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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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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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CLÍONA KELLY, PH.D

Postdoctoral Associate

I am a current Postdoctoral Associate under the R01 grant that investigates the neural mechanisms of psychological risk on mother and infant adjustment. In 2023, I completed my PhD in neuroscience and computer science, which was jointly funded by Aston University and the EPSRC. Here, I combined virtual reality and EEG to study social interaction between real and virtual humans.

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KATHRYN WALL, M.S, M.A

PhD Candidate

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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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.

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DANIEL MCGLADE, M.Res

PhD Student

I joined the BABL as a PhD candidate on the Developmental Neuroscience and Mental Health programme run across UCL, the Anna Freud Centre and Yale. For my PhD I am studying the neural and cognitive impact of early life experiences and their effects on later social functioning and mental health. Whilst at the BABL I will be investigating the neurocognitive mechanisms of parenting and examining how such systems are impacted by psychopathology or early life experiences such as maltreatment. Currently, my interests relate to child maltreatment and the neurocognitive mechanisms underpinning learning and social cognition across development and psychiatric disorders, and the mechanism underpinning the intergenerational transmission of trauma and psychopathology.

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MAISHA HOSSAIN, B.A

Masters Student

I am a Master of Research student on Yale-UCL's Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology program. My interests broadly revolve around understanding the impact of the parent-child relationship on children's socio-emotional development, in particular bridging mentalising, neuroscientific and systemic perspectives. I'm also passionate about culturally-informed preventative and early interventions that support children who may present with latent vulnerability or otherwise 'fall through the cracks'.

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ZOE HOWELL, B.S

Masters Student

I am a graduate exchange scholar on the Yale-UCL Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology Masters of Research, under the guidance of Dr. Helena Rutherford. I am broadly interested in matrescence, maternal substance use, and the brain-to-behaviour translation of substance use in caregiving. I champion the idea that researching to better understand and support parents with substance use disorders, can prevent suffering and development of psychopathology, for both parent and baby.

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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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CLAUDIA GAEBLER, B.S

Postgraduate Research Associate

In May 2022, I graduated from UMass Amherst with a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Following graduation, I joined the BABL where I independently run a R21 NIDA-funded study designed to use Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) to determine whether tobacco-smoking affects the maternal brain, behavior, and infant development at 9-12 months postpartum. I am broadly interested in the mother-infant dyad and how maternal mood disorders predict child and adolescent risk for psychopathology.

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VICTORIA HART-DERRICK, B.A

Postgraduate Research Associate

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.

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JOSEPHINE LEVY, M.Res

Postgraduate Research Associate

I am an alum of 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.

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RACHEL SHIN, M.Res

Postgraduate Research Associate

I am an alum of the 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.

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MICHÈLE DAY, B.A

Postgraduate Research Associate

I graduated from the University of New Haven with a B.A. in Forensic Psychology. I am currently a post-baccalaureate researcher involved with the BABL’s R01 study investigating impacts of substance use, stress, and addiction on the transition to motherhood. I’m interested in neuroimaging related to predictive neuromarkers of opioid use and using fMRI analysis to target intervention techniques in addiction treatment.

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AMORINE ADODO, B.A

Postgraduate Research Associate

I graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Neuroscience and a minor in Africana Studies in May 2023. I am a part of the BABL’s R01 study that investigates neural mechanisms of psychological risk on motherhood and infant development among Black and white families. I am passionate about translational and clinical research related to psychopathology with a focus on marginalized communities. 

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JULIA SULKOWSKI 

Undergraduate Research Associate

I am a current undergraduate at Yale College completing my B.S. in Neuroscience and English. As a research assistant, I will be working on my thesis studying the associations between maternal substance use disorders and responses to infant reactions and behavior.

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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
Huili Sun - PhD Candidate in Yale Department of Biomedical Engineering

ALUMNI
Isabel Rodden - Summer Intern

Dr. Francesca Penner - Postdoctoral Fellow

Fisayo Adeyina - Postgraduate Research Associate

Dr. Tal Yatziv - Postdoctoral Associate 

Dr. Yi Lan McCurdy - Postdoctoral Fellow

Juliana Brenner - Research Assistant

Spencer Birney - Postgraduate Research Associate

Brooke Casey - Yale Undergraduate Student '23

Dèbora Becker - Visiting PhD Student

Justine Murphy - Medical Student Research Associate

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

Helena
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