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Behavioral & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Laboratory - Past Lab Members

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Where Have They Gone and What Are They Up To?


 
Sophia BorneSophia Borne, B.A.

Sophia graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in psychology and economics. She started her work in the BANGL lab during her senior project. She looks forward to expanding her understanding of molecular genetics and neuroscience. She is attending the New School for Social Research where she will continue her studies in psychology.


 
Zoe BrettZoe Brett, Ph.D., M.S.Ed.

This Australian born citizen of the world joined the BANGLaboratory as a postdoctoral fellow from January, 2012 – May 2014. In addition to dancing salsa, Zoë's interests include investigating interactions between genetics and early life experiences that are associated with differential susceptibility to a range of neurodevelopmental outcomes. Zoë is now an Assistant Professor in Neuroscience at Ross University School of Medicine on the island of Commonwealth of Dominica, in the sunny Caribbean.


 
Tegan ClarkeTegan Clarke, B.A.

Tegan earned her Bachelors in Chemistry and French from the University of New Mexico. After graduating, she worked in analytical environmental chemistry for a few years before moving to New Orleans and joining Dr. Drury's lab. She was drawn to the lab through her interest in environmental health and development, and she discovered her passion for research working for BANGL. Tegan is currently working on infectious disease research with the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.


 
Andrew DismukesAndrew Dismukes, M.S., Ph.D.

Andrew completed an internship with Dr. Drury and the BANG Lab while earning his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Human Development and Family Studies. Previously he received a bachelors degree from Auburn University in Biochemistry, and a Masters Degree from the University of New Orleans in Biological Psychology. Andrew is interested in the way that early environmental context and behavior interact with endocrine axes and the activity of hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, oxytocin, and vasopressin. His currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University in the Gene Environment Interplay Across the LifeIn his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking, skiing, boating, biking, and generally anything else that allows him to spend time outdoors.


 
Megan HaneyMegan Haney, B.S.

Megan graduated with her neuroscience degree from Tulane in May 2018. She was initially drawn to the interdisciplinary approach of the BANGL lab and the opportunity to contribute to both the wet and "dry" projects in the lab. Her previous volunteering experiences have fueled her passion to learn more about neuroscience as it relates to stress response systems in the body and neurodevelopment.


 
Caitlin HenryCaitlin Henry, M.S.

Caitlin Henry received a B.S. from Tulane University in May 2012 and is pursuing a Masters degree in Neuroscience. As a member of the BANGL team, she explored the complex etiology of behavioral and pathological development. She used a neurobiological approach to analyze the role of genetic profiles in individually-unique experiences of disease. Caitlin started medical school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans in the fall of 2014 and is currently in a Radiology Resident.


 
Kyaw Zin HtetKyaw Zin Htet, B.S.

Kennis is an international student from Myanmar/Burma who double majored in Cell & Molecular Biology and International Relations at Tulane. Kennis used his time in lab to learn new things every day and he believes that it is important to understand early life experiences and the relationship between parent-child in order to help foster children. Kennis loves animals, exploring New Orleans and traveling around the world; he is currently at Tulane University School of Medicine.


 
Kate HumphreysKate Humphreys, Ph.D., Ed.M.

Kate completed her post-doctoral fellow in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at Tulane after earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed a second post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. When not in the laboratory she studies child devlopment from her children, Alice and Winslow.
 


 
Caroline JohnsonCaroline Johnson, B.A.

Caroline graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelors in History. She worked in the BANGL lab for two years in high school as a research assistant working with both DNA and pregnant mothers in the Infant Development Study. Through this experience she not only developed and defined her wet lab research skills she also broaden her knowledge of the interface between genetics, early experience and neuroscience.


 
Teddy JonesEdward Jones, M.D.

Dr. Jones graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine. Driven by his work as a former TFA teacher and his aspirations for a career in pediatrics, he was excited to work in the BANGLaboratory researching the interactions between early life experiences and neurodevelopmental outcomes. As an excessively proud Duke University alum, he enjoyed irritating Dr. Drury with statistical lines from Duke basketball games. After completing his Pediatric Residency in Texas, he is a practicing pediatrician in Houston.


 
Sasha LaskeySasha Lasky

Sasha graduated from Isidore Newman High School where her many science classes inspired her to seek out a position in the BANGLaboratory. She enjoyed the cake and the learning experiences she had as part of the laboratory. She is currently studying at the University of Southern California.
 

 

 


 
Rachel LeeRachel Lee, B.S.

Rachel joined the BANGL team as a project coordinator. She hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she gained most of her research experience working with neonates, infants, and children. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University, and later worked at the University of Washington, where she helped investigate infant brain development using MEG, EEG, and MRI technology. Rachel is currently attending nursing school at LSU. Rachel spends her free time rock climbing and learning how to navigate around New Orleans' potholes while biking.


 
Livia MerrillLivia Merrill, M.S.

Livia is currently working as a psychometrist at a Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic in Austin, TX, doing neuropsychological evaluations of children. Originally from Houston, TX, Livia received her B.S. and M.S. in Neuroscience from Tulane. Her neuroscience passions include developmental disorders, addiction, and epigenetic influences on behavior. Her other interests include the interface between the criminal justice system and mental health. In her free time, Livia enjoys painting and attempting to do yoga.


 
Vanessa Jill MeyerVanessa Jill Meyer, Ph.D.

Vanessa received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013. She is a native Midwesterner who moved to New Orleans and joined the BANGLaboratory as a postdoctoral researcher. After two years she began working for BioTek and still spends her free time jumping out of airplanes. 
 


 

Saihariharan NedunchezhianSaihariharan Nedunchezhian

Saihariharan, also known as Sai, is a junior at Tulane University studying Neuroscience and French. He was drawn to the BANGL community due to the interdisciplinary focus of neuroscience and public health as well as the immediate effects the research has on understanding development in infants. His previous research experiences and years of volunteering in the healthcare community has influenced his decision to pursue a MD/PhD in clinical neurobiology research. In his free time, he likes to play frisbee, run for pleasure, explore restaurants and coffee shops, read books, and go on cool outdoor adventures.


 
Hanan RimawiHanan Rimawi, B.S.

A proud New Orleans local, Hanan was immediately drawn by the applicability and accessibility of the research initiatives launched at the BANGLaboratory. During her Tulane undergraduate years, she sought to better understand the neurobiological and epigenetic effects of early adversity and develop ways to improve health outcomes for children both here at home and beyond. Labeled an old soul at birth by her beloved mother, Hanan is happy to say that a majority of her friends are more than four times her age. She enjoys singing at the top of her lungs when no one's watching and spending time with her sweet cat, Mocha. She is currently a Fullbright Fellow in Amman, Jordan.


 
Alison SeboldAlison Sebold, B.S.

Aly studied neuroscience and sociology at Tulane and graduated in May 2018. BANGL initially interested her because of the implications the work could have on improving health outcomes for kids and because it allowed her to work both in a wet lab and with the children and their families personally.


 
Brittney SheenaBrittney Sheena, B.S.

Brittney graduated in May 2018 with a major in Neuroscience and a double minor in public health and Spanish. She was interested in BANGL because of the lab's interdisciplinary nature and emphasis on childhood development and improving health outcomes. After working for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Brittney is pursuing a M.P.H. at the University of Washington in Seattle.


 
Sam ShoversSam Shovers, M.S.

Sam, a proud Wisconsinite, double majored in Neuroscience and Africana Studies at Tulane University and gradtuated from Tulane's Masters of Neuroscience program. He has worked with hcildren who are cognitively disabled since he was six, which sparked his interest in Neuroscience. In the fall of 2016, he studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. His experience piqued his interest in studying how experiences shape the brain. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at the university of Pennsylvania.


 
Andrew ShachatAndrew Shachat, M.Ed.

Andrew is a graduate of the University of Virginia, class of 2014. Born and raised in New Orleans, he attended Metairie Park Country Day School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Having worked in the BANGLab for two summers during college he was particularly drawn to better understand the lasting impact of early adversity on children. After graduating from UVA he completed a Masters of Education from Lipscomb University and currently works for the recovery school district in New Orleans.


 

Natasha TopolskiNatasha Topolski, B.S.

Natasha started with the BANGLab in the summer after her freshman year and completed her Senior Honors Thesis project on a mediation of the relationship between the experience of corporal punishment and DNA methylation by behavioral symptoms in New Orleans youth. Her work with the lab earned her an honorable mention by the Goldwater Foundation in 2015. She recently presented a poster at the 2018 Organization on Human Brain Mapping Conference in Singapore. Natasha worked at the NIH looking at methods to improve behavioral prediction and is currently pursuing her MD-PhD at McGovern Medical School and UT Health Science Center.


 
Devin VidelefskyDevin Videlefsky, B.S.

Devin graduate from Tulane University with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in public health. He is interested in a career within the medical profession and shares a passion for research. He has traveled extensively and has witnessed first hand the importance of family and environment on early child development. His desire to investigate their biological and genetic effects on the development of infants made the BANGLab a perfect fit. He is currently pursuing a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.


 
Hannah WigginsHannah Wiggins, B.S.

Hannah received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Public Health from Tulane University. Her previous years of experience working with infants and children, combined with her passion for biology and neuroscience fueled her enthusiasm to work in the lab. She enjoyed participating in research that aims to improve infant health and child health outcomes. She also enjoys running, working in a nursery school, and volunteering at local hospitals and schools.


 
Robert WoodRobert Wood, M.D.

Robert worked as a research assistant at the St. Thomas Community Health Center, focusing on racial disparities in health and healthcare. He joined the BANGLab in February, 2014 and aided in creating subject information sheets for the Infant Development Study, DNA extraction, data collection, interviewing of research subjects, and data entry. Robert Wood completed his Pathology Residency at Tulane University and is a practicing pathologist in New Orleans.


 
Margaret WoodburyMargaret Woodbury, M.D.

Meg worked in the BANGLab for a summer as part of an AACAP summer research fellowship. She previously was a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Nathan Fox as part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project. She has now completed Medical School at the University of Maryland and is in her Psychiatry Residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.