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 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.
Sonali is a sophomore at Tulane University studying Public Health on a pre-med track. She is from the Washington, D.C., area and she danced ballet for 12 years but is excited to her explore her other passions in medicine and science while at Tulane. Sonali is looking forward to connecting the fields of public health and neuroscience through investigating parent-child relationships, genetic factors, and long-term outcomes at BANGL, especially since she is interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics. On campus, she is involved with Tulane's Bollywood Dance Team and Public Health Undergraduate Student Government.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Alyssa is the BANGLab manager and joined the lab in 2019. In addition to managing the day-to-day workings of the lab, she also coordinates the NOLA Express Yourself breastfeeding quality improvement collaborative and assists in retinal image analysis for the Ebola Pediatric Survivors Mental Health project. Alyssa moved to New Orleans from Bethesda, MD and enjoys hiking, trying out new restaurants, and hanging out with her cat.
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.
Cecile is a sophomore at Tulane, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Mathematics on the pre-med track. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, playing the piano, and volunteering at the local Children's Hospital. Cecile is excited to relate the psychological and biological aspects of neuroscience, analyzing the relationship between human behavior and epigenetic factors in the BANGLab.
Lauren W. Yowelunh McLester-Davis
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 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.
Renee is a current Tulane undergraduate from the Chicagoland area studying Public Health while on the pre-med track. She was drawn to BANGL because of its intersections with her interests in mother and child relationships, epigenetic pathways, and community health. Outside of the lab, Renee is a Tulane University Peer Health Educator, a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, and an avid reader.
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.