Sewanee and Yale Collaborations

Sewanee-At-Yale Summer Internship Project Areas

Summer 2019 Project Areas

Intern: Hannah Sudhaker; Mentor: Jason Cromer, Ph.D. and Ana Kim, Ph.D.  Cogstate is a public company based in Australia and New Haven that specializes in cognitive testing including the development of computerized neuropsychological tests for children and adults.  Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a health-based company.   

Intern: Matthew Hembree; Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW. Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families: Interns will have an opportunity to be introduced to the programs which  deliver mental health services to children and families within their own homes and communities.  Currently the Center offers 4 distinct models of in-home treatment including  Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service(IICAPS) for children with serious psychiatric disorders,  Family Based Recovery, (FBR) for children whose parents are using substances, Intensive Family Preservation (IFP) for families with children at risk of removal and receiving protective services, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, (PIFA). In addition, Interns will become familiar with the York Street Family Clinic, an out-patient clinic developed as a step-down program for children and families who have received in-home services to maintain the gains they have made or continue to work towards goal attainment. Although the primary focus this summer work will be on IICAPS and the York St Family Clinic, interns will be welcome at all program rounds at which cases are presented and treatment strategies discussed. Interns are expected to participate in the intake and data collection processes and have an opportunity to participate in process and outcome analysis.

Intern: Adrianna Cygler; Mentor: Nicole Landi, Ph.D.: Typical speech and language development is thought to take place in this audiovisual (or AV) context, with both speech perception and production shaped by experience with the speaking face. This visible speech information impacts what typically developing listeners hear, both by significantly increasing identification of words in the presence of auditory noise and by facilitating perception of what is heard by speeding up cortical processing of the speech sound. Although developmental research and clinical practice tend to emphasize auditory perception, evidence suggests that experience with face-to-face communication is crucial for developing effective spoken language and communication skills. In this study interns will learn how to assess typically developing children with a range of social and communicative skill and in children with autism using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (EEG) and behavioral assessments. We use two novel audiovisual tasks to assess behavioral discrimination and neural signatures (EEG and ERP) of audiovisual processing and imitation.

Intern: Meeraal Zaheer; Mentor: Ellen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.:  The intern will participate in projects aimed at elucidating neural mechanisms in autism spectrum disorders. The intern will gain knowledge of the genetic architecture of autism and learn about using zebrafish as a model system for the functional analysis of autism risk genes. The intern will become involved in projects that involve: (i) learning techniques for analyzing brain anatomy and the expression of neural markers; (ii) studying how disruption of autism risk genes affects simple behavioral phenotypes using this model; and (iii) identifying drug candidates that rescue behavioral phenotypes.

Intern: Abbie Klein; Mentor: Nick Turk-Browne, Ph.D. Hannah will join a team in the Turk-Browne Lab conducting research studies on developmental cognitive neuroscience. This will involve gaining exposure to the background literature, participating in weekly discussions about research findings and ideas, examining and creating computerized experiments, assisting with subject recruitment and data collection, and learning about data analysis and interpretation. Two specific goals for the summer are: (1) to learn about functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and how it can be used to study cognition in infants and toddlers who are awake, performing tasks, and having their behavior monitored; and (2) to assist in the creation of a centralized system with other investigators in the Child Study Center to recruit pregnant women and new families for behavioral and neuroscientific research studies through the Yale New Haven Hospital and affiliated units.

Intern: Caroline Sweetin; Mentors: Troy Brown, MBA and Babar Khokhar, M.D.: The intern in this position will be a member of the Yale Clinical Optimization Services (YCOS). Caroline will learn about process improvement and clinical redesign strategies in ambulatory practices. She will observe clinical operations, participate in meetings with key faculty members and staff, and help develop a final assessment report as part of the overall project. She will learn key optimization tools and the application of process improvement techniques to enhance the patient and physician/provider experience. She will also participate in the weekly YCOS meeting where she will have the opportunity to present her work. Lastly, she will have the opportunity to attend leadership meetings within departments as well as the medical school to learn about healthcare management and the complexities of delivering patient care in an academic medical center.

Interns: Tristan Carico, Kristina Kumpf, Lizzie Sands; Mentors: Marc Brackett, Ph.D, Dena Simmons, Ed.D. The interns at the Center for Emotional Intelligence will learn about working with schools to foster the emotional intelligence of students and adults in the school environment.  The three interns will support our research staff in developing a suite of tools, strategies, and data points to assess the emotional health of schools. Specifically, Tristan will support on the developmental benchmarks project- a study to develop research-based benchmarks for children's development of emotion regulation skills, particularly cognitive reappraisal and positive self-talk, in early elementary school through high school. To support this aim, we are developing and testing two new assessments of children's cognitive emotion regulation. Data from these assessments will be used to build our knowledge of what types of cognitive reappraisals and self-statements children are able to generate and use effectively at different grade levels. Lizzie will be working on the school climate walkthrough, a project to develop a digital school climate assessment tool that can be used by high school students to measure their school climate and take action on making positive change in their school communities. The tool is designed to be used by a small sample of the student population who answer yes/no questions about what they observe in their building over the course of a day, creating a snapshot. Kristina will be supporting on the Momentary Emotion Assessment Tool- designed to benchmark students’ momentary emotions in regular classrooms and individualized learning settings and compare both settings in terms of the emotions they elicit, contribute scientific insights to the search for determinants of momentary emotions at school, develop brief in-the-moment interventions helping students to cope with their emotions at school, develop technology that assesses students’ momentary emotions and gives students and teachers in-the-moment feedback about these emotions in innovative ways.

Intern: Natalie Griffin; Mentor: Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will work on studies of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression and anxiety in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The study of behavior therapy for aggression has completed subject enrolment and the data analysis are currently on the way. The second study of behavior therapy for anxiety in children with autism is actively enrolling participants.  In both studies children receive comprehensive clinical evaluation of symptoms and associated psychopathology.  Children also complete neuroimaging experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression and/or anxiety.  The summer interns will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing these studies and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics.

Intern: Caroline Martin; Mentor: Carla Stover, Ph.D. This summer the student will be working on two projects:  1) the close out of a pilot study to develop and test a Fatherhood Focused Family violence Education Program (F3) and 2) a neurobiology of fathering study.  The first is a modification of the court mandated program for men arrested for domestic violence currently implemented in CT.  Fathers were randomly assigned to receive F3 or the standard program.  Students will assist in data collection, entry and analysis for the last groups in the study.  Second we are in active data collection for an EEG study of fathers that includes responses to infant cries and exclusion.  Students will assist with recruitment, learn the data collection protocol including EEG and heart rate data, and assist with data management. 

Intern: Nick Manco; Mentor: Sarah Yip, Ph.D. Summer interns in the Yale Imaging and Psychopharmacology (YIP) lab will assist in on-going research into neurobiological vulnerability factors for addictions, and on the neural mechanisms of emerging medication treatments for addictions. Day-to-day activities will include shadowing fMRI scans, helping with data entry and analysis (including analysis of neuroimaging data) and with systematic literature review. Specific research projects may include analysis of neuroimaging data from young or mature adults with substance addictions.

Intern: Lily Scammon; Hannah Peterson; Mentor: Dustin Scheinost, Ph.D. They will mainly be working on the dissemination end of our new image analysis software (https://bioimagesuiteweb.github.io/webapp/index.html). This will include helping with software testing, documentation, how to videos, and engaging with end-users. There will also be opportunity to learn javascript and html programming and be involved with simultaneous fMRI/wide field microscopy project. 

Intern: Morgan Cuenod; Mentor: Michael Bloch, M.D. The Bloch Lab conducts clinical trials evaluating new treatments for mental health conditions across the lifespan including Tourette Syndrome, Depression, Anxiety, OCD and Trichotillomania.  The Bloch lab also concentrates on statistical analyses that evaluate how well currently available treatments work and for whom using meta-analysis and other statistical techniques.  A summer intern will participate in various trials examining ketamine and ketamine-derivatives for depression in adolescents as well as in other trials examining trichotillomania, tourette syndrome and anxiety.  They will also work on an individual research project, which typically is a scientific peer-review publication (meta-analysis, primary data driven paper or review) with members of the lab team in an area of mutual interest.

Interns: Brandon Macon, Seriah Wyatt; Mentor: Erin Warnick, Ph.D. This project will focus on developing an understanding of systems of care and the various levels of care and types of services that exist and work together within a system. Activities will include working on referral resources, research methods of care coordination and strategies for linking families to services both within and across levels of care, with additional opportunities to observe at clinics and hospitals where our staff are engaged with services.

Intern: Nisha Sridhar; Mentor: Dylan Gee, Ph.D.  This project will examine the effects of early-life adversity on behavioral and neurobiological development. In particular, the research examines frontoamygdala circuitry and its role in learning about the environment and regulating emotions. The research is conducted with participants ages 6-17.

Intern: Asyjia Brown; Mentor: Lois Sadler, Ph.D. R.N. Minding the Baby(R) Home Visiting Program- We are in the implementation phase of this work domestically and globally,  as well as running longitudinal follow up studies of our original cohort of families. The summer intern will have the opportunity to assist us with data cleaning and data analysis of several small quantitative evaluation datasets from several of our dissemination sites. There will also be the opportunity to help with some start up activities for new sites and training/planning for the sites.  Attending weekly team meetings and assisting with implementation monitoring and data input will also be part of the experience.

Intern: Morgan Beatty; Mentor: Richard Aslin, Ph.D. Work with Professor Aslin's postdoctoral fellow, Claire Kabdebon, and  research associate, Lisa Jenkins on three on-going projects: 1.  A NIH funded fNIRS study of adults and infants who view movies of simple and  complex scenes as their brain activity in visual areas of the brain are being recorded.  2.  A fNIRS study of adults and infants as they view animated faces and listen to speech stimuli that vary in their complexity. 3.  An EEG study of adults and infants as they listen to auditory stimuli that vary in complexity.  This study uses multivariate decoding methods described in a pending NIH grant.

Intern: Emma Maclean; Mentor: Declan Barry, Ph.D. The intern will work on projects related to opioid use disorder and chronic pain. The intern will assist the research team to (a) develop an interview to assess intergenerational patters of nonmedical opioid use and chronic pain, and (b) conduct literature searchers, analyze data, and write up papers for publication based on existing data sets involving qualitative and quantitative data collected from opioid agonist treatment patients and providers. 

Intern: Thomas Shao; Mentor: Wan-Ling Tseng, Ph.D. The intern will be involved in an fMRI study in youth with irritability and mood dysregulation. Specifically, the intern will assist with subject recruitment, preparing assessment materials, and data collection, and will have opportunities to learn about fMRI and its use in the pediatric population as well as fMRI data analysis and interpretation.  

Intern: Gil Horner; Mentor: Danya Keene, Ph.D. The intern will participate in a qualitative study on pediatric medical legal partnership (MLP). Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is a model of integrating medical and legal care to address prevalent health-harming legal needs among socioeconomically marginalized populations. MLPs are able to address social determinants of health (education, employment, housing, access to public benefits) and as such have potential to improve population health and ameliorate health disparities. Emerging research has documented positive effects of MLPs on both legal and health outcomes. However, less is known about the processes and mechanisms through which these outcomes are produced. In this qualitative study based at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, we conducted semi-structured interviews with parents who had received legal services through the hospital’s MLP, as well as interviews with medical providers who interacted with this program, in order to better understand the processes through which MLP may affect child health and well-being. Our interviews aimed to characterize how families experience and respond to MLP services, and to understand how MLP may shape provider behavior and institutional culture. The summer intern will participate in coding qualitative interviews and will gain knowledge about 1) social determinants of health in low-income populations, 2) interdisciplinary approaches to improving health equity and 3) qualitative research methods.

Intern: Kate Moffett; Mentor: Mary Madoule. The intern will be working on the development of technical assistance material for the Alliance for Period Supplies, a national network of Allied Programs working to ensure that individuals in need have access to period supplies. In order to support the efforts of community-based organizations, the intern will collect information to help raise awareness, build program capacity, and effectively distribute period supplies to those in need. The intern will have opportunities to prepare materials and present findings. 

Intern: Morgan Jennings; Mentor: Lynn Comer. The intern will be working on a program evaluation of the National Diaper Bank Network’s (NDBN) newest program, the Alliance for Period Supplies, launched in May 2018.  The evaluation was aimed at investigating the impact of the distribution of free period supplies through the program to economically disadvantaged persons’ living in the United States and identify any positive outcomes experience as a result of the program.  The intern will assist with the analysis and interpretation of the data and have opportunities to present her findings.

 

Summer 2018 Project Areas

Interns: Valerie Figaro; Kayla Howard; Mentor: Megan Smith, Ph.D.: Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems that impact not only their wellbeing, but also the development and health of their children and families. This project focuses on developing new strategies for the promotion of mental health in mothers and their children and the measurement of the biological and psychosocial impacts of chronic stress in mothers on the larger family unit.   Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, biological markers of stress and “toxic stress” and research utilizing smartphone applications to enhance the wellness of new mothers.

Intern: Marq Schieber; Mentor: Jason Cromer, Ph.D. Cogstate is a public company based in Australia and New Haven that specializes in cognitive testing including the development of computerized neuropsychological tests for children and adults. Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a health- based company.

Intern: Neha Pashankar; Mentor: Thomas Fernandez, M.D.: The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects and learning opportunities: (1) Genetics laboratory bench work applying whole-exome and targeted sequencing to discover rare disruptive genetic variants in patient cohorts, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, and motor stereotypies; (2) Bioinformatic analyses to prioritize the aforementioned genetic variants based on their frequency in the general population, various measures of evolutionary conservation and predicted effect on gene function; (3) Learning methods of pathway and network analysis that can be used to determine whether genes cluster within certain biological pathways or otherwise work together, increasing our knowledge of underlying pathology; (4) shadowing child psychiatrists and psychologists during patient clinical evaluations in the Yale Tic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialty Clinic; and (5) co-authoring a manuscript reporting the genetic findings above.=

Intern: Madelyne Williams; Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW: Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families: Interns will have an opportunity to be introduced to the programs which deliver mental health services to children and families within their own homes and communities. Currently the Center offers 5 distinct models of in-home treatment including Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service(IICAPS) for children with serious psychiatric disorders, Family Based Recovery, (FBR) for children whose parents are using substances, Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) for children and adolescents who have experienced out of home placement and may be using or at risk of using controlled substances, Intensive Family Preservation (IFP) for families with children at risk of removal and receiving protective services, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, (PIFA). In addition, Interns will become familiar with the York Street Family Clinic, an out-patient clinic developed as a step-down program for children and families who have received in-home services to maintain the gains they have made or continue to work towards goal attainment. Although the primary focus this summer work will be on IICAPS and the York St Family Clinic, interns will be welcome at all program rounds at which cases are presented and treatment strategies discussed. Interns are expected to participate in the intake and data collection processes and have an opportunity to participate in process and outcome analysis.

Intern: Haven Watson; Mentor: Nicole Landi, Ph.D.: Typical speech and language development is thought to take place in this audiovisual (or AV) context, with both speech perception and production shaped by experience with the speaking face. This visible speech information impacts what typically developing listeners hear, both by significantly increasing identification of words in the presence of auditory noise and by facilitating perception of what is heard by speeding up cortical processing of the speech sound. Although developmental research and clinical practice tend to emphasize auditory perception, evidence suggests that experience with face-to-face communication is crucial for developing effective spoken language and communication skills. In this study interns will learn how to assess typically developing children with a range of social and communicative skill and in children with autism using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (EEG) and behavioral assessments. We use two novel audiovisual tasks to assess behavioral discrimination and neural signatures (EEG and ERP) of audiovisual processing and imitation.

Intern: Sarah McLaughlin; Mentor: Ellen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.: The intern will participate in projects aimed at elucidating neural mechanisms in autism spectrum disorders. The intern will gain knowledge of the genetic architecture of autism and learn about using zebrafish as a model system for the functional analysis of autism risk genes. The intern will become involved in projects that involve: (i) learning techniques for analyzing brain anatomy and the expression of neural markers; (ii) studying how disruption of autism risk genes affects simple behavioral phenotypes using this model; and (iii) identifying drug candidates that rescue behavioral phenotypes.

Intern: Shara Reimer; Mentor: James McPartland, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will shadow clinicians in a developmental disabilities clinic and learn about the assessment of children with developmental concerns. Kai will observe cases in the autism clinic under the supervision of Dr. James McPartland, and will have the opportunity to assist with child care during feedback sessions in the autism clinic. She will also participate in the weekly lunch research presentations for visiting students in research. Kai will have the opportunity to augment her interest in research and child development by observing eye-tracking and EEG sessions conducted with school-aged children. Kai will learn about several aspects of the research process; she will have the opportunity to learn about stimulus creation, literature reviews, data collection. She will also participate in Dr. McPartland’s weekly lab meetings. She will gain further experience with data management and clinical assessments by helping score and file measures.

Intern: Yael Braverman; Mentor: Nick Turk-Browne, Ph.D. Hannah will join a team in the Turk- Browne Lab conducting research studies on developmental cognitive neuroscience. This will involve gaining exposure to the background literature, participating in weekly discussions about research findings and ideas, examining and creating computerized experiments, assisting with subject recruitment and data collection, and learning about data analysis and interpretation. Two specific goals for the summer are: (1) to learn about functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and how it can be used to study cognition in infants and toddlers who are awake, performing tasks, and having their behavior monitored; and (2) to assist in the creation of a centralized system with other investigators in the Child Study Center to recruit pregnant women and new families for behavioral and neuroscientific research studies through the Yale New Haven Hospital and affiliated units.

Intern: Megan Upperman; Mentor: Troy Brown, MBA: The intern in this position will be a member of the Yale Clinical Optimization Services (YCOS). Kristen will learn about process improvement and clinical redesign strategies in ambulatory practices. She will observe clinical operations, participate in meetings with key faculty members and staff, and help develop a final assessment report as part of the overall project. She will learn key optimization tools and the application of process improvement techniques to enhance the patient and physician/provider experience. She will also participate in the weekly YCOS meeting where she will have the opportunity to present her work. Lastly, she will have the opportunity to attend leadership meetings within departments as well as the medical school to learn about healthcare management and the complexities of delivering patient care in an academic medical center.

Interns: Ashlin Ondrusek; Odia Kane; Mentors: Marc Brackett, Ph.D, Dena Simmons, Ed.D. The interns at the Center for Emotional Intelligence will learn about working with schools to foster the emotional intelligence of students and adults in the school environment. The interns will also learn how to measure change in emotional skills and organizational well-being.

Intern: Lucy Edwards; Mentor: Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will work on studies of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression and anxiety in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The study of behavior therapy for aggression has completed subject enrolment and the data analysis are currently on the way. The second study of behavior therapy for anxiety in children with autism is actively enrolling participants. In both studies children receive comprehensive clinical evaluation of symptoms and associated psychopathology. Children also complete neuroimaging experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression and/or anxiety. The summer interns will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing these studies and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics.

Intern: Noah McIndoo; Mentor: Carla Stover, Ph.D. This summer the student will be working on the launch of a pilot study to develop and test a Fatherhood Focused Family violence Education Program (F3). This is a modification of the court mandated program currently implemented in CT. We will randomly assign fathers to receive F3 or the standard program. Students will assist in contacting fathers and describing the research project, assisting with consent of participants, data collection and recording of intervention groups, and data entry. Additionally, the student may assist with analysis from a just completed randomized trial if Fathers for Change within residential substance misuse treatment programs for men.

Intern: Reagan Lamb; Mentor: Sarah Yip, Ph.D. Summer interns in the Yip lab will assist in on- going research into neurobiological vulnerability factors for addictions, and on the neural mechanisms of emerging medication treatments for addictions. Day-to-day activities will include shadowing fMRI scans, helping with data entry and analysis (including analysis of neuroimaging data) and with literature review. Specific research projects may include analysis of neuroimaging data from young adults with behavioural addictions or from mature adults with substance addictions.

Intern: Michael Jacobs; Mentor: Dustin Scheinost, Ph.D. They will mainly be working on the dissemination end of our new image analysis software (https://bioimagesuiteweb.github.io/webapp/index.html). This will include helping with software testing, documentation, how to videos, and engaging with end-users. There will also be opportunity to learn javascript and html programming and be involved with simultaneous fMRI/wide field microscopy project.

Intern: Grace Fulton; Mentor: Deepa Camenga, M.D. The opioid epidemic has resulted in substantial medical, social and economic consequences across the lifespan, many of which are mitigated by appropriate treatment with opioid agonist medications. Both methadone and buprenorphine have been shown to effectively prevent relapse in pregnant women with opioid use disorder. Research is needed to examine the impact of parenting on the development of children who are prenatally exposed to opioid agonist medications. The summer intern will assist with an examination of neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants exposed to opioids in - utero. They will perform a medical record review of infants in CT born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, specifically focusing on extracting data related to neurodevelopment, weight trajectories and healthcare utilization. The intern will also have opportunities to shadow clinical psychologists and pediatricians who work with mothers with opioid use disorder and their children.

Intern: Minjee Cook; Mentor: Michael Bloch, M.D. The Bloch Lab conducts clinical trials evaluating new treatments for mental health conditions across the lifespan including Tourette Syndrome, Depression, Anxiety, OCD and Trichotillomania. The Bloch lab also concentrates on statistical analyses that evaluate how well currently available treatments work and for whom using meta-analysis and other statistical techniques. A summer intern will participate in various trials examining ketamine and ketamine-derivatives for depression in adolescents as well as in other trials examining trichotillomania, tourette syndrome and anxiety. They will also work on an individual research project, which typically is a scientific peer-review publication (meta- analysis, primary data driven paper or review) with members of the lab team in an area of mutual interest.

Interns: Lizzie Sands; Elizabeth Ewing; Mentor: Erin Warnick, Ph.D. This project will focus on developing an understanding of systems of care and the various levels of care and types of services that exist and work together within a system. Activities will include working on referral resources, research methods of care coordination and strategies for linking families to services both within and across levels of care, with additional opportunities to observe at clinics and hospitals where our staff are engaged with services.

Intern: Adriana Hibarra; Mentor: Roger Jou, M.D. The work of Dr. Roger Jou and his team at the Yale Child Study Center emphasizes autism across the lifespan balancing a combination of clinical research, community outreach and direct service to individuals and families living with autism. Accordingly, the summer internship involves three different but interrelated projects: Project 1: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials. Most of the intern’s research experience is around conducting clinical trials studying use of medication for core features of autism. These are novel therapies, not yet approved by the FDA for use in autism, and conducting this research is instrumental in the FDA’s evaluation process. Participants are typically highly-verbal boys and girls between 5-17 years old. Project 2: Community Partnerships. The intern will assist in operation of Community Autism Socials at Yale (Project CASY), an online community that unites individuals with autism and the families, friends, and professionals dedicated to supporting them. Project CASY provides resources and arranges social recreation groups for adolescent and adults living with autism. All offered at no cost. Project 3: Mentorship for Young Adults. A number of young adults living with autism regularly come to the Child Study Center for personalized support. The intern will participate in supervised mentoring and coaching of these individuals both at the center and out in the community.

Intern: Minghui Lu; Mentor: Dylan Gee, Ph.D. This project will examine the effects of early-life adversity on behavioral and neurobiological development. In particular, the research examines frontoamygdala circuitry and its role in learning about the environment and regulating emotions. The research is conducted with participants ages 6-17.

Intern: Alyssa Koberstein; Mentor: Lois Sadler, Ph.D. Minding the Baby(R) Home Visiting Program- We are in the implementation phase of this work as well as longitudinal follow up studies of our original cohort of families. The summer intern will have the opportunity to assist us with data cleaning and data analysis of several small quantitative evaluation datasets from several of our dissemination sites. There will also be the opportunity to help with some content analysis of qualitative evaluation data. Attending weekly team meetings, helping and participating in our annual training institute and assisting with implementation monitoring and data input will also be part of the experience.

Intern: Anna Miller; Mentor: Richard Aslin, Ph.D. Work with Professor Aslin's postdoctoral fellow, Claire Kabdebon, and research associate, Lisa Jenkins on three on-going projects: 1. A NIH funded fNIRS study of adults and infants who view movies of simple and complex scenes as their brain activity in visual areas of the brain are being recorded. 2. A fNIRS study of adults and infants as they view animated faces and listen to speech stimuli that vary in their complexity. 3. An EEG study of adults and infants as they listen to auditory stimuli that vary in complexity. This study uses multivariate decoding methods described in a pending NIH grant.

Intern: Susan Oliver; Mentor: Declan Barry, Ph.D. The intern will work on projects related to opioid use disorder and chronic pain. The intern will assist the research team to (a) develop an interview to assess intergenerational patters of nonmedical opioid use and chronic pain, and (b) conduct literature searchers, analyze data, and write up papers for publication based on existing data sets involving qualitative and quantitative data collected from opioid agonist treatment patients and providers

 

Summer 2017 Project Areas

(1) Intern: Brandon Iracks-Edlin, Janaya Laude; Mentor: Megan Smith, Ph.D.: Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems that impact not only their wellbeing, but also the development and health of their children and families.  This project focuses on developing new strategies for the promotion of mental health in mothers and their children and the measurement of the biological and psychosocial impacts of chronic stress in mothers on the larger family unit.    Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, biological markers of stress and “toxic stress” and research utilizing smartphone applications to enhance the wellness of new mothers.

(2) Interns: Kendra Mehling, Callie Reynolds, Gabriela Wells; Mentor: Jason Cromer, Ph.D.  Cogstate is a public company based in Australia and New Haven that specializes in cognitive testing including the development of computerized neuropsychological tests for children and adults.  Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a health-based company.   

(3) Intern: Victoria Hayman, Rebecca Lobach; Mentor: Thomas Fernandez, M.D.:  The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects and learning opportunities: (1) Genetics laboratory bench work applying whole-exome and targeted sequencing to discover rare disruptive genetic variants in patient cohorts, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, and motor stereotypies; (2) Bioinformatic analyses to prioritize the aforementioned genetic variants based on their frequency in the general population, various measures of evolutionary conservation and predicted effect on gene function; (3) Learning methods of pathway and network analysis that can be used to determine whether genes cluster within certain biological pathways or otherwise work together, increasing our knowledge of underlying pathology; (4) shadowing child psychiatrists and psychologists during patient clinical evaluations in the Yale Tic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialty Clinic; and (5) co-authoring a manuscript reporting the genetic findings above.  

(4) Intern: Abigail Warr; Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW: Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families: Interns will have an opportunity to work with the staff of Child Study Center programs which provide mental health services to children and families within their own homes and communities.  Currently the Center offers 5 distinct models of in-home treatment including the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service(IICAPS) for children with serious psychiatric disorders,  Family Based Recovery, (FBR) for children whose parents are using substances, Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy, (MDFT)  for children and adolescents who have experienced out of home placement and may be using or at risk of using controlled substances , Intensive Family Preservation, (IFP)for families with children at risk of removal and receiving protective services, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, (PIFA). Interns will become familiar with the York Street Family Clinic, an out-patient clinic developed as a step-down program for children and families who have received in-home services to maintain the gains they have made or continue to work towards goal attainment. Interns will be welcome at all program rounds at which cases are presented and treatment strategies discussed. Interns will have access to the data sets developed by these programs and will have an opportunity to participate in process and outcome analysis. Interns may participate in the intake process for one or more programs.

(5) Intern: Olivia Bailey; Mentors: Nicole Landi, Ph.D. and Trey Avery. Ph.D.: Typical speech and language development is thought to take place in this audiovisual (or AV) context, with both speech perception and production shaped by experience with the speaking face. This visible speech information impacts what typically developing listeners hear, both by significantly increasing identification of words in the presence of auditory noise and by facilitating perception of what is heard by speeding up cortical processing of the speech sound. Although developmental research and clinical practice tend to emphasize auditory perception, evidence suggests that experience with face-to-face communication is crucial for developing effective spoken language and communication skills. In this study interns will learn how to assess typically developing children with a range of social and communicative skill and in children with autism using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (EEG) and behavioral assessments. We use two novel audiovisual tasks to assess behavioral discrimination and neural signatures (EEG and ERP) of audiovisual processing and imitation.

(6) Intern: Isabel Balcezak; Mentor: Chin Reyes, Ph.D, .Walter Gilliam, Ph.D., Angie Maupin, Ph.D., and (Preschool Education Policy):  The intern in this position will be assisting on a variety of projects that include, to name a few, a study of preschool expulsions, an evaluation of a federally-funded program that promotes the language development of young English language learners, and a feasibility study of a social and emotional learning program that uses canines and canine-related activities. The intern will be conducting phone interviews, analyzing qualitative data using mixed methods software, conducting literature reviews, and attending lab meetings.

(7) Interns: Alekya Menta, Jaclyn Dell; Mentor: Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.: Traditional approaches to the study of parenting has involved primarily observational studies and interview-based approaches, leaving the opportunity for the development of novel measures to assess parenting from an experimental approach employing behavioral and neuroimaging modalities. This internship opportunity will provide experience and training in behavioral and EEG/ERP methodologies and their application to the study of parenting and motivational processes more generally. 

(8) Intern: Sarah Woody:  Mentor: Ellen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.:  The student will participate in a project aimed at using zebrafish to elucidate neural mechanisms involved in autism. The student will gain knowledge of the genetic architecture of autism and the role of model systems in understanding the function of autism risk genes. Specifically, he will gain experience in analyzing brain structure in zebrafish mutants of autism risk genes and learn techniques for analyzing brain anatomy and the expression of neural markers in these mutants. He will learn novel techniques for analyzing behavioral deficits in these mutants.

(9) Intern: Celeste Walton; Mentor: Michelle Hampson, Ph.D.: The intern will work on developing tasks for measuring the effects of video game playing on mental function. In particular, an established task that measures visuospatial attention will be adapted for use in our lab, and a novel task will be developed to measure anhedonia effects associated subclinical addiction. Eventually, both of these will be embedded in an online interface allowing collection of task performance data along with self-reported video gaming behavior for exploratory studies of the relationship between these task measures and gaming behavior.

(10) Intern: Nicholas Blundell, Michelle Mayers, Brian Stackhouse; Mentors: Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. The interns in this position may learn about neuroimaging methods and work specifically on datasets collected from substance-using adult and adolescents at risk for substance use. They may also learn about other risk behaviors (e.g., gambling, problematic Internet use, problematic pornography use) in youth and adults, and the clinical correlates of these behaviors.

(11) Intern: Jamie Chan; Mentor:  Sarah W. Yip, PhD, MSc: Summer interns in this position will assist with Dr. Yip’s on-going research into neurobiological vulnerability factors for addictions, and on the neural mechanisms of emerging medication treatments for addictions. Day-to-day activities will include shadowing fMRI scans, helping with data entry and analysis (including analysis of neuroimaging data) and with literature review. Specific research projects may include analysis of neuroimaging data from young adults with behavioral addictions or from mature adults with substance addictions.

(12) Intern: Melanie Vaughn; Mentor: Danya Keene, Ph.D.:   This summer internship position will involve assisting on various research projects conducted by the Place, Housing and Health Research Lab at the school of public health.  The majority of the internship will be spent on a qualitative project that examines the intersections of diabetes management and housing affordability. Specific internship tasks related to this project include participant recruitment, data management, organizing events with community partners, qualitative interviewing, and qualitative data coding.  Other lab project include, an examination of home foreclosure and birth outcomes, a study of housing challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals, and a qualitative study of reverse mortgage loans and the development of a new study on housing affordability and child well-being.

(13) Intern: Kai Shulman; Mentor: James McPartland, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will shadow clinicians in a developmental disabilities clinic and learn about the assessment of children with developmental concerns. Kai will observe cases in the autism clinic under the supervision of Dr. James McPartland, and will have the opportunity to assist with child care during feedback sessions in the autism clinic.  She will also participate in the weekly lunch research presentations for visiting students in research. Kai will have the opportunity to augment her interest in research and child development by observing eye-tracking and EEG sessions conducted with school-aged children.  Kai will learn about several aspects of the research process; she will have the opportunity to learn about stimulus creation, literature reviews, data collection. She will also participate in Dr. McPartland’s weekly lab meetings. She will gain further experience with data management and clinical assessments by helping score and file measures.

(14) Intern: Ryan Mahan; Mentor: Rebecca Muhle, M.D., Ph.D. The student will participate in work conducted by Dr. Muhle and her team to better understand the biological underpinnings of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The student will gain knowledge of the genetic contributors to ASD etiology and how these risk factors may converge in common molecular and cellular pathways. The student will utilize techniques of functional genomics and transcriptomics to identify regulatory networks of genes and pathways using animal and cellular models of early brain development. The student will gain experience in molecular cloning, cell culture techniques including transfection and maintenance, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and preparation of cells and tissue for high-throughput sequencing.

(15) Intern: Kelsey Arbuckle; Mentor: Joanne Goldblum. One in three U.S. mothers reports experiencing diaper need, the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or toddler clean, dry and healthy. The National Diaper Bank Network raises awareness about diaper need and works to support community development of diaper banks and pantries throughout the country. This project will focus on NDNB’s Funds for Change grant program for its member nonprofits.  The intern will review Funds for Change grant recipients’ proposals in order to research 4-8 nonprofit organizations’ projects and develop 3-5 case studies that provide a detailed narrative about the need, implementation, and impact of both the project proposed and the organization’s ability to successful leverage the opportunity. The work will involve conducting research through database records, online resources such as Guidestar and diaper banks’ websites, as well as reaching out to grant recipients for additional material and information. The case studies will highlight how NDBN member organizations are using micro grants to fulfill their mission and overcome challenges to sustainability. This objective is threefold:  the case studies will be useful to other members interested in applying for a micro grant; they can be a source to NDBN development in order to help donors and grantors better appreciate the value of investing in community program development; they will delve into program assessment in order to discover opportunities to improve how NDBN invests in its member nonprofit organizations.

(16) Intern: Cody Bartz; Mentor: Federico Vaca, M.D. & Deepa Camenga, M.D.:  This project focuses on developing and testing mobile technolgoies for the seconday prevention of risky alcohol and miarjuana use in adolescents.  Interns in this program will learn about working in primary care and emergency room settings, research utilizing smartphone applications to promote adolescent health.  The intern will be involved in recruiting and assessment.  The intern will learn about motivational interviewing, clinical trial methodology, behavioral intervention development. Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to observe clinical activities in a variety of healthcare settings where adolescents receive medical and mental healthcare (i.e. emergency rooms, outpatient primary care settings, and specialized substance use treatment settings).

(17) Intern: Hannah Faulkner; Mentor: Nick Turke-Browne, Ph.D. Hannah will join a team in the Turk-Browne Lab conducting research studies on developmental cognitive neuroscience. This will involve gaining exposure to the background literature, participating in weekly discussions about research findings and ideas, examining and creating computerized 

experiments, assisting with subject recruitment and data collection, and learning about data analysis and interpretation. Two specific goals for the summer are: (1) to learn about functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and how it can be used to study cognition in infants and toddlers who are awake, performing tasks, and having their behavior monitored; and (2) to assist in the creation of a centralized system with other investigators in the Child Study 

Center to recruit pregnant women and new families for behavioral and neuroscientific research studies through the Yale New Haven Hospital and affiliated units.

(18) Intern: Kristen Fowler; Mentor: Babar Khokhar, M.D. Troy Brown: The intern in this position will be a member of the Yale Clinical Optimization Services (YCOS). Kristen will learn about process improvement and clinical redesign strategies in ambulatory practices. She will observe clinical operations, participate in meetings with key faculty members and staff, and help develop a final assessment report as part of the overall project. She will learn key optimization tools and the application of process improvement techniques to enhance the patient and physician/provider experience. She will also participate in the weekly YCOS meeting where she will have the opportunity to present her work. Lastly, she will have the opportunity to attend leadership meetings within departments as well as the medical school to learn about healthcare management and the complexities of delivering patient care in an academic medical center.

(19) Intern: Ashley Krueger; Mentor: Erin Warnick, Ph.D.  The intern in this position will develop a deeper understanding of mental health service systems through participation in a series of projects. Under the supervision of Dr. Warnick, Ashley will help to research payment models to consider impact of health care reform on provision of mental health services for children. As quality metrics are an integral part of most payment reform structures, she will have an opportunity to review metrics currently in use while also studying the literature to consider additional metrics that could be implemented. To further her understanding of clinical work in an outpatient setting and to understand how metrics work at a clinical-level, Ashley will have an opportunity to attend weekly Rounds in the Outpatient Clinic where she will hear clinical presentations provided by a diverse group of clinicians including social workers, marriage and family therapists, APRNs, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Over the course of these projects, Ashely will have an opportunity to learn about several aspects of the research process as well as enhance her understanding of data management in an active clinical setting.

(20) Intern: Anna Miller, Rachel Muskin; Mentor: Marc Brackett, Ph.D. The interns at the Center for Emotional Intelligence will learn about working with schools to foster the emotional intelligence of students and adults in the school environment.  The interns will also learn how to measure change in emotional skills and organizational well-being.  

(21) Intern: Amelia Warnock; Mentor: Anne Camp: The intern in this position will work at the Fair Haven Community Health Center with Dr. Camp and focusing on promoting community efforts to promote healthy behaviors in adults and children.

(22) Intern: Meredith Heitland;  Mentor: Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will work on studies of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression and anxiety in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The study of behavior therapy for aggression has completed subject enrolment and the data analysis are currently on the way. The second study of behavior therapy for anxiety in children with autism is actively enrolling participants.  In both studies children receive comprehensive clinical evaluation of symptoms and associated psychopathology.  Children also complete neuroimaging experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression and/or anxiety.  The summer interns will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing these studies and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics.

 

Summer 2016 Project Areas

(1) Intern: Reeda Shakir and Jamie Kowalczyk; Mentor: Megan Smith, Ph.D.: Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems that impact not only their wellbeing, but also the development and health of their children and families. This project focuses on developing new strategies for the promotion of mental health in mothers and their children and the measurement of the biological and psychosocial impacts of chronic stress in mothers on the larger family unit. Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, biological markers of stress and “toxic stress” and research utilizing smartphone applications to enhance the wellness of new mothers.

(2) Intern: Brianna Parlette, Zachariah Brown, Anthony Mercadant; Michael Crowley, Ph.D.: The intern will be involved in recruiting and assessment. The intern will learn about the acquisition and analysis of biosignals (EEG, HR) for studies of emotion and motivation in children and families. The intern will learn about basic physiology data processing and analysis and also learn basic data analytic skills. Additionally she will observe both neuroimaging and electroencephalography sessions and learn about the acquisition and analysis of biosignals (EEG, HR). 

(3) Interns: Anna Grishaw and Kristen Pirog; Mentor: Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.: Dr. Sukhodolsky is currently conducting a study of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression in children. This study enrolls children with a range of neuropsychiatric disorders in accordance with the Research Domain Criteria project of the National Institute of Mental Health. Children complete neuroimaging and electrophysiological experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression. The summer interns will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing this study and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics.

(4) Interns: Rebecca Tutino, Meredith Britton, and Lilit Kazazian; Mentor: Kimberly Yonkers, M.D.: Will serve as a clinic screening/recruitment worker as part of a clinical trial administering screening measures to pregnant patients at 2 Women's Centers in New Haven, CT (Rebecca). Will screen study subjects, administer computer-based interviews, collect data on paper and computer,and serve other duties relating to the operations of this implementation study/research protocol at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH; Lilit). Meredith will serve as a screener/recruitment worker as part of a clinical trial administering screening measures at The Center for Well being of Women and Mothers, a women's-only research program at Yale's School of Medicine. Ms. Britton will assist the Project Manager in recruiting participants (20%),helping to administer assessments (20%), obtaining vital signs (5%), scheduling follow up appointments (5%)and data entry (20%). In addition to this, weekly research didactic meetings for all summer interns on a variety of topics (25%)will be held and they will prepare and present a poster related to a component of their work. The P.I. will meet with interns weekly and review all aspects of their work as well as address issues surrounding nicotine dependence (5%).

(5) Interns: Stephanie Gutkin, Sophie Borne, Anna Bradley, Stephen Green, and Nicholas Novak; Mentor: Jason Cromer, Ph.D. Cogstate is a public company based in Australia and New Haven that specializes in cognitive testing including the development of computerized neuropsychological tests for children and adults. Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a health-based company.

(6) Intern: Hanna De Bruyn; Mentor: Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.: Consciousness is central to human life, allowing people to experience and respond to the world.  The Blumenfeld laboratory investigates the brain when consciousness is impaired by epileptic seizures. They use brain imaging techniques, electrical measurements and testing of behavior. By understanding the mechanisms of consciousness, the research group aims to restore normal consciousness to patients with epilepsy and other brain disorders. The intern in this position will be exposed to the evaluation of epileptic patients as well as the detailed study of brain activity during epileptic seizures.

(7) Intern: Zsanett Peter; Mentor: Thomas Fernandez, M.D.: The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects and learning opportunities: (1) Genetics laboratory bench work applying whole-exome and targeted sequencing to discover rare disruptive genetic variants in patient cohorts, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, and motor stereotypies; (2) Bioinformatic analyses to prioritize the aforementioned genetic variants based on their frequency in the general population, various measures of evolutionary conservation and predicted effect on gene function; (3) Leaning methods of pathway and network analysis that can be used to determine whether genes cluster within certain biological pathways or otherwise work together, increasing our knowledge of underlying pathology; (4) shadowing child psychiatrists and psychologists during patient clinical evaluations in the Yale Tic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialty Clinic; and (5) co-authoring a manuscript reporting the genetic findings above.

(8) Intern: Melida Boehm; Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW: Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families: Interns will have an opportunity to work with the staff of Child Study Center programs which provide mental health services to children and families within their own homes and communities. Currently the Center offers 5 distinct models of in-home treatment including the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service(IICAPS) for children with serious psychiatric disorders, Family Based Recovery, (FBR) for children whose parents are abusing controlled substances, Multi- Dimensional Family Therapy, (MDFT)  for children and adolescents who have experienced out of home placement and may be using controlled substances , Intensive Family Preservation, (IFP)for families with children at risk of removal and receiving protective services, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, (PIFA). Interns will become familiar with the York Street Family Clinic, an out-patient clinic developed as a step-down program for children and families who have received in-home services to maintain the gains they have made or continue to work towards goal attainment. Interns will be welcome at all program rounds at which cases are presented and treatment strategies discussed. Interns will have access to the data sets developed by these programs and will have an opportunity to participate in process and outcome analysis. Interns may participate in the intake process for one or more programs.

(9) Intern: Madison Bunderson; Mentors: Nicole Landi, Ph.D., Trey Avery. Ph.D., and Katie Shaw, M.S.: In this study interns will learn how to assess very young children who are at risk for developmental and learning disabilities using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (EEG) and behavioral assessments of developmental and language milestones. The primary study for this summer focuses on attention, a pivotal cognitive ability integral to many early developmental milestones including language acquisition, motor skills, and recognition of cause-effect relationships. Often, when investigating early attentional abilities, looking times and heart-rate measures are utilized which may not reflect the dynamic attentional subnetworks in real-time. Although some event-related potentials (ERP) work has been conducted in infants and young children looking at attention, a common adult ERP component, the N2pc, has only recently been found in an age group below 18-years-old. The goal of the current study is to investigate whether the N2pc can be measured in children under 10 years of age. The N2pc has been used as an index of attention capture that precedes oculomotor movement, demonstrating that it is more sensitive to the integrity of the earlier attentional networks than looking-time or heart-rate studies. Using a cueing paradigm and a participant sample of 4-8 years old, we hope to identify how (and whether) attention development (indexed by the N2pc) progresses across childhood and provide future avenues for research with younger children (e.g., toddlers, infants).

(10) Interns: Isaac Johnson and Daniel Gabriel; Mentor: Michael Bloch, M.D.: The intern in this position will work with Dr. Bloch with his studies on several patient populations including individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM).   The interns will work on several trials and meta-analyses examining treatments for these disorders and related conditions.

(11) Intern: Margie Carrasco; Mentor: Walter Gilliam, Ph.D., Angie Maupin, Ph.D., and Chin Reyes, Ph.D. (Preschool Education Policy): The intern in this position will be assisting on a variety of projects regarding early childhood development, early education and policy. The intern will be assisting to examine early childhood policies regarding mental health services and preschool expulsion, revising and validating an observational measure of the “mental health climate” of early care and education centers, assisting with analyses of the effectiveness of mental health consultation for preschool teachers, and other similar projects.

12) Interns: Cayla O’Hair, Keval Desai, Melissa Zankman, and Rebecca den Bek; Mentor: Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.: Traditional approaches to the study of parenting has involved primarily observational studies and interview-based approaches, leaving the opportunity for the development of novel measures to assess parenting from an experimental approach employing behavioral and neuroimaging modalities. This internship opportunity will provide experience and training in behavioral and EEG/ERP methodologies and their application to the study of parenting.

(13) Intern: Bradford Lepik: Mentor: Ellen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.:  The student will participate in a project aimed at using zebrafish to elucidate neural mechanisms involved in autism. The student will gain knowledge of the genetic architecture of autism and the role of model systems in understanding the function of autism risk genes. Specifically, he will gain experience in analyzing brain structure in zebrafish mutants of autism risk genes and learn techniques for analyzing brain anatomy and the expression of neural markers in these mutants. He will learn novel techniques for analyzing behavioral deficits in these mutants. 

(14) Intern: Helena Brooks; Mentor: Michelle Hampson, Ph.D.: The intern will work on a research study comparing the effectiveness of different types of stimuli for provoking obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The intern will work with researchers, clinicians and patients on a project that involves developing and testing two different stimulus sets to determine which is best for symptom provocation. Ultimately, these stimuli will be used in neuroimaging studies to identify the brain patterns associated with symptoms in patients.

(15) Nolan Rourke, Jonathan Moisson, and Nicolas Potenza; Mentors: Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D.: The interns in this position may learn about neuroimaging methods and work specifically on datasets collected from substance-using adult and adolescents at risk for substance use. They may also learn about other risk behaviors (e.g., gambling, problematic Internet use, problematic pornography use) in youth and adults, and the clinical correlates of these behaviors.

(16) Intern: Heather Pittman; Mentor: Danya Keene, Ph.D.: This summer internship position will involve assisting on various research projects conducted by the Place, Housing and Health Research Lab at the school of public health. The majority of the internship will be spent on a qualitative project that examines the intersections of diabetes management and housing affordability. Specific internship tasks related to this project include participant recruitment, data management, organizing events with community partners, qualitative interviewing, and qualitative data coding. Other lab project include, an examination of home foreclosure and birth outcomes, a study of housing challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals, and a qualitative study of reverse mortgage loans and the development of a new study on housing affordability and child well-being.

(17) Intern: Kai Shulman; Mentor: James McPartland, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will shadow clinicians in a developmental disabilities clinic and learn about the assessment of children with developmental concerns. Kai will observe cases in the autism clinic under the supervision of Dr. James McPartland, and will have the opportunity to assist with child care during feedback sessions in the autism clinic. She will also participate in the weekly lunch research presentations for visiting students in research. Kai will have the opportunity to augment her interest in research and child development by observing eye-tracking and EEG sessions conducted with school-aged children. Kai will learn about several aspects of the research process; she will have the opportunity to learn about stimulus creation, literature reviews, data collection. She will also participate in Dr. McPartland’s weekly lab meetings. She will gain further experience with data management and clinical assessments by helping score and file measures.

 

Summer 2015 Project Areas

(1) Intern: Allison Smith; Mentors: Kasia Charwarska, Ph.D. and Fred Shic, Ph.D.:  This project covers studies of toddlers with Autism and other developmental disorders using behavioral and neurobehavioral methods to investigate the complex interplay between autism symptoms and emotion processing in early development.

(2) Intern: Matson Conrad; Mentor: Ifat Levy, Ph.D.:  The summer intern will be involved in studying decision-making under uncertainty in humans. This will include contributing to study design, running subjects in behavioral and fMRI settings and analyzing the data.

(3) Intern: Abigail Cole and Catherine Reid; Mentor: Megan Smith, Ph.D.: Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems that impact not only their wellbeing, but also the development and health of their children and families.  This project focuses on developing new strategies for the promotion of mental health in mothers and their children and the measurement of the biological and psychosocial impacts of chronic stress in mothers on the larger family unit. Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, biological markers of stress and “toxic stress” and research utilizing smartphone applications to enhance the wellness of new mothers.

(4) Intern: Caleb Thomas, Daniel David, & Haddon Smith; Mentor: Michael Crowley, Ph.D.:  These interns (Caleb Thomas and Daniel David) will be involved in recruiting and assessment for a neuroimaging study of avoidance in children. The intern will also be learning about the acquisition and analysis of biosignals (EEG, HR, startle) for studies of emotion and motivation in children and families. This intern (Haddon Smith) will be involved in research on adolescent reward seeking using both electroencephalography and functional imaging.  Mr. Smith will learn about basic physiology data processing and analysis and also learn basic data analytic skills.  Additionally he will observe both neuroimaging and electroencephalography sessions and attend four time weekly didactic sessions. He will also be learning about the acquisition and analysis of biosignals (EEG, HR, startle). 

(5) Intern: Nicholas Genovese; Mentor:  Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.:  Dr. Sukhodolsky is currently conducting a study of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression in children. This study enrolls children with a range of neuropsychiatric disorders in accordance with the Research Domain Criteria project of the National Institute of Mental Health. Children complete neuroimaging and electrophysiological experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression.  Summer intern will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing this study and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics. 

(6) Intern: Mollie Rich; Mentor: Kimberly Yonkers, M.D.:  The intern in this position will work on project MISA which is an implementation study evaluating 3 methods to implement motivational interviewing in a general medical setting. There are 3 arms to the study.  The first is a seminary only group, the second is seminar plus bedside supervision and the third is seminar plus placing an inpatient consult.  The target population are hospitalized patients who have a substance abuse or dependence problem.

(7) Interns: Amy Lee and Alysse Schultheis; Mentors: Brian Harel, Ph.D. and Jason Cromer, Ph.D.  Cogstate is a private small business based in Australia and New Haven that develops web-based neuropsychological tests for children and adults. Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a private health-based company.

(8) Intern: Rachel Lilenbaum; Mentor: Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.:  Consciousness is central to human life, allowing people to experience and respond to the world. The Blumenfeld laboratory investigates the brain when consciousness is impaired by epileptic seizures. They use brain imaging techniques, electrical measurements and testing of behavior. By understanding the mechanisms of consciousness, the research group aims to restore normal consciousness to patients with epilepsy and other brain disorders. The intern in this position will be exposed to the evaluation of epileptic patients as well as the detailed study of brain activity during epileptic seizures.

(9) Intern: Petra Richter; Mentor: Thomas Fernandez, M.D., Ph.D.:  The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects and learning opportunities: (1) Genetics laboratory bench work applying whole-exome and targeted sequencing to discover rare disruptive genetic variants in three patient cohorts, including Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and motor stereotypies; (2) Bioinformatic analyses integrating a spatiotemporal gene expression dataset to pinpoint where and when the rare genetic variants may disrupt human brain development in each of these disorders; (3) shadowing child psychiatrists and psychologists during patient clinical evaluations in the Yale Tic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialty Clinic; (4) co-authoring a manuscript reporting the genetic findings above, and co-authoring a review article about Tourette syndrome genetics. 

(10) Intern: Katie Arnone;  Mentors: Nancy Suchman, Ph.D. and Cindy DeCoste, M.S.: Working with Parents with Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders: The intern in this position will learn about an innovative parenting intervention for mothers with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders and a Parent Education comparison intervention. Mothering from the Inside Out (MIO) is a brief, supportive, mentalization-based psychotherapy that has the primary focus of helping mothers with their parenting alongside the standard outpatient drug treatment and psychiatric services that they are receiving in the community. Currently, at the end of a second five-year research phase funded by the National Institute of Health, MIO is being evaluated against a comparison Parent Education (PE) program in a randomized clinical trial.  Preparation for a new five-year research phase to test MIO and PE in a community-based addiction treatment setting where addiction counselors will be randomized and trained to deliver MIO or PE with sustained fidelity is also currently underway. Interns will learn about addiction, parenting interventions, child development, attachment, and assessments used in evaluating the effectiveness of parenting interventions.  They will have the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day activities of the program including leading developmentally-informed activities with young children while their mothers attend study appointments, assisting with data management protocols and editing Parent Education materials for the next phase of research, and attending weekly clinical supervision meetings focused on clinical issues related to patient care and supportive guidance and professional development for staff. 

(11) Intern: Mary Stolz;  Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW: Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families:  Interns will have an opportunity to work with the staff of Child Study Center programs which provide mental health services to children and families within their own homes and communities.  Currently the Center offers 5 distinct models of in-home treatment including the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service(IICAPS) for children with serious psychiatric disorders,  Family Based Recovery, (FBR) for children whose parents are abusing controlled substances, Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy, (MDFT)  for children and adolescents who have experienced out of home placement , Intensive Family Preservation, (IFP)for families with children receiving protective services, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS, (PIFA). Interns will become knowledgeable about the York Street Family Clinic, an out-patient clinic developed as a step-down program for children and families to maintain the gains they have made in home-based treatment. . Interns will be welcome at program rounds at which cases are presented and treatment strategies discussed. Interns will have access to the data sets developed by these programs and will have an opportunity to participate in process and outcome analysis.

(12) Intern: Emily Peters; Mentors: Nicole Landi, Ph.D., Julia Irwin, Ph.D., and Jessica Whittle: In this study interns will learn how to assess very young children who are at risk for developmental and learning disabilities  including autism  using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (NIRS and EEG) and behavioral assessments of developmental and language milestones.

(13) Intern: Daniel Gabriel; Mentor: Michael Bloch, M.D.:  The intern in this position will work with Dr. Bloch with his studies on several patient populations including individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM).  The intern will learn about treatments for these conditions in children and adults and on the predictors of long-term outcome.

(14) Intern: Yubi Ventura; Mentor: Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will work on projects relating to adolescent smoking and interventions to impact smoking in young people.  The intern will learn both about the science of nicotine as well as accomplishing an intervention program embedded in schools. Additionally, the intern will learn about the emerging regulatory policies about nicotine marketing to different populations.

 (15) Intern: Mary Stolz; Mentor: Mary Gunsalus, Ph.D., Child Psychiatry Inpatient Unit:  The intern in this position will be working on the child psychiatry inpatient unit school.  The intern’s roles will be to support teachers with diagnostic-prescriptive teaching/cognitive-behavioral plans/adaptive functioning within a therapeutic classroom located on the inpatient school. The intern will also interact with multidisciplinary clinical team members and will learn about educational assessment and intervention in a mental health setting.

(16) Intern: Ariyan (Nikki) Cox and Mary Graham Harvey; Mentor: Walter Gilliam, Ph.D., Angie Maupin, Ph.D., and Chin Reyes, Ph.D. (Preschool Education Policy):  The intern in this position will be assisting on a variety of projects regarding early childhood development, early education and policy. The intern will be assisting to develop a new test of for measuring development in young children, revising and validating an observational measure of the “mental health climate” of early care and education centers, assisting with analyses of the effectiveness of mental health consultation for preschool teachers, and other similar projects.

 (17) Intern: Gray Lochbihler; Mentor: Brent VanderWyk, Ph.D. (Processing of Biological Motion):  Specific neural circuits for processing biological motion of other humans are theorized to play a critical role in mentalizing and empathy. However, little is known about how this circuitry adapts to process the unique biological motion patterns of young infants. In this project we aim 1) to develop a novel stimulus set of point-light-displays of human infant motion, 2) use behavioral, eye-tracking, and cognitive neuroscience methods to explore the processing of these stimuli in parents and non-parents.

(18) Intern: Haley Wilbanks; Mentors: Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. and Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.: (Neuroimaging studies of addiction in mothers):  Accumulating research is evidencing the dysregulation of stress and reward neural circuits in addiction. Critically these same brain regions seem to underscore maternal responding. Therefore there may be a neurobiological through which addiction impacts parenting. This intern opportunity will involve learning about neuroimaging research and its application to maternal addiction – focusing on understanding the consequences of addiction on resting state maternal brain activity using EEG and understanding how similar questions can be asked using fMRI.  

(19) Intern: William Hudson Robb:  Mentor: Ellen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.: The student will participate in a project aimed at using zebrafish to elucidate neural mechanisms involved in autism. The student will gain knowledge of the genetic architecture of autism and the role of model systems in understanding the function of autism risk genes. Specifically, he will gain experience in analyzing brain structure in zebrafish mutants of autism risk genes and learn techniques for analyzing brain anatomy and the expression of neural markers in these mutants using in situ hybridization.

(20) Intern:  Emily Newton: Mentor: Abda Gupta, M.D., Ph.D.:  The intern learn about the genetic analysis of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  After reviewing the latest scientific literature to understand the rationale for our investigations, the intern will assist in analyzing whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing data of selected patients. The intern will learn to filter sequencing data to prioritize genetic mutations by potential deleteriousness through the use of online databases. The intern will also confirm the presence and inheritance of mutations by PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing of DNA samples.  The intern will learn to build evidence for the association of mutations with autism spectrum disorder.

(21) Intern: Shelby Meckstroth; Mentor: Lynn Fiellin, M.D.:  As an active member of a highly cohesive research team in the play2PREVENT Lab, the type of work the student will engage in includes a combination of several components of the following: (1) Participate in focus group discussions; (2) Data collection and management;  (3) Scheduling of participant follow-up assessments; (4) Participate in videogame development meetings; and (5) Literature research.

(22) Intern:  Desiree Kamerman; Mentor: Michelle Hampson, Ph.D.: The intern will work on a research study assessing neurofeedback as an intervention for Tourette Syndrome. The intern will be introduced to  the form of neurofeedback we use, and will collect, analyze, and interpret data on how this intervention affects brain organization. 

(23) Intern: Chelsea Hayman; Mentor: Rajita Sinha, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will have the opportunity to train in clinical data collection over the phone and using the web, subject interactions and also in coding of data forms and creating excel data sheets as well as powerpoint graphs. She will also learn to apply web and literature search tools to learn about stress and their effects on mental and physical health and on cognition and behavior. She will learn to develop a scientific question and related hypothesis and prepare a poster presentation on the specific topic of her choice related to stress and health.

(24) Intern: Ariyan (Nikki) Cox; Mentor: Federico Vaca, M.D.: The intern will be conducting a rigorous and systematic search of the research literature specific to driving simulation research with a particular focus on adolescent and young adult drivers.  Research that encompasses the use of dense array EEG, fMRI, and other brain imaging modalities will be included. This comprehensive literature search will be use to inform grant proposals and to establish a line of driving simulation research with and without the use of dense array EEG. 

(25)  Intern: Tannis Neal; Mentor: Martha Okafor, Mayor’s office:  The intern in this position will conduct literature reviews on Autism and ADHD, particularly among minority populations and compare with majority parents. The intern will put together an inventory of early childhood programs and initiatives for children with special health care needs, particularly Autism and ADHD in the city and identify evidence-based best practice and practice-based evidence. The intern will also conduct 1-2 focus groups of parents to learn of what it means to parents children with these disabilities and meaningful ways to support them and conduct informant interviews of parents to learn how to best engaged them to have their children school ready. 

(26) Intern: Olivia Glascoe: Mentor: Christine Montgomery, Clifford Beers:  Interns at Clifford Beers have the opportunity to become involved with the Clinic's Intake Support Program.  In this program, interns work with Clinic families during their initial visit to Clifford Beers by administering clinical assessments for their initial intake evaluation. Interns and Volunteers also have the opportunity to become involved with many of our programs and groups, attend clinical meetings and workshops, and gain experience in our research department.

(27)  Interns: Cortez Brown and Hallie Crosby: Mentors: Brian Harel and Jason Cromer (Cogstate) and Charles Thompson (Pfizer): Interns in this program will work on creating materials to educate new members of the International Children’s Advisory Network (iCAN) about the process of clinical research. iCAN works to provide a voice for children and families in pediatric health, medicine, research and innovation worldwide. We do this through a large network of individual youth advisory groups from around the world. These groups are called KIDS, which stands for Kids and Families Impacting Disease through Science. To this end, interns will attend one or more KIDS Connecticut meetings. They will also travel throughout the state for field experiences at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Yale New Haven Hospital, Pfizer NYC headquarters, and Pfizer locations in Groton and New Haven. The information gained from these field experiences will be used to help inform the interns about the nature of clinical research in children as well as the challenges associated with such research. Finally, interns are invited to attend the first annual iCAN Research Summit in Washington, D.C. from June 22, 2015- June26-2015.

(28) Intern: Donald Okoye; Mentor: Christopher Pittenger, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will be exposed to work wit patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and learn about animal models that aim to elucidate the mechanisms of learned automatic behaviors seen in OCD.  The intern will learn about the translation of basic science to better treatments for OCD and other neuropsychiatric conditions.

(29) Intern: Rachel Sanacora; Mentors: Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. and Linda Mayes, M.D.:  The intern in this position will work on two projects. The first is a follow up of participants from Native American tribal colleges who participated across three summers at the Child Study Center in seminars on child mental health. The follow-up accomplished by telephone interviews will assess the impact of the training for the participants’ ongoing work and also solicit their suggestions for future trainings and seminars. Additionally, the intern will learn about neuroimaging methods and work specifically on datasets collected from substance using adult and adolescents at risk for substance use.

 

Summer 2014 Project Areas

(1) Intern:  Shelby Monahan; Mentor: Tamara Vanderwal, M.D.: The summer intern in the VanderLab will be trained to 1) run EEG sessions, 2) help run sessions in a simulated MRI magnet with young children, and 3) will also help run function MRI (fMRI) sessions with healthy adults. These projects focus on the use of movies to study functional brain activity in children and adults, and are attempting to determine whether or not it is possible to measure brain connectivity from movie-watching data rather than data collected during “rest,” and to evaluate the effects of movies on head motion. Intern jobs include recruitment, organizing study materials, running EEG sessions, performing literature searches if indicated, and learning about fMRI.

(2) Interns:  Christine Carlone, Abigail Immanuel; Mentor: Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.: This project will focus on examining EEG data and exploring individual differences at the level of addiction as well as clinical symptoms, including depression and anxiety in mothers and non-mothers. Interns will learn how to collect as well as process EEG data. Interns will be exposed to the neuroscience of parenting and how substance use and abuse may impact parenting behavior. Interns will also gain experience in other aspects of parenting research.

(3) Intern: Litton Whitaker; Mentors: Kasia Charwarska, Ph.D. and Fred Shic, Ph.D.: This project covers studies of toddlers with Autism and other developmental disorders using behavioral and neurobehavioral methods to investigate the complex interplay between autism symptoms and emotion processing in early development.

(4) Intern: Matson Conrad; Mentor: Ifat Levy, Ph.D.: The summer intern will be involved in studying decision-making under uncertainty in humans. This will include contributing to study design, running subjects in behavioral and fMRI settings and analyzing the data.

(5) Interns: Natalie Jones and Zola Chihombori Quao; Mentor: Megan Smith, Ph.D.: Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems as well as parenting difficulties in part secondary to their social isolation. This project focuses on developing new strategies for enhancing social networks among pregnant women and their access to medical and mental health services for themselves and their infants. Some of these new strategies include using web-based and smart phone technologies. Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, coordinating focus groups among parents, and designing models for web-based platforms to enhance social connectedness among new mothers.

(6) Intern: Olivia Glascoe; Mentors: Lois Sadler, Ph.D. and Arietta Slade, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will work in a home-based intervention project for first time at-risk mothers and their infants (Minding the Baby project) This project exposes interns to home-based intervention work with families and with the principles of intensive, long-term work with families and how to study the effectiveness of such interventions. 

(7) Interns: Lauren Vasquez and Michael Lord; Mentor: Michael Crowley, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will be involved in recruiting and assessment for a neuroimaging study of avoidance in children. The intern will also be learning about the acquisition and analysis of bio-signals (EEG, HR, startle) for studies of emotion and motivation in children and families. 

(8) Intern: Hannah Morgan; Mentor: Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D.: Dr. Sukhodolsky is currently conducting a study of neural mechanisms of behavioral therapy for aggression in children. This study enrolls children with a range of neuropsychiatric disorders in accordance with the Research Domain Criteria project of the National Institute of Mental Health. Children complete neuroimaging and electrophysiological experiments before and after treatment to examine changes in neural circuitry of emotion regulation and social perception associated with reduction in aggression. Summer intern will work with the multidisciplinary team conducing this study and will learn about clinical research in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific responsibilities will include help with guiding subjects through clinical assessments, data management, and literature reviews on study related topics. 

(9) Intern: Isabelle Hermantin; Mentor: Kimberly Yonkers, M.D.: The intern in this position will work on project MISA which is an implementation study evaluating 3 methods to implement motivational interviewing in a general medical setting. There are 3 arms to the study. The first is a seminary only group, the second is seminar plus bedside supervision and the third is seminar plus placing an inpatient consult. The target population is hospitalized patients who have a substance abuse or dependence problem.

(10) Intern: Eliana Cohen; Mentor: Kimberly Yonkers, M.D.: The intern in this position will work on project Start, which is a screening and brief intervention project for women who have a substance abuse or dependence problem. Women are screened for substance misuse and those who screen positive are randomized to a motivational interview administered by a clinician or to a motivational interview administered by computer or to a pamphlet control condition.  Participants are followed up at 1, 3 and 6 months.

(11) Intern: Katie Arnone; Mentor: Steve Nagler: Serious Fun, Camps for children with serious illness:  The challenge for the continued success and growth of every non-profit is to strike the right balance between strengthening existing operations and exploring new opportunities. “What are we good at?” “How can we get better?” “Where and how can we have the most impact? By combining program innovation and evaluation, the Program Innovation and Evaluation, (PIE) Department of the SeriousFun Children’s Network addresses these questions in a 360 degree fashion, i.e., outcomes evaluations lead to innovation by determining how existing member camp and Global Partnership programs/activities are performing, thus informing areas for potential innovation; and innovations are evaluated in order to bring to light those with potential for replication within the Network. In preparation for a study of the psycho-social impact of camp on former campers who are now in their early 20s (+ or -), the intern working with Serious Fun this summer will research and write a literature review on the psychosocial effects of cancer and other serious illness on young adults and on the findings of previous studies regarding interventions that address these effects. The intern may also assist in the design and development of monitoring and evaluation protocols for forthcoming innovation grants for member camps of the Network.  The Network is always trying to come up with engaging, accessible ways to present data and findings to our stakeholders – board members, donors, staff from member camps, the public. It will be very helpful for the summer Intern to accept the challenge of creating “infographics”.

(12) Interns: Colton Treadwell, Daxi Liang, and Cortez Brown; Mentors: Brian Harel, Ph.D. and Jason Cromer, Ph.D., Supervisors at Cogstate: Cogstate is a private small business based in Australia and New Haven that develops web-based neuropsychological tests for children and adults. Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a private health-based company.

(13) Intern: James Carmichael; Mentor: Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.: Consciousness is central to human life, allowing people to experience and respond to the world. The Blumenfeld laboratory investigates the brain when consciousness is impaired by epileptic seizures. They use brain imaging techniques, electrical measurements and testing of behavior. By understanding the mechanisms of consciousness, the research group aims to restore normal consciousness to patients with epilepsy and other brain disorders. The intern in this position will be exposed to the evaluation of epileptic patients as well as the detailed study of brain activity during epileptic seizures.

(14) Intern: Christopher Horacek; Mentor: Thomas Fernandez, M.D., Ph.D.: The intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects and learning opportunities: (1) seeing patients and keeping records for a medication clinical trial in Tourette syndrome, (2) Gathering clinical data from patient records for a genetic study of obsessive-compulsive disorder, (3) genetics laboratory bench work to discover rare genetic variants in patients with Tourette syndrome and motor stereotypies, (4) shadowing child psychiatrists and psychologists during patient clinical evaluations in the Yale Tic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialty Clinic

(15) Intern: Smita  Bhattacharya;  Mentors: Nancy Suchman, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Cindy DeCoste, M.S and Lourdes De Las Heras, M.S., Project Directors: Working with Parents with Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders: The intern in this position will learn about an innovative parenting intervention for mothers with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. Mothering from the Inside Out (MIO) is a brief, supportive, mentalization-based psychotherapy that has the primary focus of helping mothers with their parenting alongside the standard outpatient drug treatment and psychiatric services that they are receiving in the community. Currently, in a second five-year research phase funded by the National Institute of Health, MIO is being evaluated against a comparison Parent Education program in a randomized clinical trial. Interns will learn about addiction, psychiatric disorders, parenting interventions, attachment, child development, and assessments used in evaluating the effectiveness of parenting interventions. They will have the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day activities of the program and to attend weekly clinical supervision meetings focused on clinical issues related to patient care and supportive guidance and professional development for staff. 

(16) Intern: Aimee Chase;  Mentors: Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW: Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families: In this experience, interns will learn about delivering mental health services to families and their children within the IICAPS model, an intensive home-based model designed to minimize risk for repeat hospitalization for mental health difficulties.  Along with IICAPS there are other In-home models that are coordinated by Ms. Adnopoz and her colleagues which include: Family Based Recovery, Intensive Family Preservation, Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy, and Positive Interventions for Families Affected by HIV/AIDS. Interns will learn about the In-home models and ways to understand behavior within family systems.  Interns will also learn about evaluation of the effectiveness of these intervention approaches.

(17) Intern: Angelica DeFreitas; Mentors: Nicole Landi, Ph.D., Julia Irwin, Ph.D., and Jessica Whittle: In this study interns will learn how to assess very young children who are at risk for developmental and learning disabilities, including autism using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (NIRS and EEG) and behavioral assessments of developmental and language milestones.

(18) Intern: Zachary Stuckelman; Mentor: Michael Bloch, M.D.: The intern in this position will work with Dr. Bloch with his studies on several patient populations including individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM). The intern will learn about treatments for these conditions in children and adults and on the predictors of long-term outcome.

(19) Intern: Megan Mastey; Mentor: Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D.: The intern in this position will work on projects relating to adolescent smoking and interventions to impact smoking in young people. The intern will learn both about the science of nicotine as well as accomplishing an intervention program embedded in schools. Additionally, the intern will learn about the emerging regulatory policies about nicotine marketing to different populations.

(20) Intern: Simey Emerson-Hernandez; Mentor: Christopher Pittenger, Ph.D.:  The intern in this position will be exposed to work wit patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and learn about animal models that aim to elucidate the mechanisms of learned automatic behaviors seen in OCD. The intern will learn about the translation of basic science to better treatments for OCD and other neuropsychiatric conditions.

(21) Intern: Paige Brennan; Mentor: Mary Gunsalus, Ph.D., Child Psychiatry Inpatient Unit: The intern in this position will be working on the child psychiatry inpatient unit school. The intern’s roles will be to support teachers with diagnostic-prescriptive teaching/cognitive-behavioral plans/adaptive functioning within a therapeutic classroom located on the inpatient school. The intern will also interact with multidisciplinary clinical team members and will learn about educational assessment and intervention in a mental health setting.

(22) Intern: Paige Brennan; Mentor: Walter Gilliam, Ph.D. (Preschool Education Policy): The intern in this position will be assisting on a variety of projects regarding early childhood development, early education and policy. The intern will be assisting to develop a new test of for measuring development in young children, revising and validating an observational measure of the “mental health climate” of early care and education centers, assisting with analyses of the effectiveness of mental health consultation for preschool teachers, and other similar projects.

(23) Intern: Paige Brennan; Mentor: Carla Horwitz, Ph.D. (Calvin Hill Early Childhood Education Center): The intern in this placement will have experience working in a early childhood program with master teachers and learning the principles of child development as put into action in a high quality early childhood classroom.

(24) Interns: James Carmichael and Zola Chihombori Quao;  Mentor: Brent VanderWyk, Ph.D. (Processing of Biological Motion):  Specific neural circuits for processing biological motion of other humans are theorized to play a critical role in mentalizing and empathy. However, little is known about how this circuitry adapts to process the unique biological motion patterns of young infants. In this project we aim 1) to develop a novel stimulus set of point-light-displays of human infant motion, 2) use behavioral, eye-tracking, and cognitive neuroscience methods to explore the processing of these stimuli in parents and non-parents.

(25) Intern: Hallie Crosby; Mentors: Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D., Linda Mayes, M.D. , and Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.: (Neuroimaging studies of addiction  in mothers):  Accumulating research is evidencing the disregulation of stress and reward neural circuits in addiction. Critically these same brain regions seem to underscore maternal responding. There may therefore be a neurobiological through which addiction impacts parenting. This intern opportunity will involve learning about neuroimaging research and its application to maternal addiction – in the context of two ongoing neuroimaging studies being conducted at Yale.  

 

Summer 2013 Project Areas

(1) A study of adolescent risk taking and emotional avoidance (Michael Crowley, Ph.D. and Linda Mayes, M.D., supervisors): In this study, interns learn about negative reinforcement and how to assess emotional avoidance using both behavioral tasks and electrophysiology.

(2) A treatment study of attention deficit disorder (Tamara Vanderwal, M.D., supervisor): In this study, interns learn about designing a pharmacologic treatment study with a placebo control group and about following treatment response over an eight week window. Interns in this position also learn about using electroencephalography to study attentional processes in children.

(3) Adolescent response to stress (Michael Crowley, Ph.D., supervisor): In this study, interns learn about how to assess adolescent stress response in a laboratory setting and how to score emotional regulatory behaviors in both individual children and parents and in family interactions.

(5) Neurocognitive and language development in children birth to 5 yrs (Nicole Landi, Ph.D., supervisor): In this study interns will learn how to assess very young children who are at risk for developmental and learning disabilities using both cognitive neuroscience techniques (NIRS and EEG) and behavioral assessments of developmental and language milestones.

(6) Resilient behaviors among children with serious illness (Steve Nagler, Ph.D. and Linda Mayes, M.D., supervisors): Interns will participate in assessments of children and their families prior to their attending a summer camp especially designed for children suffering from serious illness. Interns will learn about concepts of resilience and stress as growth promoting.

(7) Individual differences in parental response to infant cries (Helena Rutherford, Ph.D., supervisor): This project uses a simulated computer baby to study parental stress in response to infant cries and individual differences in that response. Interns will learn about assessment of parental behaviors and about the concept of parental attachment. 

(8) A home-based intervention project for first time at-risk mothers and their infants (Minding the Baby project) (Lois Sadler, Ph.D., and Arietta Slade, Ph.D., supervisors): This project exposes interns to home-based intervention work with families and with the principles of intensive, long-term work with families and how to study the effectiveness of such interventions.

(9) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Michelle Hampson, Ph.D., Denis Sukhodolsky, Ph.D., supervisors):  This project is focused on developing a set of stimuli that provoke symptoms in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and running pilot studies on the stimuli. With the pilot studies we hope to confirm that the stimuli induce symptoms in a transient fashion in children with OCD, but that they are also well-tolerated by the children. In the long term, these sets are intended to be used in real-time fMRI neurofeedback studies that train children with OCD to control the brain patterns associated with their symptoms.  

 (10) Developing a resilience curriculum for families and school aged children (Steven Southwick, M.D. and Linda Mayes, M.D., supervisors): In this project, interns learn about working in partnership with private industry (Scholastic Publishing) to develop a curriculum for implementation in schools that encourages specific skills to foster resilience.

 (11) Developing Neuropsychological Tests for Children (Brian Harel, Ph.D., supervisor at Cogstate): Cogstate is a private small business based in Australia and New Haven that develops web-based neuropsychological tests for children and adults. Involved in clinical trials around the world and in longitudinal studies of child development, Cogstate offers interns the experience to learn more about neuropsychological assessments in children and about the interface between neurodevelopmental research in a biomedical setting and work in a private health-based company.

(12) Understanding the Neural Circuitry of Parenting (Linda Mayes, M.D., Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D., and Helena Rutherford, Ph.D., supervisors): This project uses neuroimaging and electroencephalography to study parental response to salient infant cues such as cries or facial emotional expressions. The focus of this program of research is to understand changes in neural response on the birth of an infant and to study the impact of psychiatric conditions such as substance abuse or depression on parental neural circuitry. Interns in this project will learn about neuroimaging and about the neural basis of parenting. They will also gain experience using behavioral and EEG assessments.

(13) Enhancing social networking and social support in new parents (Megan Smith, Ph.D. and Linda Mayes, M.D., supervisors): Low-income new mothers are at greater risk for a range of mental health problems as well as parenting difficulties in part secondary to their social isolation. This project focuses on developing new strategies for enhancing social networks among pregnant women and their access to medical and mental health services for themselves and their infants. Some of these new strategies include using web-based and smart phone technologies. Interns in this program will learn about working in community settings, coordinating focus groups among parents, and designing models for web-based platforms to enhance social connectedness among new mothers.

 (14) Toddlers and Infants at Risk For Autism (Kasia Chawarska, Ph.D., supervisor):  Studies of younger siblings of children with autism using both behavioral and eye-tracking methods explore whether or not there are specific social cognitive markers evident prior to the emergence of symptoms of autism in very young children.

(15) Developing Mirror Neuron System in Infants (Tammy Vanderwal, M.D., Ph.D., supervisor): The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a network of neurons that automatically respond when a person performs an action and when a person watches someone else perform an action. In this way, they perform a fascinating integration in the brain that has researchers excited about things like social cognition and empathy. This study aims to elicit brain signals associated with mirror neuron activity in both a quick, "impulse" based way, and to test whether or not mirror neuron activity changes brain activity in a longer, more sustained way. We are also testing the effects of audio-visual dysynchrony on mirror neuron functioning. The goal is to test 20-25 healthy adults, ages 18-24, using dense-array EEG, over the course of the summer.

 (16) Working with substance abusing parents (Nancy Suchman, Ph.D., Monica Ordway, supervisors): Interns in this position learn about an innovative clinical model delivering care to substance using mothers. Mothering from the Inside Out helps substance using mothers with their parenting as the primary focus of intervention alongside standard drug treatment services. Interns in this position learn about addiction, psychiatry, parenting interventions, and assessing the effectiveness of intervention programs. Work this summer specifically focuses on refining mentalization or mindfulness approaches to working with mothers and infants.

(17) Providing Home-Based Mental Health Services to Children and Families (Jean Adnopoz, M.P.H. and Virginia Zecchini, MSW, supervisor): In this experience, interns will learn about delivering mental health services to families and their children in intensive home-based models designed to minimize risk for repeat hospitalization for mental health difficulties. A related model coordinated by Ms. Adnopoz and her colleagues is a home-based intervention program for substance-using parents.  Interns will also learn about evaluation the effectiveness of these intervention approaches.

(18) Reward Sensitivity and Adolescent Marijuana Use (Christopher Hammond, M.D., supervisor): This project investigates the relationship between individual differences in reward sensitivity and adolescent marijuana use. Using electroencephalography, the project focuses on key components of neural response to reward prediction. 

(19) Adolescent Smoking (Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D.): In this project, interns will learn about interventions with adolescents and young adults for smoking and how to evaluate outcomes of treatment studies.

(20) Neural Basis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Christopher Pittenger, Ph.D.): In this project, the intern learns about animal models of a complex psychiatric disorder and about using animal models to understand the neural circuitry of OCD.

(21) Relationship Between Prenatal Stress and Adverse Outcome in Offspring (Hanna Stevens, M.D.): This project uses animal models to study stress during pregnancy and the impact on brain development in offspring. Closely paralleling ongoing human studies, this project will introduce interns to translational research and the general area of chronic stress and long-term health outcomes.

(22) Neural Correlates of Affective Touch (Helena Rutherford, Ph.D.): This project uses EEG/ERP to examine the neural correlates of affective touch in parents and non-parents while at rest as well as while engaged with visual stimuli. Interns will learn how to collect and analyze EEG/ERP data.

(23) Neurocognitive Functioning in Children with Cancer (Nina Kadan-Lottick, M.D.):  This project focuses on the neurocognitive outcomes of children treated for cancer  and quality of life and family stressors for children with cancer.

(24) Outpatient Mental Health Services for Children and Families (Chris Dauser, Ph.D.):  In this experience, interns learn about the day to day delivery of mental health services for children and their families and the organization of a child guidance clinic.

(25) Social Policies for Early Childhood Health and Development (Walter Gilliam, Ph.D.): In this area of work, interns will be exposed to early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems.

(26) The Impact of Stress and Stress-Reducing Interventions (Rajita Sinha, Ph.D.):  In this area, interns learn the effects of stress on behavior and neurobiological systems and the development of effective addiction prevention and treatment strategies that target stress and emotion regulation in individuals both at-risk for and those with addiction problems.