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Behavioral & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Laboratory ~ Past Lab Members

Interested in working
in the BANGL Lab?


Where Have They Gone and What Are They Up To?

Sophia BorneSophia Borne

Sophia is a sophmore at Sewanee who started her work in the BANGL lab during her senior project. She looks forward to expanding her understanding of molecular genetics and neuroscience in between travels across the country with her family this summer.

Zoe BrettZoe Brett, PhD

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

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

Andrew is a Ph.D. student at Iowa State University, and completed an internship with Dr. Drury and the BANG Lab. 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. In his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking, skiing, boating, biking, and generally anything else that allows him to spend time outdoors.

Megan HaneyMegan Haney

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

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 explores the complex etiology of behavioral and pathological development. In her current research project, she uses a neurobiological approach to analyze the role of genetic profiles in individually-unique experiences of disease. Caitlin started medical school at LSU in New Orleans in the fall of 2014.

Kyaw Zin HtetKyaw Zin Htet

Kennis is an international student from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) double majoring in Cell & Molecular Biology and International Relations. 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 relationship between parent-child in order to help further foster children well. Kennis loves animals, exploring New Orleans and traveling around the world.

Kate HumphreysKate Humphreys, PhD

Kate completed her post-doctoral fellow in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at Tulane her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is heading for a second post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University starting in the summer of 2016. Joining her is her best accomplishment yet- her daughter. ( 

Caroline JohnsonCaroline Johnson

Caroline is graduating from Isidore Newman this May and heading to college.  She has worked in the BANGL lab for the last two years 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. Caroline is now an undergraduate at the University of Georgia.

Teddy JonesTeddy Jones (DeBakey Scholar)

Teddy is a graduating medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine. Driven by his work as a former TFA teacher and his aspirations for a career in pediatrics, he is excited to work in the BANGL Laboratory researching the interactions between early life experiences and neurodevelopmental outcomes. As an excessively proud Duke University alum, he also enjoys irritating Dr. Drury with stat lines from Duke basketball games. Teddy is now a Pediatric Resident in Texas and plans to complete a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology.

Sasha LaskeySasha Laskey

Sasha is a rising senior at Isidore Newman High School where her many science classes at Newman inspired her to seek out a position in the BANGL lab. She enjoys both the cake and the learning experiences she has had so far as part of the lab. She will be heading to USC for the fall of 2015. 



Rachel LeeRachel Lee

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. Outside of the lab, Rachel spends her time rock climbing and learning how to navigate around New Orleans' potholes while biking.

London MaustLondon Maust

London, a Louisiana native, earned her BS in Psychology from LSU and joined BANGL through the Masters program in Neuroscience in the Tulane Brain Institute.  London is interested in developmental psychopathology and genetic influence on behavior, particularly in children. She is also interested in the clinical applications resulting from ongoing research. In her free time, London loves going to museums, reading, and traveling with her fiancé.

Livia MerrillLivia Merrill

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 BS and MS 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, PhD

Vanessa received her PhD in Neuroscience at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013. She is a native Midwesterner who recently moved to New Orleans and joined the BANGL Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher.  After two years she is now working for BioTek and still spending her free time jumping out of airplanes. 

Snigdha MukerjeeSnigdha Mukerjee

Snigdha completed her Masters in Neuroscience at Tulane and is completing her PhD in neuroscience at LSUHSC. 



Saihariharan NedunchezhianSaihariharan Nedunchezhian

Saihariharan (aka 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.

Steve PurcellSteve Purcell

Steve joined the BANGL lab in January after playing for Tulane football, graduating Tulane in 2012 with a BA in Spanish, and then  completing a Master of Finance degree at Tulane in 2013. Steve is on his way to Columbia Medical School, but getting there via China, Brazil and Israel. 

Hanan RimawiHanan Rimawi

A proud New Orleans local, Hanan was immediately drawn by the applicability and accessibility of the research initiatives launched at the BANGL laboratory. 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.

Alison SeboldAlison Sebold

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 would allow her to work both in a wet lab and with the children and their families personally. Aly is currently working with the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Brittney SheenaBrittney Sheena

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.


Natasha TopolskiNatasha Topolski

Natasha started with the BANGL lab 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 is finishing work with 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.

Andrew ShachatAndrew Shachat

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 BANGL lab for two summers during college he was particularly drawn better understanding the lasting impact of early adversity on children.  After graduating from UVA in May 2014 he is heading to Nashville TN as a Teach for America volunteer.

Devin VidelefskyDevin Videlefsky

Devin is in his senior year at Tulane University, pursuing a major in neuroscience and a minor in public health. He is very 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 BANGL lab a perfect fit. Outside of the lab, Devin devotes much of his time to multiple community service organizations around Greater New Orleans and has a love for sports.

Hannah WigginsHannah Wiggins

Hannah received her BS 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 fuel her enthusiasm to work in the lab. She is excited to participate in research that aims to improve infant health and child health outcomes. Outside of lab she enjoys running, working in a nursery school and volunteering at local hospitals and schools.

Robert WoodRobert Wood

Robert Wood is a 4th year medical and public health student at Tulane University. Previously he has  worked as a research assistant at the St. Thomas Community Health Center, focusing on racial disparities in health and healthcare.  He joined the BANGL lab in February, 2014 and aids in creating in research subject information sheets for the Infant Development Study, DNA extraction, data collection, interviewing of research subjects, data entry, and raining other research assistants for interviewing. Robert Wood completed medical school and went on to a Pathology Residency at Tulane University in July of 2016.

Margaret WoodburyMargaret Woodbury

Meg is a second year medical student at the University of Maryland and is working in the BANGL Lab for the 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 and looks forward to expanding her genetic and epigenetic skills this summer.  She has now completed Medical School at the University of Maryland and is starting her Psychiatry residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in July 2017.