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 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 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 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 was a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience from 2006-2008. As an undergraduate, Sarah did research on infant development and received a BA in Psychology from McGill University. While a fellow, Sarah studied eye-blinking as an index of stimulus salience in toddlers with autism, and the role of context in face processing using ERP. Sarah is now working on her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology with Ami Klin and Warren Jones at the Marcus Autism Center, Kevin Pelphrey at the Yale Child Study Center and Greg McCarthy at the Yale Psychology Department.
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 to 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.
Donald J Cohen Fellows in Developmental Neuroscience
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 is currently a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience and participates in eye-tracking research on infants, toddlers, and adolescents with autism. Jessica is interested in the relationship between early neuro-plasticity in children and the effectiveness of early intervention for children with ASD. After completing the fellowship, Jessica plans to attend medical school and pursue research involving pediatric medicine.
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. She is currently a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience and assists in eye-tracking studies of infants, toddlers, and adolescents with autism. Andrea is interested in extending her undergraduate research to investigate how toddlers with autism perceive audiovisual synchrony under varying degrees of social context. Upon the completion of the fellowship, Andrea hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology.
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. She is currently a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience participating in eye-tracking studies of infants, toddlers, and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Following the fellowship, Serene plans on attending graduate school in Clinical Psychology.
Hailing from California, Tawny Tsang graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in music. As an undergraduate, Tawny was involved in a cognition and action laboratory where she explored a variety of topics including cerebellar ataxia, reaching in virtual environments, and the role of dopamine in reward and movement. She is currently a Donald J. Cohen Fellow in Developmental Social Neuroscience and assists in eye-tracking studies of infants, toddlers, and adolescents with autism. Tawny is interested in further exploring the development of oculomotor functions and their relation to visual social scanning. After the fellowship, Tawny plans to pursue a graduate degree in Psychology and Neuroscience.
Simons Fellows in Computational Neuroscience
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 the current Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience, he is interested in the development of gaze behavior in humans and nonhuman primates and its implications for the perception of social scenes. After completing this fellowship, he plans to attain his doctorate in Psychology and Neuroscience.
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 is interested in examining gaze behavior to understand the development of interactional synchrony between mothers and infants and its underlying neural mechanisms. After completing the fellowship, Sarah plans to attend medical school and pursue research in neural development.
Simons Fellow in Design Engineering
Maria Ly obtained her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis along with a minor in Fiber & Polymer Science and Technology Management in 2011. Her research experiences highlight the interdisciplinary work of Biomedical Engineering in both academia and industry. Her work at the UC Davis includes: breast cancer metastasis suppression, electrospinning 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 the current Simons Fellow in Design Engineering, she is interested in profiling and characterizing the tactile sensory behavior in children with ASD. After completion of the fellowship, Maria plans to continue her interdisciplinary work by obtaining a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.
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. Joined Yale as a Support Specialist in 2000, then moved onto Systems Administrator for Yale University 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 in 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 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. 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. He design accomplishments include a ship to robotic boat refueling system and influenced the design of an air dropped medium size combat boat. In the spring of 2011 Steven and his wife moved to Atlanta GA taking 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.