Current Lab Members
Jonathan Blumenthal, MA, is a Research Psychologist. His degree is from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the Project Coordinator for several alcohol, drug, and ADHD studies. He came to the Child Psychiatry Branch in 1997 to oversee the collaboration with Montreal Neurological Institute, which focused on automated measures of brain anatomy using MRI. He then became the Project Coordinator of the Study of Sex Chromosome Variations, including Klinefelter Syndrome and Trisomy X Syndrome that explored the effects of chromosomes on brain development. He is now the Research Coordinator for the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit.
Liv Clasen, PhD, is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology program at The George Washington University. She is the Data Manager for the branch.
Cassandra Dumont, BS, graduated from Salem State University in 2016 with a major in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she completed research on the psychological effect of external auditory stimuli present during sleep and presented this research at the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference. After graduating, Cassandra went on to complete an independent study at Harvard University focusing on genetic associations with mood disorders. She also interned in a laboratory at Harvard Medical School researching the effect of PTSD on sleep quality and fear extinction. Cassandra joined the Human Genetics Branch as a shared Post-Baccalaureate IRTA in both the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit and the Genetic Basis of Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She plans to pursue a PhD in Genetics or Neuroscience, and hopes to become a researcher and a professor.
François M. Lalonde, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist working on the advancement of MRI neuroimaging methods and technologies that can be applied to study brain development and decline through the lifespan. Majoring in psychobiology, he graduated with distinction from McGill University, and then obtained an M.A. from The George Washington University and his Ph.D from Howard University, both in neuropsychology. He is a licensed psychologist with expertise in geriatric as well as pediatric neuropsychological assessment. After 30 years of service, Dr. Lalonde retired this past year from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service at the rank of Captain.
Siyuan Liu, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist in the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit. He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With a focus on neuroimaging, he completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco and a research fellowship at NIDCD. He is interested in studying the typical development of brain structures and functions, and abnormal changes in X and Y chromosome aneurploides, and how these abnormalities are associated with clinical symptoms and genetic factors.
Cassidy McDermott, BA, graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a major in Neuroscience and minors in Education and Spanish. At Dartmouth, she completed a senior thesis on math anxiety and emotion regulation. Cassidy joined the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit as a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in summer 2017. Following her time at the NIMH, she plans to pursue a degree in clinical psychology.
Ajay Nadig, B.A. is a 2017 graduate of Northwestern University with majors in Neuroscience and Philosophy. He is presently a Post-Baccalaureate IRTA in the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit. In the future, he hopes to pursue an M.D.Ph.D. and work as a physician-scientist, with particular focus on the neurobiology of affective behavior in health and disease.
Armin Raznahan, MD, PhD, is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and Chief of the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit. His research combines neuroimaging, genomic and bioinformatic techniques to better understand the architecture of human brain development in health, and in neurogenetic disorders that increase risk for psychiatric symptoms. Clinically, Dr. Raznahan works as a Child Psychiatrist within the NIH Clinical Center Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service. He has a degree in Medicine and a PhD in Biological Psychiatry from King’s College University London, UK. He has completed residencies in pediatrics and psychiatry, and a specialist fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London, UK.
Kirk Reardon, AB, is a pre-doctoral research fellow under the Oxford/Cambridge-NIH joint doctoral program. He is currently studying structural brain development in health and sex-chromosome aneuploidy. He is concurrently a medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Jakob Seidlitz, BS, is a pre-doctoral IRTA in the NIH-Oxford/Cambridge doctoral program. Along with Dr. Ed Bullmore at Cambridge, he is currently using functional and structural MRI to examine the neurobiological trajectories of cortical and subcortical brain structures from childhood through adolescence.
Erin Torres, MSN, CRNP-PMH is a Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who received her degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore in May of 2014. She has been working as a nurse practitioner in private practice since November of last year. She has been working as a clinical research nurse for almost 7 years on the pediatric behavioral health unit at the National Institutes of Health. She has been a registered nurse since August 2002 and received her Bachelors of Science from Hampton University in May 2002. The majority of her nursing career has been in various psychiatric settings, but she also has experience working in the emergency department and in pediatrics. She will be conducting physical exams and nursing assessments for the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit.
Mani Yavi, MD, is a currently a psychiatry resident at Saint Elizabeths hospital, with a strong background in scientific research and his interests in neuroscience has led him to seek mentorship at NIH in Dr. Raznahan’s lab, where he is applying bioinformatics models to large longitudinal neuroimaging datasets to determine white matter variations and neural tract impacts of sex-differences, allometry, and structure-function relationships within the central nervous system. Mani completed his bachelors from UC Berkeley with a dual degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Studio Art. Prior to medical school, he was doing research at UCSF one the genetic of eye development and the optico-neural circuits. Mani graduated from SUNY Upstate medical university and completed a year of internal medicine there before moving to Washington DC, where he plans on pursuing a career in academic psychiatry.
Aaron Alexander-Bloch MD, PhD, studied philosophy of mind at Harvard College and completed a Masters in computational biology at the University of Cambridge. His MD/PhD training was a collaboration between the UCLA School of Medicine, the University of Cambridge, and the Child Psychiatry Branch at NIMH, through the NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. His PhD research used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging to study typical development and childhood-onset schizophrenia, with a particular focus on network models of the brain and structure-function relationships. At Cambridge, he was supervised by Prof Ed Bullmore. At NIMH, he was supervised by Jay Giedd and collaborated closely with Armin Raznahan. Currently a psychiatry resident at Yale in the Neuroscience Research Training Program, he continues to be interested in brain imaging and the application of computational methods to psychiatry.
Prableen K. Chowdhary is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park obtaining a dual degree in neurobiology and biochemistry. She is a part of the Gemstone Honors Program on a 10-member team researching hematopoietic stem cell differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells. She spent Summer 2016 as a student intern in The Developmental Neurogenomics Unit of the Child Psychiatry Branch. Prableen hopes to pursue a PhD in neuroscience and research neurodegenerative disorders and mental illnesses.
Alexander Denker BA graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2013 with a concentration in “The Neuroscience of Art.” Alexander built his concentration by combining the coursework of a neuroscience major with courses in the cultural theory of art and music. As a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Recipient, he worked under the supervision of Drs. Jay Giedd and Armin Raznahan. He is currently in a doctoral student in the Neuroscience and Animal Behavior Program at Emory University.
Ari M. Fish, BSc, is a 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Psychology and a minor in Economics. After graduating, he worked for one year as the lab manager/ research assistant of the Mechanisms of Disinhibition laboratory at Yale University. He joined the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit in July, 2015. During his time at the NIH, he published a first-authored manuscript in Cerebral Cortex examining the role of sex chromosome dosage on gyrification of the human cortex. He is in the process of completing his second project with the lab, which is a longitudinal analysis of amygdalo-hippocampal development in healthy adolescents. Ari is currently attending the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program at Goucher College in preparation for medical school.
Alli Hanley, MHS, learned a new skill set working on several neuroimaging projects including a novel use for magnetization transfer imaging, and writing the first quantitative study of brain matter in 48, XXYY syndrome. The latter study was presented at the Society for Neuroscience 2015 conference and was published in NeuroImage: Clinical. After leaving the Branch, she hiked the Appalachian Trail before beginning a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Maryland.
Erika Hinkle is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology, with minors in Spanish Language and Human Development. At the University of Maryland, she works as a research assistant for the Preschool Shyness Study, which is a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study analyzing early intervention programs for inhibited preschool-aged children. She is studying body composition in sex chromosome aneuploidies as a summer student in the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit. Erika plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in the future.
Amy Lin graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Neuroscience in 2012. While at the Child Psychiatry Branch, Amy published a paper with Dr. Armin Raznahan that mapped brain asymmetry in people with sex chromosome aneuploidies. She presented the work at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping conference in Hamburg, Germany. She will begin a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience at UCLA in the fall of 2015.
Catherine M. Mankiw, AB, is a 2014 graduate of Princeton University with a major in Economics and a cross-disciplinary minor in Ethics. She was a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit of the Child Psychiatry Branch. Catherine is currently at Harvard Medical School.
Anastasia G. Xenophontos, BS, is 2016 graduate of the University of Michigan with a major in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. She spent the past two years as a Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow in the Developmental Neurogenomics Unit conducting research on sex chromosome dosage effects on cortical morphology. Anastasia is currently at Georgetown University School of Medicine.