Meet us

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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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WINNIE ORCHARD, PH.D

Postdoctoral Associate

I am a Postdoctoral Associate with a joint appointment at the BABL, and the Holmes Lab. I completed my PhD in Neuroscience at the Turner Institute of Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, in 2021, under the supervision of Dr Sharna Jamadar. My research investigates the structural and functional brain changes associated with parenthood across the lifespan, with a special interest in how these changes relate to parental cognition and mental health in the postpartum period. I am passionate about the parental brain, and women's health more broadly - how female biology and the experience of womanhood shape the brain, cognition and behavior across the life stages of adolescence, pregnancy, parenthood, peri-menopause and the aging process. 

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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 implications of substance use and mental health on maternal neural processing and infant development.

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KATHLEEN GUAN, BSFS

Masters Student

I am interested in how early childhood experiences shape psychosocial outcomes across the lifespan, and how to translate evidence-based research to design effective mental health policy initiatives. 

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JUSTINE MURPHY, B.S

Medical Student Research Associate

I am a rising M2 Medical Student at Quinnipiac. I am interested in opioid use disorder in pregnancy and my capstone project will study how internalized stigma affects an OUD mother's ability to mentalize with her infant.

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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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SPENCER BIRNEY, B.S

Postgraduate Research Associate

I manage day-to-day progress on Dr. Rutherford’s neuroimaging R01 investigating the impact of stress, substance use, and addiction on the transition to motherhood.

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LILI MASSAC

NIDA Summer Research Intern

I am a rising senior at Williams College. I am interested in understanding how maternal opioid use influences the parent-child relationship and infant development in the long term. I also hope to investigate interventions to reduce the negative behavioral and neurobiological consequences of prenatal opioid exposure.

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Beans

BABL Dog + Mascot

My name is Beans and I am the BABL dog! You might meet me running around the lab, playing with my friends, and eating lots of treats!

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VISITING MEMBERS
Lili Massac - NIDA Summer Research Intern

ALUMNI
Dr. Karen Milligan

Saskia Malcorps- PH.D Candidate and Fulbright Scholar
Hana Haitsuka, Yale '20 - Postgraduate Research Associate
Lucy Gao - Medical Student Research Associate
Eloise Sutton, M.Res '21 - Masters Student
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