizing on their strengths. Her work in this area has contributed to the field’s general understanding of the flexibility and malleability of human development. Dr. Grigorenko’s use of diverse methodologies, ranging from molecular genetics to cultural studies, enriches the field and provides more opportunities for understanding how children grow and mature. These methodologies include family designs (both behavioral and molecular-genetic) and educational intervention designs. To illustrate, her ongoing studies include research on international adoptees brought to the U.S. early in life; a study of rates of learning disabilities in harsh developmental environments with high rates of illness, intoxication, and poverty; and research on interactions between genetic and environmental risk factors for conduct problems. Dr. Grigorenko has worked with children and their families in the U.S. as well as in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar, the Gambia, and Zambia), India, and Russia. She is especially interested in studying risk factors for language and mathematics disabilities, autism, and violent criminal behaviors in pre-adolescent children.
Dr. Grigorenko has published more than 150 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and books. She has received awards for her work from five different divisions of the American Psychological Association: the Gardner Lindzey Dissertation Award in General Psychology, Sigmund Koch Early Career Award in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Berlyne Early Career Award for Creative Achievement in Psychology of the Arts, Boyd McCandless Early Career Award in Developmental Psychology, and Richard E. Snow Early Career Award in Educational Psychology. In 2004, she won the APA Distinguished Award for an Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology. Dr. Grigorenko’s research has been funded by NIH, NSF, DOE, USAID, Cure Autism Now, the Foundation for Child Development, and other federal and private sponsoring organizations.
Denis G. Sukhodolsky Ph.D.
Denis G. Sukhodolsky, Ph.D. is Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center. He received his Ph.D. in clinical and school psychology from Hofstra University in 1997, where he also stayed for three years to teach at the psychology department and to supervise psychological assessments at the university clinic. He arrived at Yale in 2000 for a postdoctoral fellowship in childhood neuropsychiatric disorders directed by Dr. James Leckman. Subsequently, he joined the Yale Faculty in 2003 and continued working in a clinical trials program directed by Dr. Larry Scahill. Dr. Sukhodolsky’s research on behavior therapy for children with TS and OCD has been supported by awards from the Tourette Syndrome Association and Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. In 2008, he received a career development award from the National Institute of Mental Health with a focus on neurobiological mechanisms of behavior therapy. In addition to his research, Dr. Sukhodolsky is a licensed clinical psychologist working with children and their families. He has also conducted diagnostic and psychological evaluations of children with neurodevelopmental disorders including Tourette Syndrome, OCD, Autism, and ADHD.
Dr. Hart received her doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), with advisor Charles A. Perfetti. Her clinical and research interests are in the processes involved in developing skilled reading ability. She is a clinician with the Yale Academic Skills Clinic, and assesses students from preschool to college with individual learning needs including learning disabilities, ADHD, and giftedness. She is involved in research projects including education of children in developing countries, education of children in juvenile detention facilities, and speech/language disabilities in a population isolate.
Jodi received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Yale University in 2009. Her main research interest is in the cross-linguistic acquisition of syntax and morphology by both typically developing children and children with disorders of spoken and written language (DSWL), such as Specific Language Impairment. Her dissertation, Morphosyntax acquisition in children with disorders of spoken language, includes data from English-, Spanish-, and Russian-speaking children from a range of language (dis)abilities. Currently, she is a postdoctoral associate in the lab working on projects on DSWL in Northern Russia and reading disabilities in Southern Province, Zambia.
Natalia "Natasha" Rakhlin
Natalia Rakhlin received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Connecticut in 2007. Her training includes both formal and experimental linguistics, but her main interests lie in the theory of child language development. The main question that her research is aimed at answering is how the process of language acquisition unfolds in the young child and what the child brings to this task to make it possible. One area that is of special interest to her is children’s acquisition of semantic principles and how children’s knowledge of pragmatic principles and their developing Theory of Mind affect the way young children interpret sentences. Natalia joined EGLab in August 2008 and is working on the AZ project. Her main goal is to understand the nature of SLI in children and adults, clarify the definition of the phenotype and contribute to the EGLab team’s quest to discover a genetic basis for the developmental language disorder.
Nicole's research examines the acquisition and development of reading as well as individual differences in reading skill. She studies these issues using multiple methodologies with an emphasis on cognitive neuroscience methods including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event related potentials (ERP). By examining early school children, adolescents, and young adults her research spans a broad range of reading development. She has also examines different types of skill variation including skill differences within the typically developing population of children and adults and within the reading disabled (RD) or dyslexic population and children and adults with comprehension impairment. Nicole is currently working on several projects in the EGLab that examine the relationship between behavioral phenotypes and genetic profiles in children with RD.
Baptiste received his PhD in developmental and differential psychology from University Paris Descartes, France. He is the author and co-author of several assessment tools, his main interest focuses on creativity and conative development (identity, self, personality) in adolescence. Currently, as a post-doctoral associate at EGLab, he is involved in two projects: 1) the validation of the DROP, a situations-judgment inventory designed to measure social decision making by delinquent youth to predict longitudinal outcomes; and, 2) a wider longitudinal project on the role of maternal drug abuse, as opposed to commonly co-occurring risks, in relation to children’s longitudinal trajectories in adjustment and resilience. The second project was initiated by Dr. Suniya Luthar in the 90’s, and the third wave of data collection is currently in progress for both mothers and (adult) children.
Mary Jane Bentley
Dr. Mary Jane Bentley is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. She received a PhD in Clinical and Population Health with a concentration in Biostatistics in 2010 from the Univeristy of Massachusetts Medical School's Graduate School of Biomedical Science and a MPH in Biostatatics/Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Health Sciences in Amherst. She is currently utilizing data from the OLDs project to identify epidemiological and genetic factors with a latent-variable modeling strategy that may be associated with delinquency and criminal behavior in adolescents.
Johanna earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware. Her primary research area focuses on the impact of early adversity, such as poverty, neglect, maltreatment, or placement into foster care, on young children’s developmental trajectories. She is currently interested in the epigenetic processes that may explain associations between early adverse experiences and dysregulation of children’s immune-system activity, affiliative behavior, and stress response systems. She is also interested in how sensitive parenting may protect children from the patterns of maladjustment that are often associated with early adversity.
Donna earned her master's degree in psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. She has an AS in business administration and a B.A. in psychology: theory and research. Her current interests include psychological testing and assessment of children, cognition and intelligence testing.
Mei Tan is a Research Assistant in the EGLab. She directs two projects concerning intelligence: the Aurora Project, the development of a new assessment for intelligence; and a project based in Saudi Arabia on the biological and environmental etiologies of giftedness. She is also involved in the Bala Bbala project, investigating the occurrence and etiology of specific reading disabilities in the southern region of Zambia, and a project evaluating the effects of visual literacy on the development of writing skills in young children. Ms. Tan received her BA/BS in English and Biology from the College of William and Mary, where she wrote her thesis on language and identity in the work of Gertrude Stein. She earned her MA in Literature from the University of California at Berkeley; her thesis addressed the use of language and imagery in the poetry of John Ashbery, and was written under the direction of poet Robert Hass. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Cognitive Studies in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Sergey received his MA/MSc in Educational Psychology (summa cum laude) from Moscow State University in 2008. He is currently pursuing his graduate studies at the University of Connecticut and works with the EGLab on two projects (Aurora and AZ), primarily developing assessments, managing data collections and performing data analysis. His interests include educational and cognitive psychology, language, learning disabilities, assessment, research methodology and contemporary data analysis techniques.
Suzanna Krivulskaya is a postgraduate associate in Dr. Elena Grigorenko’s lab. She received her Master’s degree from Yale Divinity School in 2011 and her Bachelor’s degree from LCC International University in 2008. During her time in the lab, she is working primarily with research projects being conducted in Russia and Zambia. Her future plans include pursuing a Ph.D. in the study of religion and culture.
Catalina Mourgues is a doing an internship at the EGLab. She is a graduate student at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile. During her career she has studied implicit learning in children, and the specific features of the brain activity of children with problems learning to read. In her doctorate thesis she's researching the relationship between brain activity and creative processes. Specifically, she studies the characteristics of the insight or 'Aha!' phenomena in young adults with dyslexia.
Cheri has been the EGLab’s administrative assistant since July 2006. She is responsible for taking care of routine lab administration, YASC scheduling, grant preparation, and is the Journal Assistant for Learning and Individual Differences.
Laura (Laurie) is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BA in Psychology and a MAT concentrating in Special Education from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently a Research Assistant Intern for the EGLab involved primarily with the Aurora Project while also studying Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.
CORE MEMBERS - The "Wet" Lab
Maria graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Southern Connecticut State University in 2003. She spent three years working as a laboratory analyst in environmental chemistry before realizing that she wanted to go back into genetic research. Currently, she is managing the genetics lab. Her future plans are to go to graduate school.
Oksana Naumova is a research associate from Vavilov' Institute of General Genetics (VIGG), Russia. Her specializations are molecular and population genetics, and gene geography. She received her Ph.D. in general genetics from VIGG, Russia in 2008. Since February, 2010, Oksana has been a postdoctoral associate in the EGlab. Her current work focuses on the study of the genetic bases for language abilities and the risk factors for language disorders.
Susan Felsenfeld, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dr. Felsenfeld received her Ph.D. in Communication Disorders with a concentration in Behavioral Genetics, from the University of Minnesota. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Felsenfeld’s research interests focus on identifying genetic and epidemiological factors that are associated with developmental disorders of speech, particularly stuttering and severe phonological disorders.
Linda Jarvin, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Education at Tufts University, and the director of Tufts Center for Enhancing Learning and Teaching (CELT), a resource for faculty across Tufts' schools. She received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Individual Differences from the University of Paris V (France) and her postdoctoral training at Yale University. She has contributed as co-author for a number of educational achievement and abilities assessments, among which are those piloted on a nationwide level as potential instruments augmenting the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and the Advanced Placement (A.P.) exam. Dr. Jarvin also has experience managing specialized large-scale field-based evaluation studies, in the United States and abroad. Over the past 10 years she has collaborated with members of the EGLab in designing, implementing, and managing large-scale educational assessment programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Koposov has got his medical education as a psychiatrist in Arkhangelsk, Russia and received his PhD in medicine from Northern State Medical University, Russia and a PhD from the University of Tromsø, Norway in psychology. Currently, Dr. Koposov is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at University of Tromsø. Dr. Koposov’s current interests are criminal youth and mental health, and alcohol use and abuse. Dr. Koposov has had a long-lasting and mutual collaboration with Dr. Grigorenko. Since 2000, they have worked on several projects in Russia with criminal youth, kids from orphanages, and normal populations. Studies cover such areas as adolescent’s mental health and criminal behaviour, language disorders, kid’s early development, and genetics. During his research, Dr. Koposov has worked closely with adolescents from detention centres for criminal adolescents and special schools for deviant kids, and with children from orphanages in Russia. Dr. Koposov has published 21 peer reviewed articles.
Karen Adams-Shearer received her B.A (Hons) from Leeds University 1981. PGCE from Leeds University 1982. She was formerly a successful Head of Religious Education in an inner city Hartlepool secondary school, Karen was recruited in 2000 by Hartlepool Local Education Authority to be its Gifted &Talented Strand Co-ordinator from January 2001, within its Excellence in Cities programme. Subsequently, she was appointed Excellence Challenge/Aimhigher Co-ordinator. Her Hartlepool Gifted &Talented Action Plan was showcased originally on the DfES website as an example of good practice. In 2006 Karen was appointed School Improvement Adviser- Curriculum Enrichment for Hartlepool Children’s Services. She is an active member of two important DCSF steering groups, for Continuing Professional Development and Communication and Networking. In addition to being a respected Oxford Brookes Associate Tutor for the training of Primary School Co-ordinators, Karen has also completed her Ofsted Inspector training. Karen feels very privileged to be working with Elena and her colleagues on the Aurora research project. This is a result of her particular interest in the methods used for the identification of gifted pupils and her frustration at the current model used by most schools in England.
Julian (Joe) Elliott is currently Professor of Education at Durham University. Formerly a teacher of children with special educational needs, he subsequently practised as an educational (school) psychologist before entering higher education in 1990. After fourteen years at the University of Sunderland, latterly as Acting Dean, he returned to Durham, where he was an undergraduate in the 1970s. He is Chair of Council of Durham University’s largest college, Hild-Bede. Joe has enjoyed a long relationship with Elena and her colleagues at Yale and collaborates in a number of ongoing studies. His research interests include the assessment of reading disorders, behaviour management and teacher tacit knowledge, achievement motivation, dynamic assessment, and cognitive education and assessment.
David Bolden is currently a Research Associate in the School of Education at Durham University, England. Formerly a Psychology lecturer in further education he entered higher education in 1999. He worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Northumbria for six years. While there he completed his doctoral research, focussing on primary teachers’ epistemological views of mathematics. He moved to Durham University in 2006 and his collaboration with Yale’s Aurora Project stems from that time. His research interests include teacher epistemologies (particularly in relation to primary mathematics), the use of performance data in schools and teacher recruitment and retention.
Our Zambian Team
Back row (left to right): Nchimunya Chaavwa, Rodex Hansolo, Ackim Mungo, Mutinta Moono, Bertha Sizyongo, and Passwell Munachoonga
Front row (left to right): Perity Sinamwenda and Baleto Mudenda
Inge-Martine Pretorius holds a PhD in Microbiology from Cape Town University, South Africa. She has conducted research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. During her post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Molecular Medicine at Oxford University, UK, she focused on the human alpha-globin gene cluster. She co-ordinated a European Union funded consequence assessment study of interspecific gene transfer, maintenance and expression in nature, at the Genetics Department of Bielefeld University, Germany. In 2004, she completed a psychoanalytic training at The Anna Freud Centre in London, where she currently works as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. She is a Clinical Tutor for Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology at University College London and The Anna Freud Centre where she organises and teaches the MSc Child Development course. Her current research investigates disorganised parent-child relationships from the dual perspectives of molecular genetics and psychoanalysis.
Helena Thuneberg, PhD (email@example.com), Researcher, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences.
Teacher qualifications: special education & class teacher (specialty: Fine arts & Mother tongue);high school teacher (Finnish language & literature). Currently post-doc visitor of EGLab, Child Study Center, Yale University
The Finnish cultural Fund 3 year grant, The Wihuri Foundation grant
Procedural factors of learning: Psychological well-being, academic and prosocial self-regulation in elementary & middle school in general, special and selective educational settings
Dyslexia (Review of current developmental dyslexia research: Brain/genetic/behavioral)
Attention capacity (examining the usability of Attention Concentration Test in Finnish schools)
Applications of the Self-organizing maps- method on psycho-educational field (High Ability Studies, Volume 17, Issue 1 June 2006 , 87 – 100 )
Myung Ho Lim, M.D.
Myung Ho Lim, M.D. has been visiting the EGLab for academic research on child developmental disorders since April, 2007. He is interested in the genetic study of Autism, as well as in the genetic study of learning disorders, and communication disorders (language disorders). He noted that in Korea the biological study of child developmental disorders are mainly focused on ADHD. In the future, during the next decade, Autism and other Learning disorders will be studied in Korea. Dr. Lim is working on “environmental toxins and child developmental disorders” through a grant from the Federal Environment Foundation and on “ADHD polymorphism and drug response” through a grant from the Federal Academic Foundation in Korea. Several of his recent the academic papers are: “Association of the DAT1 polymorphism with ADHD: a family-based approach” in the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 2006, “Expose to chronic aircraft noise and sustained attention, continuous performance and cognition in Children” in Child and Adolescent Psychology (Korean), 2007, and “Aripiprazole in ADHD with Tic Disorder and in ADHD with Tourette Disorder” in Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 2007.
Dr. Mercedes Ferrando is a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the PACE Center, sponsored by the Seneca Foundation (Regional Agency of Science and Technology, Murcia, Spain). She graduated with a PhD in gifted and emotional intelligence from Murcia University in 2006, and was a PhD Research Fellow (sponsored by the Spanish Educational Ministry, 2003-2006). Previously, she was a pre-doctoral research fellow at the University of doMinho (Braga, Portugal), a PhD student at Warwick University (Institute of Education, UK, grant sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology), and a PhD student at Canterbury Christ Church University in the Educational Research Centre, UK (sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology). Her research is focused on creativity, intelligence, gifted and talented children, thinking skills and emotional intelligence. She got involved with the EGLab in July 2007 to work in the Aurora project and its translation/adaptation into Spanish culture.
FRIENDS & FAMILY
Carolyn began working in the laboratory while she was an Undergraduate at Yale. For her senior year research project she genotyped Autistic individuals and their affected or non affected family members, using candidate genes. She graduated in 2004 with a BS in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (Research Intensive). She was Lab Manager for the wet lab until August 2009, and was directly involved in several different research projects. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree at the University of California-Davis.
Aleksandra ("Sasha") Zavadenko
Aleksandra Zavadenko received her M.D. from the School of Medicine , Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Russia, in 2007. Her work in the EGLab is focused on researching the genetic basis of developmental problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism. Aleksandra is currently pursuing a residency in Child Neurology in Moscow.
Elena ("Yola") Kallestinova
Elena received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Iowa in 2007. In her dissertation she explored the syntactic and psycholinguistic aspects of word order in Russian, a language with flexible word order. Her current research focuses on the child acquisition of verb categories, verb agreement and word order by normally developing children and children with specific language impairment (SLI). She is also interested in the acquisition of prosodic patterns (intonation and stress) in the child language development. Her work in Elena Grigorenko’s lab focuses on the language impairment criteria and linguistics characteristics of Russian children with SLI.
Robyn functions primarily as an editor for the various grants, papers, book chapters, and articles written by EGLab members. She received her bachelor's degree in English literature from The Colorado College and her professional background is primarily in magazine and newspaper publishing.
Dr. Cláudia Cardoso-Martins received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. She is a full professor of Psychology at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. Her main research interest is in reading acquisition in typically developing children and children with developmental disorders. She is currently spending a year in Dr. Grigorenko’s lab, where she is investigating the relationship between oral language and reading skills in children with specific language impairments.
Khalid holds a Ph.D. and M.A in Educational Administration and a B.A. in Educational Psychology. Currently he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. He has held positions as Dean, Vice Dean, and Head of the Department of Education and Psychology at Dammam Teachers College. Khalid has also served as Director of Scientific Affairs for King Abdul Aziz and His Companions for the Gifted in Riyadh. Khalid is a member of many national organizations, and has been a member of the Eastern Province Education Council for four years. He is interested in working with volunteer organizations in his community. Khalid is married to Badreyah, who is also working in the education field, and has three children.
Douglas Hausladen began working in the Grigorenko laboratory in January of 2003 and continued until his graduation in May of 2004. He graduated with a degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He started as a general laboratory assitant, but did an independent research project his senior year genotyping conduct disorder individuals. After hanging up his labcoat (graduation), Douglas started his own company and is now expanding his business in Florida and hopes to be national by 2008. (He can still be found at 2 am on bad cable television commercials for furniture stores in the New Haven area).
Maya was an undergraduate at Yale majoring in Biology when she been working at the lab as a research assistant in her junior year. She worked on her senior project which involved genotyping adult conduct disorder individuals using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on several candidate genes. In addition to her independent research, she also performed basic data collection procedures such as DNA extraction, quantification, and analysis for other ongoing projects. She then pursued a graduate degree at the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, MA.
Anna is from Riga, Latvia, where she graduated from the University of Latvia with a diploma of a mathematician-statistician. Now Anna is working on her PhD thesis in the field of multi-trait oligogenic Bayesian linkage analysis at the Yale University Department of Statistics.
Niamh ("Neeve") Doyle
Niamh is from Dublin, Ireland, where she received a BEd in elementary school teaching (from St.Patricks College, DCU) and a BSc (from the Open University) in Psychology. Niamh taught in Irish elementary schools for 4.5 years, before teaching in Canberra, Australia for an additional year. She worked as a research assistant for Dr. Grigorenko and Dr. Newman on numerous projects such as: A Family Study of Hyperlexia , Study of Adoptees from Russia (STAR study) and Students with Learning Difficulties and Creative/Visual-Spatial Gifts. She was based in the dry lab, so was also responsible for administrative aspects of the Grigorenko lab and the coordination of joint efforts with the PACE Clinic and PACE Center. Niamh obtained her graduate degree at Syracuse University this year (2009).
Robert was an undergraduate at Yale majoring in the History of Science and Medicine when began his work at the lab as a research assistant during his freshman year. While learning basic operations such as DNA quantification, extraction, and analysis, Robert is gradually gained the tools needed to work more independently in the lab.
Sarah Ward is from Simsbury, CT. She has finished her freshman year at Brown University, where she is planning on majoring in psychology. She started working for the lab in the summer of 2005, as a research assistant on several different projects which focus on learning disorders.
George Rockwell was an undergraduate at Antioch College, majoring in Environmental and Biological sciences. His work at the EGLab was the final internship for Antioch's Co-op program. George was involved with learning all the lab protocols used for the genetic research done in the EGLab.
Luke Turechek is from Shelton, CT. He attended Dartmouth College and the Freie Universität Berlin. He received a degree in Biochemistry with a minor in German Studies. Luke was involved in projects researching the genetic basis of problems such as conduct disorder, autism and dyslexia.
Jyothi Chintapalli has a double Masters degree in Biotechnology (Andhra University, India), and Cellular and Molecular Biology (University of New Haven, USA). She worked for Biogen Corporation as an intern and since then, is working as a Research Assistant-II at Yale. She has been doing cell and tissue culture, virology and molecular biology work. She has a couple of research papers and had taken part in presentations and seminars too. She is also a part-time lecturer in Biology at Manchester Community College.
Crystal was a freshman undergraduate at Yale University when she undertook her first year in the lab. She plans to major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and then attend medical school after graduating from Yale to pursue a career in pediatrics. She gained technical lab experience and familiarity with the Child Study Center’s genetics projects and research processes, and the intention of pursuing further study in the wet lab and participation in future independent research.
Chijioke ("Chill") Okeke
Laboratory Technician - Earned a BA in Biology at Yale University. His background is in Evolutionary Microbiology and Ecology. His current interests lie in Biomedical Sciences and behavioral science. He assisted with various projects throughout the lab to keep Carolyn sane. He enjoys music, eating, exercising, and research.
Hilary is originally from (chilly) northern Minnesota. She earned her BA in Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard and her MA in International Education Policy from Stanford. In the EGLab, she was glad to spread her efforts between domestic and international projects, namely the Connecticut Youth Detainee Program and both the Ghana and Zambia studies. Her interests in research and practice include understanding and improving education outcomes among at-risk children in the US and vulnerable populations in the Global South. Hilary looks forward to keeping in touch with the lab as she pursues her graduate studies at Stamford University.
Katherine ("Kt") Westby
Kt Westby began working in the EGLab in 2007. She earned AS degrees in Engineering Science as well as Natural Science and Mathematics from Gateway Community College, a BS in Individualized Studies: Biology/Psychology from Charter Oak State College, and is currently working toward an MS in Research Statistics and Measurements at Southern Connecticut State University. Kt worked on projects involving cognitive and behavioral development in international adoptees, giftedness in children, and genetic correlates to childhood psychological disorders.
Julian ("Julek") Chawarski
Julek Chawarski worked in the genetics lab prior to beginning college at Georgetown University. He worked with several of the DNA collections, and learned many of the techniques used in the lab.
Alison O'Neill worked in the genetics lab as part of a academic program while she attended high school. She worked with the Autism collection, genotyping a set of candidate genes using both SNPs and STRPs.
Jerry Haeffel received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Currently, he is at the University of Notre Dame. Jerry’s research program is devoted to delineating the full range of cognitive processes involved in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of depression. He has extended the cognitive theories of depression by integrating research from cognitive psychology, social psychology, and affective science. He uses multiple research designs (cross-sectional, prospective, behavioral high-risk, and randomized trials) and measurement techniques (e.g., questionnaires, laboratory tasks, and diagnostic interviews) in studies of nondepressed, dysphoric, and clinically depressed adolescents and adults. Jerry’s work in the EGLab was focused on the Connecticut Youth Detainee Program (CYDP) project. The primary goal of this project is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of Social Problem-Solving Training (SPST) in a sample of children and adolescents in the CYDP.
Ph.D. in School Psychology from Columbia University's Teachers College; Pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology at Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine; M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Dr. Mambrino's research explores the complex cognitive process of expository writing in young adults, using an approach that examines linguistic ability and neurocognitive factors, including working memory, metacognitive skills, associated long-term memory and social-cognitive perspective taking. She applies theory and methodology from both cognitive and social psychology, while acknowledging writing-related perspectives found in anthropology, classical rhetoric, cognitive developmental psychology, and psycholinguistics. Dr. Mambrino's work in the EGLab focused on the Connecticut Youth Detainee Program (CYDP). This randomized clinical trial of a cognitive-behavioral intervention is aimed at evaluating the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of Social Problem-Solving Training (SPST) in a sample of children and adolescents in the CYPD. Dr. Mambrino is currently in private practice.
Having just graduated from Providence College with a bachelors degree in mathematics, Jackie was a first year graduate student in the statistics department when she began working with EGLab by helping run statistical analyses. Her projects included a multiple crime study and autism research.
Jay P. Singh began working in the Grigorenko lab in May of 2007 heading up the Social Problem Solving Training protocol at juvenile detention centers across Connecticut. He graduated summa cum laude with highest honors with degrees in Clinical Psychology and Child Development from Tufts University. Jay’s independent research and publications span multiple subfields such as emotional development, behavioral genetics, and psychopathy. He has co-authored a collegiate textbook on approaches to problem behavior and classroom management and is currently working on a second. Jay is currently a graduate student at the University of Oxford and will be reading for his PhD in Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science under Dante Cicchetti and Nicki Crick starting in 2009.
Alex Allaben was an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, majoring in Molecular and Cell biology when he began as a research assistant in the EGLab. He worked in the wet lab performing various tasks such as DNA isolation, quantification, and cell culture work, for many of the ongoing projects.
Jacob Abolafia was an undergraduate at Yale University with a strong interest in the molecular mechanisms of disease, as well as neurobiology when he started as a student Lab Technician handling tasks as diverse as DNA quantification, extraction, genetic analysis, and cell culture. Jacob enjoyed his work in the Grigorenko lab, which he found both stimulating and dare he say it? Fun.
Seongmin ("Summer") Han
Summer received her PhD from Yale University in Statistics. She started working with Dr.Grigorenko during the spring semester in 2006. She worked on several gene-mapping projects: candidate-gene association studies on autism (finished MIF gene data recently and also worked on more candidate genes); genomewide linkage analysis on multiple crime disease. She is doing data analysis and is also interested in developing mathematical models for association and linkage studies. Summer currently has a position with Biostatistics Branch at the National Cancer Institute, NIH in Maryland.
Leila Khalili joined the Grigorenko genetics lab for the summers of 2008 and 2009 so that she could participate in a multi-year research study with her school, Briarcliff High School. In 2009, she was responsible for contributing to a candidate gene study involving autism probands and their family members. Her main duties included preparing DNA samples for microarray analysis, and compiling genotypic data to be used statistically. Leila was also responsible for contributing to the general lab maintenance.
Julia is from Houston, TX. She began working in the lab in January 2009 and is currently completing the senior research requirement for a BS in Biology from Yale University. She was the captain of Yale's varsity field hockey team and plans to attend medical school in 2010.
Lakshmi Kumar is in the Master’s Program at Teachers College Columbia University. She met Dr. Grigorenko through a course Dr. Grigorenko taught at TC in developmental psychopathology. She currently in the process of generating a master’s thesis using data from the Ghana project. She is interested in the relationship between social adaptation skills and language proficiency and will be using this data set to investigate such connections, as well as others, in hopes of adding to the literature on child development in the developing world.
Elisa Esposito is currently a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University pursuing her M.A. in Developmental Psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Arcadia University in 2008. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which genes and environment interact over time to produce pathological and resilient outcomes. As a research assistant in the wet lab, she is currently working on research involving epigenetics and gene expression in the human brain.
Dr. Newman received her doctorate in School/Applied Child Psychology from McGill University in Canada. Dr. Newman is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University Child Study Center. Her clinical and research interests are in assessment and intervention with children who have individual learning needs, including learning disabilities, ADHD, and giftedness. Dr. Newman is particularly interested in children with double exceptionalities (e.g., giftedness and learning disabilities) and circumscribed interests in autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Newman is currently working in the private sector.
Sofia Gearty is an undergraduate at Yale and planning to go to medical school. She began working in the lab during the summer of 2009 supported by a grant from the NIH. Her work focuses on tissue culture for the Zambia project on reading disabilities, while she also does general DNA extraction and purification work in the lab. She traveled to Zambia in the summer of 2010 to help train the collaborators there.
Hayley Born is a senior biology major at Yale College. She is completing her senior project in the EG Lab. She grew up in Wisconsin before traveling to the East Coast to complete her undergraduate education. After graduation in May of 2010, she plans to attend medical school.
Wook Yeon Hwang
Wook Yeon Hwang earned a Ph.D. degree in Statistics at North Carolina State University in 2009. Originally, he majored in Industrial Engineering. He earned a MSE degree in Industrial Engineering from the Arizona State University in 2004. At Arizona State University, he worked in the areas of data mining and quality engineering. He won IIE Transactions Best Quality and Reliability Engineering Paper Award in 2008. Before coming to the US, he earned a MS degree from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), in Industrial Engineering. At Pohang University of Science and Technology, he specialized in applied statistics and optimization. Then, he worked for 3 and half years with Korean government agencies.
Catherine (Cathy) is a second year MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health with a concentration in chronic disease epidemiology. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2008 with a degree in public health studies and a minor in psychological and brain sciences. She is currently working as a research assistant with Jodi Reich looking at reading and language disorders in Zambian children.
Jaime Blackmon is from Hamden, Connecticut. She is an undergraduate at Southern Connecticut State University studying Psychology (Mental Health) and French. She began working in the EGLab in 2008 assisting in the Yale Academic Study Clinic. She is currently involved in a project researching language disorders and working memory.
Adam Naples received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2009. He is interested in the cognitive representations that give rise to individual differences in behavioral phenotypes. Specifically, his work focuses on the interaction between domains of expertise and representational preferences that might give rise to detectable and behaviorally relevant phenotypes.
Tom Skiba graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in 2008. His focus was researching and counseling students with different learning styles on how to compensate effectively and manage stress in College. He completed an Honors Thesis researching the link between academic self-concept and motivation in students with Dyslexia in Higher Education. Since joining the EGLab, Tom has worked in the New Haven Juvenile Detention Center performing educational assessments, developed creative and practical intelligence tasks for the Aurora Project, and worked in the genetics lab.
Tara Thompson graduated from Rutgers University, with B.A. in Psychology. Her main interests are in the genetic contributions to psychiatric disorders and gene expression. Recently, she completed her honors thesis on genetic contributions to conduct disorder in the EGLab. Currently, Tara is working on several different projects in the genetics lab. In the future, she plans on attending medical school to obtain an MD/PhD degree in child psychiatry and behavioral genetics.
Yevgeniya comes from Voronezh, the capital city of the Black Soil region in Russia. She is a student at Yale College in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her major academic interests include Russian Literature of the early Twentieth Century, Byelorussian language and literature, and the history of Slavic peoples prior to Christianization. Since 2008, Yevgeniya has been working for the EGLab, transcribing audio recordings and interviews with kids and adults for the AZ project.
Kelly is a graduate student in the Linguistics Department at Yale University. She holds Linguistics MAs from Yale University and Universiteit van Amsterdam and a BA in Classics from New York University. Her main interests are in theoretical syntax and morphology.
Sasha, Kt, and Chill
Jackie and Jodi
Sasha and Jodi
Lesley, Ian (Lesley's son), Sergey, Jon (Lesley's son), Sasha, and Karen Smith