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Behavioral & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Laboratory - Current Lab Members

Interested in working
in the BANGL Lab?



Ivanna AdamsIvanna Adams

Hailing from Mississippi, Ivanna Adams is a Tulane undergraduate studying neuroscience, psychology and social innovation and social entrepreneurship. She was drawn to BANGL because it intertwined her passions for maternal and infant health and development, neuroscience, and equality. She hopes to gain a better understanding of the effects of different stressors on long-term health and health disparities. Outside of BANGL, Ivanna is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, an Emergency Medical Technician for Tulane EMS, and a wannabe chef.


Katherine AlbusKatherine Albus

Katherine is a Tulane University freshman from Kensington, Maryland majoring in Neuroscience on a pre-med track. She was drawn to BANGL because of her passion for exploring connections between external conditions and their effect not only on behavior but on biological mechanisms as well. Through BANGL she hopes to learn more about the plasticity of the brain and how to apply this knowledge to better the lives of children dealing with epilepsy and other implications from premature birth. Outside of the lab, she spends her free time working with Tulane EMS, playing soccer and enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer.


Kyle EstevesKyle Esteves, M.P.H.

Kyle, a born and raised New Orleanian, is a staff member in the BANGL lab. He is interested in the interaction between early life adversity and genetic and epigenetic factors on child development. As a public health graduate, his research interests focus on policy and community influences on health disparities. His experience with molecular assays, specifically qPCR measurement of telomere length, has led to collaborations in Suriname, Romania, and across the United States focused on the validity of telomeres as an indicator of cumulative exposure. He is currently getting his MBA at Tulane and is also involved in the business side of research: preparing grant applications, processing and tracking grant expenditures, extracting and analyzing financial data, and preparing reports. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys playing with his dog Bayou, cooking, reading, traveling, exercising, and all things Louisiana sports.


Sophia Foroushani, M.S.

Sophia is a third-year medical student at Tulane. Before making the move to New Orleans, she received her B.S. in Human Physiology from Boston University and her M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. Sophia is particularly interested in research outcomes following early-life adversity and works on the Tulane Lullaby Project assessing the impact of music on opioid-exposed infants. When not in the lab, she enjoys cooking, trying new NOLA restaurants, and exploring the city’s green spaces with her two dogs.


Ginny HatchGinny Hatch, M.S.

Ginny received a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University and a M.S. in Developmental Psychology from University of New Orleans. She is interested in the impact of the parent-child relationship and contextual risk on children’s developing social-emotional skills and later school readiness. Specifically, she is interested in how parent-child interactions act as a buffer to early life stress. Ginny has joined the Doctoral School Psychology Program at Tulane under Dr. Sarah Gray.


Cade HermanCade Herman

Louisiana born and raised, Cade Herman is a Tulane undergraduate studying Neuroscience and French. He was drawn to BANGL because of the opportunity to examine the intersections of genetics and community health. Cade is currently working on birth outcomes research, focusing on sexually transmitted infections and perinatal illicit substance abuse. He hopes to gain a greater understanding of systemic health inequalities in order to implement targeted campaigns and mitigating interventions. Outside of BANGL, Cade is an Emergency Medical Technician for Tulane EMS, a volunteer with Tulane Stroke Survivors, and is a freelance photographer.


Meghan HowellMeghan Howell, M.D.

Dr. Howell is a pediatrician who joined the Department of Pediatrics as faculty in 2015 after completing both her medical school and residency here at Tulane. As the clinical director of the Tulane NICU Graduate Clinic, which she founded in 2017, she has worked to enhance the long term medical, social and developmental care of high-risk neonates through a multidisciplinary team approach. More specifically, her interests include both short-term care and long-term implications of intra-uterine substance exposure, and she is currently serving as PI alongside Dr. Drury on the Tulane Lullaby Project - a collaboration with Loyola University's graduate music therapy program evaluating the role of music therapy in the care of opiate exposed infants. In October 2018, she was accepted into the Physician Scientist Pipeline Program, a mentored program through Tulane designed to support early career clinician scientists.


Christopher JonesChristopher Jones, B.A.

Christopher graduated from the University of Delaware and is a Ph.D. student in the Neuroscience program at Tulane. Before coming to Tulane, he worked at the University of Pennsylvania in the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, where he researched the neurobehavioral consequences to sleep deprivation. He is now interested in the epigenetic modifications resulting from stressful life events, as well as genetic allelic variants that modulate psychophysiology. He is also fascinated by the transmission of experience dependent genetic traits from generation to generation. Christopher enjoys playing the guitar, cooking, and the outdoors.


Leila KatariaLeila Kataria

Leila is an undergraduate at Tulane University, currently studying Neuroscience and Cell Biology. She was born Lafayette, Louisiana, and has always loved to learn, read, and explore her surroundings. She finds the field of pediatric oncology immensely interesting and wants to learn more of how genetics and neurodevelopment interplay. She also enjoys playing tennis, reading, playing the piano, and traveling.

Jasmine Kim, B.S.

Jasmine is a medical school student at Tulane. Originally from Orange County, California, she majored in Neuroscience and minored in Psychology and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University (she swears it “sounds” fancier than it actually is). While she bleeds blue for her alma mater where she cheered for 2015 NCAA men’s basketball championship by the court-side, she is even happier to call New Orleans her new home. She likes all that New Orleans offers except, somewhat ironically, its food and booze. As an aspiring Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Jasmine enjoys thought-provoking conversations about human behavior and relationships but also cherishes her alone time mindlessly flipping through Vogue magazine.


Celia Mayne

Celia is a junior from Madison, Wisconsin, studying Neuroscience and Public Health. Celia was drawn to the BANGL lab as it integrates her intellectual and personal passions for pediatrics, genetic analysis, and equity. She is particularly excited about with the lab’s implications on community-based organizations, academic research, and policy change, and the potential to improve the lives of children regardless of class, race, or gender. Celia spent her fall 2018 semester studying Public Health, Gender, and Community Action in New Delhi, India.


Lauren W. Yowelunh McLester-DavisLauren W. Yowelunh McLester-Davis, B.A.

Lauren is currently a Neuroscience Ph.D. student at Tulane. Originally from the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, she majored in Biochemistry and Neuroscience earning a B.A. from Lawrence University. Lauren’s dedication to BANGL comes from her passion about the lab’s integration of molecular and behavioral assays in understanding health disparities. She is particularly interested in the role of genetic and epigenetic factors and modifications in neurodevelopmental pathways, as well as potential interventions. Outside of the lab, Lauren enjoys New Orleans’ food and culture, bouldering with friends, being outdoors, calling her family, and reading.


Melissa MiddletonMelissa Middleton, Ph.D.

Melissa is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in Infant and Early Childhood Mental health. After completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Central Florida, she completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in infant mental health. Her interests include understanding the impact of the infant-caregiver relationship on infants development as well as examining the role of early exposure to stress and adverse experiences on child developmental outcomes.


Catalina Pacheco, B.S.

Catalina earned her B.S. in Neuroscience from Tulane University, and is currently pursuing an M.S. in psychology. She was drawn to BANGL because of its interdisciplinary approach to understanding the extensive influence of the relationship between a mom and baby. Catalina is interested in mental healthcare and hopes to use what she learns in the lab in her future career to better understand patients and their behavior. In her free time, she can be found tending to her plants, cooking, or looking at pictures of dogs online.

Jasmine WinJasmine Win

Jasmine is an international undergraduate student (from Myanmar/Burma) at Tulane, and is studying economics and philosophy on top of her premed track. Her experience of babysitting her nephew for 4 years inspired her to work in BANGL lab, as she observed the importance of parent-child relationship in the early years of childhood. With dedication and commitment to this lab, she hopes to gain a better understanding of caregivers’ interactions with the child and promote healthier childcare to other societies outside of the U.S. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, exploring cute coffee shops, and going to the beach.

Winnie YeatesWinnie Yeates, B.A.

Winnie was born and raised in New Orleans, and is happy to still call New Orleans her home. She attended Vassar College for her undergraduate degree, where she majored in English with a minor in Chemistry and played on the Varsity Women’s Tennis Team. She has worked part time at a local pediatrician’s office, Hales Pediatrics, for several years, which she really enjoys. She will be starting medical school at Tulane this coming August, 2019, where she is interested in possible pursuing a career in pediatrics. Winnie is currently doing research on perinatal illicit substance exposure and its effects on neonates. Outside of work, Winnie really enjoys spending time with her dog, Hannah, as well as cooking and baking.

Interested in working
in the BANGL Lab?