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Post-Doctoral Fellow

CASSIE HENDRIX

Cassie is a postdoctoral fellow whose work examines how our earliest experiences, as well as the experiences of our parents, shape neurobiological development and stress responsivity. She is particularly interested in biobehavioral processes that are linked to long-term psychiatric risk and resilience.

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Post-Doctoral Fellow

DENISE WERCHAN

In her postdoctoral work, Denise is interested in establishing how developing neural and behavioral systems are shaped by experience and environmental factors, such as maternal health, parenting practices, stress/adversity, and socioeconomic status.

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Research Associate

INTEGRA FELICIANO

Integra is a recent graduate from Georgetown University mastering in Systems Medicine. Her goals include obtaining her MD and pursuing a career in Women's reproductive health.

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Research Associate

NICKI 
JARIWALA

Nicki recently graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in May of 2020. She plans on pursuing a degree in medicine, specifically in the field of child psychiatry. 

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Research Associate

HARINI SRINIVASAN

Harini is a 4th year undergraduate at Barnard College studying Neuroscience and Behavior and Science and Public Policy. Harini has been conducting research with Dr. Moriah Thomason since September 2020, and she is a member of the COPE Study's Data Acquisition and Data Processing Teams. In addition, Harini is pursuing her senior thesis studying the associations between prenatal maternal stress, fetal hippocampal functional connectivity and toddler executive functioning. After graduating in May 2022, Harini plans to conduct research before pursuing a degree in medicine, specifically in the field of psychiatry.

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Research Assistant

FRIDA GALAVIZ HUERTA

Friday is a current undergraduate at New York University studying Psychology. Frida is on the Data Processing Team and graduates in May 2022.

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Research Assistant

RAMYA MANNIKAN

Ramya is a senior at NYU double majoring in Psycholgy and Studio Art and minoring in CAMS. In the coming year Ramya plans to pursure a PhD in Clinical Psychology with focus on how environmental factors affect parenting and child developmental and psychopathological outcomes.

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Research Assistant

CLAIRE ABRAHAM

Claire is a sophomore at New York University College of Arts & Science and is majoring in psychology. She is so excited to be working on LEGACI and the Recruitment Team.

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Research Assistant

MAAYAN ZIV

Maayan is a senior at Barnard College studying psychology and interested in child development and early education. She is excited to be working with the LEGACI team! After graduating, Maayan plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on early childhood.

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Research Assistant

LAILA GAD

Laila Gad is a sophomore in the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College. Laila is majoring in Journalism, with a minor in environmental studies. In her free time, Laila volunteers at the maternity ward of her local hospital and writes for the Society of Bioethics at Hunter. She is really excited to be working with LEGACI!

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Research Assistant

YULIANA ANIKINA

Yuliana is a senior at Hunter College, majoring in Physiological Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. Her goals include applying for masters in ABA or Child Development after graduating and acquring sufficient experience. Yuliana is very excited to be a part of the Baby BEES Lab.

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Research Assistant

NATALIE BECKER

I am a rising senior attending New York University majoring in Neural Science. I have been passionate about undergraduate research and have developed a deep interest in childhood trauma. My research interests include gaining a deeper understanding of how trauma affects the developing brain, starting before birth. "The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog" by Bruce Perry changed my outlook on childhood trauma and is the reason I am pursuing it today. I joined the Thomason Lab in the summer of 2022 and am a part of the COPE Study on the MRI team. Upon my graduation, I intend to continue childhood trauma research and ultimately serve underrepresented minority communities.

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Research Assistant

LUSILA VRANGA

Lusila Vranga is a senior studying Biochemistry at Hunter College. She was born and raised in Albania and moved here when she was 15 years old. She always had a love for science since she was young. Having been given the opportunity to come to NYC made it possible for her to pursue a degree in science. She is currently conducting COVID-19 related research both at Hunter and at the Baby Bees Lab. She also works as a medical assistant at a cardiology office. She is grateful that she has the opportunity to explore and learn more about science and many fields of medicine. She looks forward to what the future holds for her.

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Research Assistant

JENNA JOHN

Jenna is a freshman at Macaulay at Hunter College currently looking to study neuroscience and biology.

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Research Assistant

MAX FU

Max is a junior at the Gallatin School of Inidividualized Study (New York University) studying Multidisciplinary Healthcare Studies, concentrating primarily in the topics of clinical and medical ethics, behavioral and mental healthcare, hearing and communicative disorders, and healthcare practices compliance law. His scientific research interests pertain to the contemporary impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on aggregate and inidividual mental health, physical health, and child development, as well as biofeedback technology systems for speech and hearing rehabilitation. He is also pursuing a Master of Public Health at the NYU School of Global Public Health, focusing on Social and Behavioral Health.

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Project Coordinator, Social Worker

TESSA VATALARO

Tessa specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families, and her clinical interests are in providing evidenced based, trauma informed interventions to underserved populations. Tessa is committed to the engagement of diverse and under represented groups in research in order to facilitate culturally competent services and inform future interventions.

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Post-Doctoral Fellow

CASSIE HENDRIX

In her postdoctoral work, Cassie aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the transmission of adversity from mothers to their children and the aspects of brain development that confer resilience in fetuses and infants.

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Research Associate

AUTUMN
AUSTIN

Autumn is recent graduate from New York University mastering in Psychology with a clinical concentration. Autumn’s thesis focused on sex differences in fetal MRI amygdala connectivity in toddlers with ASD traits. In the next year she plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. 

 
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Post-Doctoral Fellow

LANXIN JI

Lanxin Ji is a postdoctoral fellow with a background in biomedical engineering. Her interest is to understand fetal and infant brains with cutting-edge fMRI analysis models and tools, such as interactions between key functional networks and the brain connectivity dynamics. Lanxin is also interested in developing denoising methods and optimizing pre-processing pipelines to manage the unique challenges in baby brain imaging.

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Program Manager

MELISSA RENEE CLARKE

Melissa Renee Clark, MA, received her undergraduate training at New York University and received her graduate training in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her work has centered around access to care for vulnerable populations, and her research has granted her access to work with a variety of institutions including the United Nations, the Veterans Affairs Hospital (Bronx location) in association with the New York State Governors Challenge, and New York City’s Department of Homeless Services. Throughout her training, her primary research interest has been Postpartum Depression prevention and maternal mental health care.

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Research Associate

KAELYN KOHLASCH

Kaelyn graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2018, majoring in Psychology. Following graduation, Kaelyn taught English in Madrid, Spain before serving as a Research Associate at the University of Vermont and NYU Langone. She has worked on multiple projects examining child brain development and psychological health, and is currently focused on understanding the biopsychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families.

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Research Associate

SARWAT SIDDIQUI

Sarwat graduated with her bachelors from New York University in 2021. Her goals include obtaining a medical degree and pursuing a career in developmental pediatrics.

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Research Assistant

BRIANNA SCHMIDT

Brianna is a current senior at Barnard College studying psychology with minors in art history and english. She has been with the Baby BEEs lab since June 2021, and works as part of the Data Processing and REDCap teams. After graduating, Brianna plans to pursue graduate study in psychology in the form of a PsyD.

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Research Assistant

CHRISTINE IRLBECK

Christine is a freshman at Fordham University studying political science and psychology.

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Research Assistant

AMBER ARIF

Amber is a sophomore at Hunter College studying Biology and Public Health. She has an interest in scientific research and medicine and is excited to be working with the LEGACI team!

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Research Assistant

ZEENYA PATEL

Zeenya Patel is a 4th year undergraduate studying Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Zeenya is looking forward to be working with the LEGACI research team at NYU Langone. Zeenya intends to apply for a doctorate degree in clinical psychology after acquiring sufficient experience in the field of psychology.

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Research Assistant

ANGELA YANG

Angela is a junior at NYU, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chemistry. She's interested in interminority relations and plans to apply to medical school after graduation.

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Research Assistant

KENNETH VUONG

Kenneth is a senior at The City College of New York (CUNY) majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. After graduating, he plans to take one or two gap years to gain more clinical experiences and plans to pursue in medicine. He has been with the BABY BEEs Lab since January of 2022, and is on the bio-specimen and the data processing team.

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Research Assistant

DANI BENGOA

I am an upcoming junior at Tulane University studying Cell and Molecular Biology and Economics. I love to go to the gym and love being outdoors.

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Research Assistant

ABIGAIL MANOYLO

Abigail is a student at Hunter College majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Psychology. Her goals include going to medical school to obtain her M.D. after graduating with her bachelor’s degree. In Abigail’s free time, you can find her listening to R&B music, reading books about medicine, and visiting museums around the city. She is excited to be part of the Baby BEEs Lab!

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Research Assistant

MADISON FORDE

Madison graduated from Amherst College in 2020. There, she earned her BA in Psychology while completing the Pre-Medical track. Following graduation, Madison served as a Research Assistant in the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. While at the Brigham, she worked on various studies focused on optimizing the neurodevelopmental outcomes of at-risk newborns and parental mental health by altering the environment of a Level III NICU. Madison plans on pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specifically in the field of child and adolescent psychology.