Lab Members

Principal Investigators

Ami Klin, Ph.D. . is the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor and Chief of the Division of Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London, and completed clinical and research ami

post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. He directed the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine until 2010, where he was the Harris Professor of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. Dr. Klin’s primary research activities focus on the social mind and the social brain, and on aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. These studies include novel techniques such as the eye-tracking laboratories co-directed with Warren Jones, which allow researchers to see the world through the eyes of individuals with autism. Dr. Klin is the author of over 180 publications in the field of autism and related conditions. He is also the co-editor of a textbook on Asperger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers published by Guilford Press, the third edition of the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders published by Wiley, and several special issues of professional journals focused on autism spectrum disorders.

Warren Jones, Ph.D. . is the Director of Research at the Marcus Autism Center and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University. His research is focused on the use of eye-tracking technologies to characterize and quantify the social phenotype in autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and related conditions. The aim of the warren
research is to better understand the perspectives and struggles of individuals with social disabilities, to quantify phenotypic variation in the manifestation of such disabilities, to improve efforts at early diagnosis, and to develop future strategies for intervention.
Gordon Ramsay, Ph.D. is the Director of the Spoken Communication Laboratory at the Marcus Autism Center and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. Gordon graduated from Cambridge University in England with a B.A./M.A. in Electrical and Information Sciences and an M.Phil. in Computer Speech and Language Processing, and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Electrical gordon

and Electronic Engineering at the University of Southampton. He has also studied and worked at the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris, France, the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, the Institut de la Communication Parlée in Grenoble, France, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium, and has ongoing collaborations with the Department of Linguistics at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and MARCS Auditory Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. Trained as a speech scientist and electronic engineer, his research has centered on understanding the biological foundations of spoken language by building computationally-explicit models of speech production and speech perception, and applying these to speech synthesis and recognition. In collaboration with Ami Klin, Warren Jones, and David Lin, he has recently begun developing new statistical tools and novel experimental paradigms for investigating the development of audiovisual perception in infants with autism. In his spare time, he is writing a prehistory of mechanical speaking machines.

Sarah Shultz, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from Yale University, where she used both behavioral (eye-tracking) and neuroimaging methods and analysis techniques (fMRI, EEG, dynamic causal modeling) to investigate social cognition and perception gordon

from infancy to adulthood in both typically-developing populations and populations with ASD. At the Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Shultz investigates the causes and biological mechanisms of ASD. Using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, she studies the interaction between developmental changes in the brain and the developmental unfolding of social behavior in infants with and without ASD. She also uses simultaneous eye-tracking and fMRI to study how the brain functions when children actively explore dynamic, naturalistic social scenes.

Graduate Students

A native of Oakland, CA, Jenn Moriuchi is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Emory University. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Wellesley College, where she conducted research in a behavioral neuroscience laboratory using a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2009-2011, Jenn studied gaze aversion in toddlers with autism as well as phenotypic heterogeneity in school-age children with autism. She continues to work with Ami Klin and Warren Jones at the Marcus Autism Center on studies of developmental processes impacting outcome in autism. jennifer
Rebecca Burger-Caplan graduated from Haverford College in 2010 with a BA in Psychology. While there, her research focused on language development and communicative gesture in infant siblings at risk for Autism. Prior to joining Marcus, Rebecca worked in a molecular neuroscience laboratory, studying epigenetic factors in depression. She is now a graduate student in clinical psychology at Emory University, working with Ami Klin and Warren Jones at the Marcus Autism Center, focusing on developmental trajectories in early infancy. rebecca
Current Fellows

Donald J. Cohen Fellows in Developmental Neuroscience
Originally from Bainbridge Island, WA, Isabella (Isa) Stallworthy graduated with honors from Middlebury College in 2015 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. She grew up overseas, spending time in Bolivia, England, and Myanmar. At Middlebury, she led research exploring the physiological and cognitive effects of long-term meditation practice and its link to prosocial behavior, and how the testing effect modulates associative memory. Her senior honors project investigated how top-down attentional control and emotion influence episodic memory. isa
As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience, Isa conducts eye-tracking research with infants, toddlers, and adolescents with and without autism. She has recently embarked on a project examining how social smiling and visual engagement influence infant-caregiver dyadic interactions in typically developing infants and those who develop autism. After the fellowship, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in developmental cognitive neuroscience.
Originally from Erie, PA, Julia Yurkovic graduated from the University of Rochester in 2015. She graduated with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in American Sign Language. Her senior thesis used fMRI and behavioral measures to test how visuospatial working memory and numerical processing contributed to mathematical achievement and the fronto-parietal math network in 3- to 5-year-old children. She also worked as a research assistant both in the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab and the Kid NeuroLab division of the Concepts, Actions, and Objects Lab. julia
As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience, her projects include examining visual social engagement patterns in a large sample of school-aged children to provide a framework for parsing heterogeneity in autism and a case study of a child with a particularly strong interest in movie watching to study restricted interests and reinforcement. After completing the fellowship, Julia plans to pursue a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.
Originally from La Jolla, CA, Meg Micheletti graduated with honors from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology and a minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her undergraduate research focused on the parent and child factors associated with ASD service receipt. She also worked as a research assistant in the ADHD and Development Lab and the Semel Institute's Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization Program. julia
Meg’s current work as a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience involves eye-tracking infants, toddlers, and school-aged children. The aim of this research is to quantify the social visual engagement of children, both with and without autism, to improve the efforts of early ASD diagnosis. After the fellowship, Meg plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology.
Simons Fellows in Computational Neuroscience
Ella Coben graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2015 with a B.A. in Computer Science/Mathematics and Psychology, and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. Her senior honors thesis examined the logarithmic-to-linear shift hypothesis in the numerical estimation skills of preschoolers. She has also worked as a research assistant at the University of Minnesota, in both a virtual reality research lab and the Math and Numeracy Lab at the Institute of Child Development. ella
Ella is currently a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience at the Marcus Autism Center, where she is applying her computational background to eye-tracking research on infants, toddlers, and adolescents. Her projects include analyzing visual engagement with physical properties of social stimuli, calculating the conditional probabilities of fixation during dynamic visual scanning, and tracking the concordance of eye-tracking measures in twin pairs over time.
Andrew Kreuzman graduated with honors from Middlebury College in 2016 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Spanish. His senior honors thesis investigated the genetic basis of conditioned fear in outbred mice as an endophenotype of human PTSD. He has also worked as a research assistant in the Society, Psychology, and Health Research Lab at Columbia University, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. ella
As a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience, Andrew conducts eye-tracking research with infants, toddlers, and adolescents, merging his interest in computer science with his experience in neuroscience and research. His current project focuses on the development of the dynamic allocation of visual resources in young children.
Research & Development

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Jose Luis Paredes moved to Houston, Texas to attend the University of Houston where he graduated with a BS in Physics and a BS in Mathematics in 1990. He completed some graduate course work in physics (1992). He worked as a Desktop Support Specialist and Lab Supervisor at the University of Houston from 1993-2000. Jose joined Yale as a Support Specialist in 2000, then moved onto Systems Administrator for Yale University jose
Calendaring System (2004-2006). He joined the Child Study Center in 2006 and moved with the Klin lab to Emory University and the Marcus Autism Center in 2011. His tasks range from client desktop support to server administration, scripting and programming in multiple languages. He is currently working on developing facial feature recognition software. Jose Luis received his MS in Computer Science from the University of New Haven in 2011.
A native of Fairfield, CT, Peter Lewis obtained his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering management from Miami University (OH) in 2007. For the duration of his senior year, Peter was project manager for Miami Engineering’s Baja program, which challenges a team of eight students to design, build, test, and race a single-passenger off-road vehicle, while simultaneously raising sufficient capital to fund the project. As a design engineer at the Marcus peter
Autism Center, he has worked with Warren Jones to develop novel techniques for collecting eye-tracking data from children as young as 1-month old. Recent work has involved the design and construction of an experimental environment in which eye-tracking data can be collected from a live, real-time interaction between a parent and his or her baby. In his free time, Peter enjoys skiing, water sports, and music.
In 2002, Steven Kovar began attending Savannah College of Art and Design to follow his passion for the arts, graduating in 2006 with a BFA in Industrial Design. His program focused on hand sketching/rendering, ergonomics, user experience, design, computer aided design, project scheduling and model making. During his senior year he worked closely with industrial designers at Caterpillar Inc. to develop a redesign for the cab of a 420D backhoe. steve
After graduation he was offered a job as a CAD Modeler with a naval contractor near Washington D.C. called Angle Inc. He produced models for signature analysis on current and future naval vessels, which included radar analysis, inferred analysis, and degaussing. Steven’s responsibilities quickly grew to include research & design, graphic design, computer animation and video compositing. His design accomplishments include a ship to robotic boat refueling system and influence on the design of an air dropped medium size combat boat. In the spring of 2011 Steven and his wife moved to Atlanta GA where he took a position with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta working at the Marcus Autism Center as an Electromechanical Engineer. He currently works with a team to design & build systems for diagnosing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Past Fellows

Donald J Cohen Fellows in Developmental Neuroscience
Originally from Portland, OR, Lindsay Olson graduated from Whitman College in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Her senior honors thesis examined the effects of socioeconomic status on identity development in adolescents. After Whitman, Lindsay worked as a behavior interventionist with young children who have autism and related disorders. She was also a research assistant at Oregon Health and Science University where she investigated differences in pragmatic language use between children with ASD and those who are typically developing. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2014-2016, she participated in eye-tracking research with infants, toddlers, and adolescents with and without autism. She investigated the extent to which longitudinal patterns of social engagement differentiate typically developing infants from those diagnosed with ASD. She is now completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of California San Diego. alaina
Originally from New Jersey,Robin Sifre graduated from Brown University with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her senior honors thesis explored the cognitive mechanisms underlying punishment judgments, and why we punish accidental agents. In addition, she also investigated how the development of controlled visual attention in infants interacts with learning and memory. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2014-2016, her research examined how visual attention to social stimuli during infancy influences later cognitive and social outcomes. Robin is now a PhD student in Child Psychology at the University of Minnesota. alaina
Rachel Sandercock, a Philadelphia native, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with a B.Phil. (B.S. with honors) in Psychology and a B.A. in English literature with a certificate in children’s literature. Rachel’s undergraduate research focused on the role of gesture use as a predictor of language development in infants at high genetic risk for autism spectrum disorder. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2013-2015, Rachel examined how smiling behavior in infants with ASD may be indicative of very early deviations from the normative course of social development. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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A military kid, Alaina Wrencher was born in the Netherlands. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with a B.Phil. (B.S. with honors) in Psychology, a minor in Administration of Justice, and a certificate in American Sign Language. Her senior honors thesis explored whether a novel, syllable-based orthography of English that utilizes face images (as opposed to letters) might improve reading skills for individuals with reading disorders, such as dyslexia. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience, her research assessed the extent to which eye-tracking measures of social disability can serve as successful endpoints for the assessment of new treatments. Alaina is now a PhD student in Public Policy at Georgia State University and works as a graduate research assistant at the Georgia Health Policy Center’s Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health.

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Originally from Diamond Bar, CA, Eugene Kim graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2012 with a B.A. in Cognitive Psychology and a minor in Linguistics. As an undergraduate, Eugene was involved in a visual perception and neuroimaging laboratory where he investigated the effects of biological motion cues on visual-spatial attention. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience, he participated in eye-tracking research with infants, toddlers and adolescents with autism. Eugene is interested in the early learning mechanisms implicated in the ontogeny of adaptive social functioning and their underlying neural substrate. He is currently completing a PhD program in Developmental Psychology at Indiana University at Bloomington.

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Grace Ann Marrinan graduated from Princeton University in 2012 with an A.B. in Psychology and a Certificate in Neuroscience. Her undergraduate thesis investigated the relationship between verbatim memory for language and a local bias of attention within other perceptual domains among typical individuals. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience she assisted with eye-tracking studies of infants, toddlers, and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Grace Ann is interested in exploring intrinsic motivations and characteristics of the visual scene that contribute to patterns of dynamic visual scanning of individuals with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. She plans to complete a post-baccalaureate, pre-medical training program. grace
Serene Habayeb, who grew up in Dubai, UAE, graduated from the University of Rochester in 2011 with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a minor in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in a developmental neuropsychology lab working on an fMRI study investigating the neural basis of audiovisual integration and language comprehension in autism. Serene was a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2011-2013. She is currently at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in children, families and culture.

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Tawny Tsang graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in music. She was involved in a cognition and action laboratory as an undergraduate where she explored a variety of topics including cerebellar ataxia, reaching in virtual environments, and the role of dopamine in reward and movement. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2011-2013, Tawny explored the development of oculomotor functions in infants at high- and low-risk for developing ASD and their relation to visual social scanning. She is currently completing a PhD program in Developmental Psychology at UCLA and plans to continue researching the relationship between visual behaviors and social cognitive development. jessica
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Jessica Jones graduated from Stanford University in 2010 with a B.A. in Human Biology. As an undergraduate, she conducted independent research designed to investigate the relationship between social support provided to parents after a child’s traumatic brain injury and subsequent child and family outcomes. She was a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2010-2012. Jessica is interested in the relationship between early neuro-plasticity in children and the effectiveness of early intervention for children with ASD. Jessica now attends medical school at Case Western Reserve University. jessica
Andrea Trubanova graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Psychology and a Certificate in Neuroscience in 2010. As an undergraduate, Andrea was involved in research exploring the perception of audiovisual speech. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2010-2012, Andrea was interested in extending her undergraduate research to investigate how toddlers with autism perceive audiovisual synchrony under varying degrees of social context. In addition, she worked as a research coordinator and volunteer in an early intervention program at the Marcus Autism Center. Currently, Andrea is a clinical graduate student at Virginia Tech exploring co-occurring symptoms, such as anxiety, in adolescents with autism. andrea
A native of Oakland, CA, Jenn Moriuchi is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Emory University. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Wellesley College, where she conducted research in a behavioral neuroscience laboratory using a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2009-2011, Jenn studied gaze aversion in toddlers with autism as well as phenotypic heterogeneity in school-age children with autism. She continues to work with Ami Klin and Warren Jones at the Marcus Autism Center on studies of developmental processes impacting outcome in autism. jennifer
Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Katherine Rice received her B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Michigan in 2009. A Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2009-2011, Katherine is interested in the early detection of autism spectrum disorders and in the relationship between social cognition and language development in both typically developing infants and in infants at risk for autism. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Maryland. katherine
Laura Edwards, originally from Kingston, Jamaica, graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 2008. She was a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2008-2010. Laura conducts research on the neurological underpinnings of social cognition, in order to inform the design of developmentally appropriate educational curricula and interventions for children with ASD. She received her doctorate in education from Harvard University in 2015 and is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital laura
Jessie Northrup 2008-2010 graduated from the Cornell University in 2008, with her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology. As an undergraduate, Jessie was involved in research exploring the social mechanisms that help infants and toddlers develop language. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2008-2010, Jessie was interested in applying her undergraduate research to investigate language development in infants with autism and how deficits in social interaction could affect language learning. Her research in the Social Neuroscience Lab investigated perception of audiovisual synchrony under varying degrees of social context in toddlers with autism. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. jessica
Originally from San Francisco, CA, Anna Krasno received her BA in Cognitive Science with a minor in Environmental Studies from UC San Diego in 2006. During her time as a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2007-2009, Anna investigated implicit measures of social attribution by visual scanning in children with autism. Anna is interested in joint attention, speech development, and finding early diagnostic markers of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Anna completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of California in Santa Barbara. She is a Registered Psychologist and is completing her postdoctoral training hours at the Child Abuse Listening & Mediation Center in Santa Barbara, CA. anna
Casey Zampella graduated from the University of Rochester in 2007 with her B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a minor in Clinical Psychology. Casey is interested in brain-behavior relationships in clinical populations, particularly in young children with autism spectrum disorders. Her research as a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2007-2009 investigated oculomotor function in school-aged children with ASD during a natural viewing task. Casey is currently studying clinical psychology at the University of Rochester. casey
Sarah Shultz, Ph.D., was a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2006-2008. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine. sarah
Kelley Knoch graduated from the University of Rochester in 2006, with her B.A. in Brain and Cognitive Science. As a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2006-2008, Kelley investigated the temporal dynamics of visual fixation patterns in high functioning adolescents with autism while viewing naturalistic social situations. She is currently a Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut. kelley
Katelin Carr was the Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2005-2006. Katelin did research as an undergraduate on social skills training for children with autism and completed her degree in History at Yale University. While a Fellow, Katelin studied visual salience in 2 year-old children with autism. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with Dr. Deborah Fein in the Early Detection Study of Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Connecticut. Currently she is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Pediatric Neuropsychology at Connecticut Pediatric Neuropsychology Associates. katelin
Phillip Gorrindo was the Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2005-2006. As an undergraduate, Phil studied Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, and worked on electrophysiology research in the lab of Dr. Patricia Goldman-Rakic. While a Fellow, Phil worked on computational strategies for analyzing visual scanning as a function of physical image properties. Phil is currently a resident at Northwestern University. phil
Simons Fellows in Computational Neuroscience
Abin Abraham graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biochemistry. During his undergrad, he investigated potential biomarkers for Acute Kidney Injury in pediatric populations and explored inhibitors of T-cell activation. In addition, he also helped develop a novel high throughput and low crosstalk immunohistochemistry assay. For his senior capstone project, he designed a device for quantitative assessment of upper limb therapy. As a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience, he worked on early detection for ASD and the role of audiovisual synchrony in guiding attention of toddlers with ASD. He is currently an MD/PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University.

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Originally from Newton, MA, Carolyn Ranti graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Her undergraduate thesis explored the timing of hierarchical decision-making using behavioral measures and a biologically plausible neural network model, and the research was recently published in Cognition (Ranti, Chatham, & Badre, 2015). As a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience, Carolyn's research assessed the use of eye-blinking as a measure of an individual's engagement with a visual stimulus. She also worked on software development for the lab and for various projects around the center. She is currently working as a software engineer at a startup in Cambridge.

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Alyna Khan is originally from Philadelphia, PA and graduated from Brown University with an A.B in Classics and Biology with a focus on evolutionary biology. As an undergraduate, Alyna modeled linguistic patterns of phonemes and word order as a means to determine whether linguistic variation mirrors the genetic variation of that speaking population. As a Simons Fellow, she was involved in eye-tracking studies of infants, toddlers and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, and explored predictive measures of gaze behavior. Currently she is living in Boston, MA and working as an Informatics Analyst at Foundation Medicine, Inc. She is working on classifying subtypes in different cancers based on genomic profiles of solid tumor DNA from patients with metastatic cancer.

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Sarah Glazer, originally from Dallas, TX, graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a specialty in imaging. As an undergraduate, Sarah designed iPhone and iPad apps to be used to augment therapy aimed to teach emotion recognition to children with ASD. As a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience, she examined gaze behavior to understand the development of interactional synchrony between mothers and infants and its underlying neural mechanisms. Sarah is currently completing the MD/PhD program at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

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Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Jeremy Borjon graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Psychology and a certificate in Neuroscience in 2010. His senior thesis explored the extent to which the brain has evolved for social interaction and has demonstrated that perceived social cues, such as eye gaze, can influence basic sound perception. As a Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience from 2010-2012, he investigated the development of gaze behavior in humans and nonhuman primates and its implications for the perception of social scenes. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Psychology at Princeton University. jeremy
Jennings Xu graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Biological Sciences in 2008 and was the Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience from 2008-2010. He has worked in various research fields, including molecular biology, genetics, physiology, and behavioral science. As an undergraduate, Jennings was published studying the sexual and group behaviors of mice ultrasound vocalizations in social interactions for his senior thesis. He is interested in identifying audiovisual signals that attract the attention of children with autism, as well as mapping early development characteristics that may help serve as clinically-relevant diagnostic indicators. Jennings is currently enrolled in the MD/PhD program at Case Western Reserve University. xu
David Lin was the Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience from 2006-2008. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computational Sciences. As an undergraduate, he did research in a stem cell laboratory, investigating the distribution of stem cells within brain tumors. David is interested in applying various computational tools and methods to medicine. In his free time, David enjoys playing soccer and being outdoors. David is currently a Resident in Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. lin
Simons Fellows in Design Engineering

Michael Valente graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While at GT he spent his time between classes in the machine shop and student hackerspace making and breaking anything he could get his hands on. His undergraduate research included projects ranging from fluid powered walking robots and harvesting tools for indoor hydroponic farms to building new, more intuitive, backhoe controllers. As a Simon's Fellow in Design Engineering from 2012-2014, he used his background in design to work on a screening device for ASD. After the fellowship, Michael worked as an Electromechanical Engineer at Marcus, where he focused on creating assistive technologies for populations both with and without ASD. Currently, Michael is working in the Hardware Systems Laboratory at Xerox PARC.


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Maria Ly graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering along with a minor in Fiber & Polymer Science and Technology Management. Her research experiences highlight the interdisciplinary work of Biomedical Engineering in both academia and industry. Her work at UC Davis includes: breast cancer metastasis suppression, electrospinning ly
non-toxic gelatin nanofibers, and designing and building stair attachments with audio and visual feedback for physical therapy for individuals with cognitive and physical deficits. As a Simons Fellow in Design Engineering from 2011-2013, her research included the use of eye tracking as a diagnostic screener and characterizing the motor behavior of children with autism spectrum disorders. Maria is currently completing a Masters of Systems Engineering at the University of Houston.
Marilyn Ackerman, M.Arch., was the Simons Design Engineering Fellow at the Yale Child Study Center from 2008-2011 and worked on haptic research for infants and toddlers. Marilyn received her Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1981 with departmental honors in studio art. She was a scientific illustrator at Wesleyan until 1985. She received her Master of Architecture degree from the Yale School of Architecture in 1988 and for the past twenty years has been president of a regional preservation firm

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working on private residential structures, National Register Houses, National Landmarks and museum projects open to the public. Her work has been featured on Restore America and The History Channel She has received grants and research funding from the National Park Service, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the State of Connecticut. She has served as faculty at the School of Engineering at the University of Hartford, Wesleyan University Graduate Liberal studies program and the Middlesex Transition academy at Wesleyan. She lives on a small farm in Durham, CT with her husband, four donkeys, four dogs and five grandchildren. In her spare time Marilyn enjoys rowing, tree house building and Taiko drumming.