Meet us

IMG_9668.HEIC
YSM13617_0140_H_Rutherford_edited.jpg

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.

helena_capped.jpg
headshot2.jpg

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.

amanda_capped.png
TalApril20_edited_edited.jpg

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.

TalApril20_edited.jpg
McCurdy.png

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.

CodyCap_edited.jpg
headshot2.jpg

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.

CodyCap_edited.jpg
IMG_3013 2_edited.jpg

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. 

lucy_capped.jpg
Headshot.png

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.

sarah_capped.png
Image from iOS.jpg

KATHY AYALA, B.S

PhD Student

I am interested in how mental health conditions of parents can impact their own parental development and their child's development. I am especially interested in the neurobiological associations between the parent and child during and after pregnancy.

sarah_capped.png
Image.jpeg

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.

sarah_capped.png
IMG_9715_edited.jpg

RACHEL SHIN, B.A

Masters Student

I am a second year Master of Research student in Yale-UCL’s Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology program. I am interested in how early childhood trauma can effect maternal behavior later in life as well as the maternal-child relationship. I am also interested in the connection between maternal substance use, adversity, and attachment and the ways in which intervention can impact the mother’s neurobiology and behavior.

sarah_capped.png
EFFACEBF-DA7D-403C-A131-72601CA754CC.jpeg

JOSEPHINE LEVY, B.S

Masters Student

I am a second-year student in the UCL-Yale MRes Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology. I am currently working on a study investigating the impact of maternal anxiety on infant cues processing, parenting behaviour and mother-infant relationship after birth.

sarah_capped.png
sbcf-default-avatar.png

BROOKE CASEY

Undergraduate Student

sarah_capped.png
Kim1.jpg

KIMBERLY STREATER

Research Coordinator

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

kim_capped.jpg
Image from iOS.jpg

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.

CodyCap_edited.jpg
IMG_7738_edited.jpg

CLAUDIA GAEBLER, B.S

Postgraduate Research Associate

I am a Postgraduate Associate working alongside Helena Rutherford in the BABL lab, with a primary focus on our Bridge study. This research looks at understanding the effects of nicotine addiction on the maternal brain and behavior. My undergraduate research experience at UMass Amherst inspired my interest in maternal research with a focused intersection of developmental and clinical psychology.

CodyCap_edited.jpg
headshot (1).jpg

VICTORIA HART-DERRICK, B.A

Postgraduate Research Associate

I am a recent graduate of Stanford University, Class of 2022. As a PGA, I coordinate with other lab members to manage the BABL’s R01 study investigating the impact of stress, substance use, and addiction on the transition to motherhood. I am interested in learning to analyze neuroimaging data and biological mechanisms to better understand the affective and behavioral trajectory of psychopathology, particularly in substance use and mood disorders.

CodyCap_edited.jpg
BABL_pic.jpg

JULIANA BRENNER, B.A

Research Assistant

I am a research assistant working with Dr. Francesca Penner on her emotion, brain and behavior EEG study for first-time parents. I am interested in how mental health and emotion regulation of new parents impacts the beginning stages of their child’s emotional development, as well as personal well-being and family dynamic as a whole. 

sarah_capped.png
IMG_8208.jpeg

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!

CodyCap_edited.jpg

VISITING MEMBERS
Justine Murphy - Medical Student Research Associate

ALUMNI
Kathleen Guan, M.Res '22 - Masters Student
Lili Massac - NIDA Summer Research Intern
Virginia Osueke- NIDA Summer Research Intern

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