Meet us

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8/25/21: Getting ready for the start of the new academic year at lab meeting! 

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HELENA RUTHERFORD, PH.D

Lab Director

I am interested in the perinatal origins of parenting and the neurobiological and psychological changes that occur during the transition to parenthood.

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AMANDA LOWELL, PH.D 

Associate Research Scientist

I study the impact of addiction and adversity on maternal neural and behavioral responses to infant cues, the implementation of evidence-based parenting intervention for mothers with addictions, and the neurophysiological mechanisms underscoring mothers’ response to treatment.

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TAL YATZIV, PH.D

Postdoctoral Associate

​I am interested in the interplay between cognitive and affective processes in shaping early parenting and infants’ socioemotional development, with special focus on parental mentalizing and sensitive responsiveness. I employ reaction-time and accuracy-based cognitive measures, imaging approaches, and observation-based ecological methods (e.g., videotaped parent-infant interactions), to gain insights into how adaptive parenting unfolds in time, and how psychopathology may modulate this transition.

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LI YAN MCCURDY, PH.D

Postdoctoral Fellow

My research interests include identifying how maternal behavior might differ in mothers who engage in excessive alcohol and/or drug use, and uncovering the neural correlates of these differences.

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FRANCESCA PENNER, PH.D

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am interested in parenting and child socio-emotional development and mental health. I am especially interested in understanding the influences of attachment, parental emotion regulation and mentalizing, and parent psychopathology at multiple levels of analysis, in order to improve parent interventions and reduce the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology.

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KIMBERLY STREATER

Research Coordinator

I work on recruiting, engaging, and screening pregnant and postpartum mothers in the New Haven community.

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LUCY GAO, B.S

Medical Student Research Associate

I am interested in investigating the effects of various prenatal predictors, such as maternal-fetal attachment and prior parental relationships, on postpartum maternal-infant interactions using questionnaire measures and EEG.  Most recently, I am working on a project that examines the effects of infant cries on maternal heart rate in pregnancy.

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KATHRYN WALL, M.S, M.A

PhD Student

I am a PhD student in Yale University’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP). I am interested in the neurobiological, psychological, and behavioral implications of substance use, anxiety, depression, and trauma on the maternal brain during the perinatal period.

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HANA HAITSUKA, B.S

Postgraduate Research Associate

I am working on a longitudinal study looking at the transition to motherhood during pregnancy and postpartum, and its associations to parenting and addiction using fMRI. 

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ELOISE SUTTON, B.S

Masters Student

I am interested in the effect of maternal anxiety on psychological and behavioral aspects of parenting. Currently, I am studying the relationship between prenatal maternal mind-mindedness and anxiety.

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DANA KIM

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student in my sophomore year studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Psychology on the neuroscience track. I am interested in the neurobiological changes that occur as a result of early childhood experiences and how these changes may affect adult behavior, including parenting.

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VISITING MEMBERS
Dr. Karen Milligan

ALUMNI
Sarah Peoples, M.Res '20- Postgraduate Research Associate
Nick Manco - Postgraduate Research Associate
Madison Bunderson - Postgraduate Research Associate

Cody Bartz - Postgraduate Research Associate
Katherine Hofman, Yale '20 - Undergraduate Research Assistant
Corine Lu, Yale '20 - Undergraduate Research Assistant
Dr. Emily Vancor, Yale School of Medicine '20 - Medical Student
Laura Kolijn - Visiting Member
Dr. Michele Giannotti - Visiting Member
Dr. Karina Sandoval - Postdoctoral Fellow
Amanda Simard - Visiting Member
Lauren (Da Mi) Kim, UCL/Yale '19 - Masters Student
Gwendolyn Ngoh, UCL/Yale '19 - Masters Student
Sarah Pak, Yale '19 - Undergraduate Research Assistant
Dr. Aline Jimi Myung Cho - Visiting Member
Dr. Antonin Sebela - Visiting Member