Our Team

Michael Milham, MD, PhD

is the director of the Healthy Brain Network. He is a board-certified adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. He is a research psychiatrist at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, an internationally recognized expert in open science and neuroimaging, and the founding director of the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Milham has been a leader in using open science to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. Dr. Milham received his PhD in cognitive neuroscience and MD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Milham completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at New York University. Dr. Milham is the Principal Investigator for the Healthy Brain Network, NKI Rockland Sample, and the Longitudinal Pediatric Rockland Sample.

Lindsay Alexander, MPH

is the research operations manager for  the Child Mind Institute.  She provides critical operations support across multiple CMI initiatives including the Healthy Brain Network and the EMR Discovery Science study. Lindsay earned her BA in Psychology from CUNY Hunter College and completed an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the CUNY Hunter College School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on the field of psychiatric epidemiology.

Daniel Sebbag, LCSW

is the project director for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. Daniel has an extensive background in clinical social work as well as administrative operations in behavioral health and hospital environments. He brings these experiences and skills to his role in ensuring that projects are run efficiently and with operational excellence.

Daniel completed his master’s degree in social work at Yeshiva University and is currently in the dissertation phase of his doctorate degree there in social welfare. His doctoral research focuses on the intersection of physical and behavioral health, and improving individuals overall health through behavioral health interventions.

Daniel has practiced as an LCSW for over 10 years, and came to Child Mind Institute from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he was the project lead in analytics for numerous operational improvement projects. Daniel has also worked on nationwide behavioral health and clinical operations improvement projects while working as a strategist at Cerner, a Health Information Technology company with health-related software, solutions, services and healthcare consulting branches.

Marijayne “Mj” Bushey

is a research marketing specialist at the Healthy Brain Network.  She does outreach to let parents know that participating in this study

  • can deliver valuable information that may help their child with behavior, development, learning and mental health disorders, and
  • allows families to play an active role in building a world where their children can be happy, healthy and reach their full potential.

Mj is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. Over the last 20 plus years, she has coordinated and managed research projects at Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Kings County Hospital/SUNY Downstate, and conducted marketing effort analysis for digital marketing gurus Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.

Joseph Gebbie, MSEd, MPS

is the data operations manager for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. Joseph has experience working in the field of higher education for over 15 years, including high level administrative roles. Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge to his role in developing office efficiency and processes.

Joseph holds two Master of Science in Education degrees from Hofstra University and a Master of Professional Studies degree from St. John’s University. His specialties are counseling and policy studies.

Data Management and Analysis

Lei Ai, MS, PhD

is the neuroimaging data analyst (NDA) in the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute, where he primarily oversees the collection, organization, quality assurance and sharing of EEG, fMRI and eye-tracking data obtained through CMI studies. He works collaboratively to develop neuroimaging research project plans and implement project protocols and operational plans.

Lei received his Master of Biomedical Engineering from Zhejiang University in China before completing a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Ai was involved in several research projects studying spontaneous brain oscillations on sensory perception using EEG, and fast event-related optical signals. His dissertation focused on the effect of spontaneous brain alpha oscillations on weak touch perception and multisensory integration between touch and vision.

Minji Kang

is a clinical data analyst for the Healthy Brain Network, where she is responsible for data analysis, development and management. She graduated cum laude from Smith College with a double major in statistics and data sciences and psychology. She has prior experience with psychological research and data science projects from her time at Smith College. Her psychological research focused on false belief understanding in children and intergroup behavior. Her data science experience includes machine learning, data wrangling and data visualization. Combining her passion for psychology and data sciences, she wants to utilize scientific, data-driven methods to make an impact on the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.

Yao (Mike) Xiao

is a data analyst with the Healthy Brain Network who works on neuroimaging data processing and analysis under the supervision of Dr. Lei Ai. He also will work on actigraphy data as well as mobile self-assessment data collected from the Mindlogger platform. Before coming to the Child Mind Institute, Yao was a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health for Dr. Kathleen Merikangas. His work focused on visualization, analysis and statistical methodology for ecological momentary assessment data and actigraphy. He works primarily in R and has experience in Shiny app development. Yao has a bachelor’s degree in quantitative science with a concentration in neuroscience from Emory University, and is interested in pursuing graduate studies in the field of biostatistics. He is passionate about mental health, mobile technologies and developing better tools for understanding data and communicating results for both researchers and the general public.

Intake

Justin Saranovic

is a senior intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network. Justin’s primary duties involve acting as a liaison between parents and the clinical and research teams, and supervising the intake team. Justin has previously conducted mental health research as an undergraduate at Rutgers University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology and human resources. He is also an active crisis counselor volunteer with the Crisis Text Line.

Brian Fradera

divides his time between the Child Mind Institute Facilities team and the Healthy Brain Network. In his role as intake coordinator with The Healthy Brain Network, he interfaces with families interested in participating in the study to answer questions they may have, collect background information, and schedule appointments. Brian, born and raised in New York, is especially committed to advocating for those with mental health and learning disorders. His previous work experience includes being a Crew Leader for the U.S. Census Bureau, and a Special Education Teacher’s Monitor with the Eastchester Union Free School District.

Beatrice Hirsch

is an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the City University of New York at Hunter College.

In her time at Hunter College, Beatrice worked as a peer advisor, where she provided academic advising to incoming and current freshmen students. As an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network, she collects background information, schedules appointments, and is one of the primary points of contact for families interested in participating in the study. Beatrice is passionate about helping individuals navigate new situations, and empowering and advocating for the marginalized voices in her community.

Jasmine Paz

is an intake coordinator for the Healthy Brain Network. She serves as a primary point of contact for families interested in participating in the study, answering any questions they have, collecting their background information and setting up appointments. Originally from Houston, Texas, she studied the biological basis of behavior and gained an interest in mental health advocacy during her time at college. Her previous experience includes intake coordination at a psychotherapy private practice, mental health research through the Perelman School of Medicine, and peer counseling during her undergraduate career. Jasmine is passionate about supporting individuals as they begin their journey towards improved mental health.

Harlem Evaluation Center

Rebecca Neuhaus, PsyD

is a New York State licensed clinical neuropsychologist and clinical training and assessment manager for the Healthy Brain Network. She received her bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University and her doctorate in school psychology from St. John’s University. She holds a Bilingual Extension in which she acquired specialized training in providing culturally sensitive and evidence based psychological treatment for individuals of all backgrounds and ages. Dr. Neuhaus completed post-doctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology at the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital. There, she provided neuropsychological evaluations to over 100 low income families and worked with lawyers and the NYC Department of Education to implement services and ensure appropriate placement in the educational system.

Dr. Neuhaus worked as a school psychologist for several years in New York State, in a wide range of settings, including private, charter and public schools. Her experience and knowledge of the school system provides her with valuable insight into helping children with behavioral, emotional and learning challenges succeed. In addition to her expertise in providing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, she also has a strong background in educational advocacy, cognitive rehabilitation, culturally sensitive assessment and school-based mental health. As the clinical training supervisor for the study she manages the training of externs, post docs and current staff.

Cindy Gil, MSW

is the site operations manager for the Healthy Brain Network. Cindy brings an extensive background in clinical operations and administrative management to her role at the Child Mind Institute, where she will oversee the daily operations at the Harlem facility. She received her Masters of Social Work degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work while working for a behavioral health agency.

Cindy has clinical experience working with adults with mental illness and substance abuse in both residential and clinic settings. Her management and oversight of an Office of Mental Health-licensed Treatment Apartment Program, where she oversaw the delivery of clinical service to consumers through a trauma-informed approach, resulted in her team and program receiving a top tier certification from the Office of Mental Health within the first year of the program’s operation.

Cindy comes to the Child Mind Institute from Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, where she was the senior clinical applications support specialist. Her role focused on staff training and development as well as administrative oversight and implementation of the Cerner Behavioral Health electronic health record, ensuring production and maintenance of quality data and outcomes.

Camille A. Gregory

is the research and data supervisor for the Healthy Brain Network. She is primarily responsible for daily protocol operations, supervising research assistant staff, and collaboratively monitoring data quality. In addition to serving as a liaison between research and clinical staff, Camille continues to interface with our participating families, administering behavioral, psychological, and imaging batteries. Prior to this position she worked as a research assistant with HBN for one year, and has experience in several other academic laboratories at CUNY Brooklyn College, Princeton University, and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. She is passionate about scientific education and outreach, and her own interests lie in elucidating the neural circuits involved in decision making and motivation across development. Following her time at CMI, Camille plans to apply to a PhD program in neuroscience so she can continue to learn more about the human brain and its development.

Tabinda Abro

is a Participant Navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. Tabinda is responsible for scheduling appointments, collecting data and ensuring positive experiences for participants and families.

Tabinda’s interest in mental health began when she was an undergraduate student. After graduating college, Tabinda volunteered at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she helped patients and visitors with their inquiries. With Tabinda’s passion for children and mental health, she hopes to reduce the stigma around mental health disorders.

Michael Appelgren, PsyD, NCSP, ABSNP

is a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network. He earned his educational specialist’s degree in school psychology from Seton Hall University and received his doctoral training in school psychology with a concentration in cognitive-behavioral therapy and neuropsychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Appelgren completed a predoctoral internship with the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and Rutgers University. He has experience working with clients with a variety of diagnoses and challenges, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, personality disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, learning disorders, trauma and grief.

Dr. Appelgren is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and holds a diploma from the American Board of School Neuropsychology. In addition, Dr. Appelgren holds his school administrator’s certificate. He has experience working with students in general education and special education from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade in urban and suburban areas.

As a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network, Dr. Appelgren conducts psycho-educational assessments and intakes with study participants ranging from children, adolescents and young adults. Results from these evaluations are included as part of comprehensive feedback and referrals for families. He enjoys helping young people identify their strengths and overcome obstacles to social, emotional and academic functioning.

Eliza Brookman

is a social work intern with the Healthy Brain Network. In her role, Eliza assists with data collection, conducting psychosocial assessments and report writing.

 

Eliza has always had a passion for promoting positive mental health, especially among children and adolescents. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bucknell University and is currently working toward her master’s degree in social work at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.

 

Eliza has a background working in schools, primarily with children in special education programs. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a teacher’s assistant at a low-income school in rural Pennsylvania where she supported students’ needs and promoted positive social interactions. Most recently, she worked at Yachad’s IVDU Upper Girls’ School, a high school for girls with social, intellectual and learning disabilities. In this role, she provided individual counseling and ran social skills groups. At the Child Mind Institute, Eliza hopes to be a source of support for children and families struggling with mental health issues.

Diamond Camacho, MA

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for interacting with families, scheduling and follow-up of appointments, and data collection and entry. Diamond received her BA in developmental psychology from Manhattan College and her MA from the City University of New York. She previously worked for the Museum of Modern Art as a sales specialist for educational toys and books. More recently, Diamond interned with Children and Screens where she helped plan virtual workshops addressing contemporary parenting issues related to child and adolescent media use. Diamond has a passion for diverse children’s literature and her future plans include attaining her PhD and contributing to a more socially just world for youth and their families.

Carolyn “CC” Chadwick

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. She assists in conducting participant interviews and collecting data for research.

CC graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral neuroscience. During her time as an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant at the Memory and Aging Center at UC San Francisco, where she studied geriatric depression and the socio-emotional functioning of adults with various types of dementia. She also volunteered in a neuroscience lab and studied memory impairments following drug and alcohol exposure and subsequent amphetamine addiction.

CC’s interests include learning about mental health disorders and finding individualized treatments as well as studying psychophysiology, or how the brain interacts with the body and vice versa. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in neuropsychology.

Ramon Diah

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where his role includes assisting in the collection and entering of data and scoring assessments. Ramon graduated from Skidmore College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During his time there he worked as a research assistant in an early learning lab, studying children’s ability to retain new words and how young children organize their early word knowledge as they get older. He attended a meeting of the Cognitive Development Society in Portland, Oregon, where he presented his findings. Since his graduation, Ramon has worked as a research assistant at NYU Steinhardt, where he investigated children’s learning dispositions towards visual media. Ramon’s research interests include cognitive development and decision-making in children and adolescents. His goal is to obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and open his own practice while conducting psychological research.

Francesca Fernandez

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where her role includes enrolling participants, and administering and scoring assessments. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychological science at Colgate University. At Colgate, she was a research fellow and research assistant in a behavioral neuroscience lab. Her honors thesis investigated juvenile song birds and the potential for researchers to use them as an animal model for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders by studying the neurochemical processes behind social learning and memory. As an undergraduate, Francesca also gained clinical experience working with children in mental health facilities and familiarity with diagnostic criteria for autism through administering ADOS-2 evaluations.

Francesca is passionate about working to improve diagnostic tools and therapeutic options for children suffering from neurological and mental health disorders. Her research interests include the intersection between psychopathology and behavioral neuroscience. She plans to earn a doctoral degree within the field of clinical neuropsychology in order to improve the outcomes for as many children and families as possible.

Gabriela Fiszbein, LMSW

is an social worker for the Healthy Brain Network. She is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker. Gabriela obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northeastern University and a Master of Social Work from New York University. Gabriela has experience working as a therapist providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, families and groups. Gabriela has clinical experience working with a variety of mental health disorders in both outpatient and inpatient settings. In her role at the Healthy Brain Network, Gabriela conducts assessments with study participants and their families.

Katie Fitzgerald, Ed.M NCSP

is a school psychologist with national and New York State certification who works with the Healthy Brain Network. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Syracuse University and her master’s degrees in applied developmental psychology and educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Teachers College, Katie conducted comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations, including intakes and feedback, at the Dean Hope Center for Psychological Services. Katie has spent the past five years working in public schools in the greater New York City area as a building school psychologist and Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson. From this experience, she brings an extensive knowledge of the most common disabilities seen in schools, how they present in academic settings, and the most effective and practical interventions to help remediate the impacting factors of these disabilities within a school setting.

As a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network, Katie conducts psycho-educational assessments and intakes with study participants ranging from children, adolescents and young adults. Results from these evaluations will be included as part of comprehensive feedback and referrals with participating families.

Emily Hart, PhD

is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network.  Dr. Hart earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colgate University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. During her clinical internship at University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Hart completed rotations in an outpatient clinic, an inpatient unit, and a general pediatrics clinic. Following internship, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House of Hackensack University Medical Center, where she provided forensic evaluations and trauma-focused therapy to children and families affected by abuse and neglect. Dr. Hart has also conducted research on aggressive behavior and social cognition both in young children and emerging adults. She strives to maintain an integrative focus both in her research and clinical work.

As a clinical psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network, Dr. Hart conducts diagnostic evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults using a combination of interviews, self-report measures, and intelligence and achievement tests. She provides comprehensive reports, feedback and referrals to participating families. Dr. Hart also assists in community outreach efforts related to the project.

Emily Hunt, MEd, MA

is a clinical extern with the Healthy Brain Network. She has worked with children, adolescents, and young adults in community mental health centers and schools. She is trained in empirically supported assessment and treatment of children and adults and has experience conducting diagnostic interviews and assessments, as well as providing individual and group therapy and parent training. She most recently worked as a psychology extern at New York Presbyterian’s School-Based Health Program. Emily is presently pursuing her doctorate in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.

At the Healthy Brain Network, Emily conducts psychological evaluations of children and adolescents. She greatly enjoys working with children and supporting their academic, social and emotional needs to help them achieve their greatest potential.

Najé James

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for scheduling appointments, collecting data and ensuring positive experiences for study participants and their families. Najé received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, summa cum laude, from the Pennsylvania State University. As an undergraduate she worked on several research projects, presenting personal research at a university and a national conference. Najé also has volunteered as a co-investigator for a pilot study at Weill Cornell Medicine and has served as a volunteer teacher’s assistant for the Emotional Support Room at the Schuylkill Haven Elementary School, gaining experience working with children with ODD and other disorders. She is passionate about understanding child development and family influence, and is particularly interested in investigating how absentee black fathers influence the mental and behavioral state of young black women. Najé plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Danielle Kahn, LCSW

is a social work supervisor for the Health Brain Network. She is a board certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State. Danielle works directly with participants and their parents conducting psychosocial assessments and assisting with data collection. Danielle obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The George Washington University and a Masters of Social Work from New York University. Danielle has clinical experience working with children, adults and families with mental health disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and psychosocial stressors in both community-based and hospital settings.

Alexandra Klesin

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. Her responsibilities include research data collection, data management and assisting with the scoring of assessments and questionnaires.

Alexandra graduated from Mount Saint Mary College magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in philosophy. During her time as an undergrad, she interned at the Kaplan Career Academy, a school for children and adolescents (ages 12-21) who struggle with emotional and behavioral disorders. Under the supervision of the school social worker, Alexandra worked hands-on with the students, holding group therapy sessions and meditation sessions. After completing her degree, Alexandra continued working with youth, specifically children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as a part-time Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist. She created unique, safe and positive atmospheres to keep each child engaged in a program tailored to their individual needs.

Alexandra also interned as a research assistant for Dr. Valentina Hlebec and team at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences in the Center for Welfare Studies. She assisted Dr. Hlebec’s team on an international research and innovation project called “Me-We,” which focuses on promoting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent young carers (AYCs) and strengthening their resilience during their transition into adulthood through effective intervention plans.

Alexandra is devoted to helping youth affected by mental illnesses and learning disabilities overcome adversity and blossom in all areas of life. She wishes to pursue a combined degree in clinical and school psychology.

Dawn M. Kraut, MS

is a school psychologist with New York State certification who works for the Healthy Brain Network. Dawn brings a unique perspective to the team, built upon her experience as a seasoned educator and school psychologist. Throughout her career Dawn has dedicated herself to supporting students’ abilities to succeed academically, socially and emotionally. Her experience includes working in several public schools, both as a teacher and more recently as a school psychologist. She also founded Achievement Learning Center, an after-school supplemental education center in Larchmont, New York. Dawn brings over twenty years of experience in diagnostic and prescriptive intervention implementation. She possesses extensive knowledge about learning disabilities and how they manifest in the school setting, as well as substantial experience with parent and professional collaboration. At the Healthy Brain Network Dawn conducts psycho-educational assessments with study participants. Results from these evaluations are included as part of the comprehensive feedback given to participating families.

Amanda Lewis, M.A., M.S., NCSP

is a school psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network. Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Texas Christian University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Golden Gate University and a master’s degree in school psychology from St. John’s University. Amanda did a postgraduate internship at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, where she provided psychotherapy, crisis intervention and case management. As part of her third year at St. John’s University, Amanda completed an internship with the Ardsley Union Free School District. During her internship, Amanda conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations, Functional Behavioral Assessments, and Behavioral Intervention Plans, as well as facilitated both group and individual research-based counseling.

As an associate school psychologist, Amanda administers, scores and interprets psychoeducational assessments in collaboration with the team at HBN. Amanda is passionate about family dynamics and understanding parent-child and parent-school interactions. She is also interested in research on how those interactions contribute to a child’s social-emotional functioning and academic success.

T’yanna Maheia, BA

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in psychology, from City College University. T’yanna has extensive experience working with young children as a preschool teacher. During that time she worked to aide young children in developing critical cognitive, emotional and social skills. Recently she began working with a multidisciplinary team to assess the developmental progression of children with traumatic brain injuries. T’yanna is currently working on her master’s degree at Northcentral University, studying child and adolescent developmental psychology. Her goals are to purse her doctorate degree in neuropsychology and focus on the neurological impacts of childhood adversity.

Andrew Miele, B.A.

Andrew Miele is a clinical assessment and research extern at the Healthy Brain Network and a 3rd year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, child track, at St. John’s University. At St. John’s, he is a member of the Collaborative Health Research Integration Program lab run by Dr. Elizabeth Brondolo, and a behavioral medicine research fellow working at both Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and NYP-Queens. He is actively engaged in several projects focusing on health disparities, including a study modeling patterns of health care utilization among patients with alcohol use disorders.

Andrew worked for several years in child and adolescent community mental health in North Philadelphia. As a Clinical Assessment and Research extern at Child Mind, he will be working with the Healthy Brain Network under Drs. Neuhaus and Hart. In this role, he will be conducting intakes and administering neuropsychological test batteries.

Spencer Morenko

is a Research Assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. His responsibilities include assisting research staff with data collection and management, as well as ensuring a high-quality experience for research participants and their families.

Spencer graduated from Pitzer College with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science and Linguistics. As an undergraduate, he worked as a Research Assistant for a Cognition and Aging study, and wrote his thesis on aging and emotion cognition. During this time, he also worked as a Corps Member for Jumpstart’s early childhood literacy program.

Prior to working for the Healthy Brain Network, Spencer worked as a counselor for an after school education program. As a counselor, he assisted students (Ages 4-12) and their families meet specific educational and behavioral goals. Additionally, he worked as an Emergency Medical Technician here in New York City. As an EMT, Spencer assessed medical and psychiatric emergencies, ensured his patients received appropriate treatment, and provided a calming and reassuring environment.

Spencer is passionate about improving therapeutic treatments for children and young adults struggling with mental illness and learning disorders. His goals include completing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and working to increase accessibility to psychological services.

Kimberly Morgenbesser

is a social work intern with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in child and family studies at Syracuse University. Kimberly is currently working toward a master’s degree in social work at New York University. Prior to attending NYU, Kimberly worked for eight years at the Rebecca School, a private school in Manhattan for children with developmental delays. There, she gained experience working with children with mental illnesses as well as their families. Ultimately, her work there inspired her to become a social worker. Kimberly hopes to continue working with children with special needs and their families. She is excited to join the Healthy Brain Network and have the opportunity to be part of a major research study.

Katie Moskowitz

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where her role includes enrolling participants and administering and scoring assessments. Katie graduated from Colgate University Cum Laude while majoring in Psychology. At Colgate Katie was a research assistant in a social psychology lab and she wrote her thesis on personality trait extraversion and self-expansion in individuals. Katie has always been passionate about working with children. She is very interested in child psychopathology, specifically the impact of early intervention and effective experimental therapeutic treatments. Katie hopes to gain clinical and research experience through her role as a research assistant. She plans to earn a doctoral degree in clinical child psychology and pursue a career dedicated to helping children and families.

Kelly Scolaro, LMSW

 is a social worker for the Healthy Brain Network. She is a board-certified Licensed Master Social Worker in New York State. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo and a master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. After graduate school, she completed a certificate program in child and adolescent psychotherapy at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. Kelly has clinical experience working with children, adolescents and their families living with diverse mental health disorders and psychosocial challenges, and has experience working in mental health clinics and schools. As a social worker with the Healthy Brain Network, Kelly conducts psychosocial assessments with youth and their families.

Anna Smith, LCSW

is a social work supervisor with the Healthy Brain Network. She is a a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She obtained a bachelor degree from Marist College and a graduate degree from Adelphi University, both in social work. Anna has clinical experience working with adults, children and families affected by mental health disorders, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, homelessness and medical conditions across a variety of health care settings. In her role at the Healthy Brain Network, Anna assists with data collection and providing feedback on findings to the participants.

Staten Island Evaluation Center

Amy Racanello, MSEd, PhD

is a New York State licensed clinical neuropsychologist and the clinical manager for the Healthy Brain Network. Dr. Racanello holds a master’s degree and advanced certificate in school psychology from Brooklyn College, and she earned a second master’s degree and doctoral degree from the Educational Psychology Department at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Racanello completed her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Columbia University Medical Center, and she was the DeHirsch-Robinson Fellow at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center. She has extensive training and experience conducting comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and specializes in evaluating individuals with complex learning difficulties, as well as those with behavioral and emotional dysregulation.

Dr. Racanello is a professor of neuropsychology at the School Psychologist Graduate Program at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Her publications focus on fuzzy set psychometrics in social and behavioral sciences, as well as the relationship between chronic otitis media, language development and academic performance. Dr. Racanello is interested in the development of evaluations that effectively assess the neurocognitive underpinnings of mathematics. As Clinical Manager, she conducts evaluations, supervises the Staten Island-based clinical team, and ensures the office runs per research protocol.

Victoria Castagna, MS

is an associate clinical evaluator for the Healthy Brain Network office in Staten Island. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in neuroscience from the College of Staten Island. During her graduate studies, Victoria worked in a neuroscience research lab that focused on understanding the uniqueness of the naked mole-rat. She helped create a novel imaging approach by rendering whole brain samples optically transparent with the addition of a Golgi stain in order to compare the neurons of naked mole-rats to other species.  She is responsible for enrolling participants, conducting and scoring assessments, and assisting in the coordination of daily protocol operations. Victoria is passionate about working with children and pursuing research in order to help those with neurological and mental illnesses.

MRI Facilities

Jacob DeRosa

is the imaging  supervisor for the Healthy Brain Network, where he oversees the daily operations of the study’s MRI sites and EEG testing. He graduated from the Southern Connecticut State University with a major in psychology and English. While at college he coordinated a study that investigated memory, decision making, and impression management to help detect deception.  His research with this lab has been published in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling.

Jacob also has research experience in multi-disciplinary labs at Yale University. His work there focused on the biological basis of psychotic disorders and cannabis dependence, associated neurocognitive impairments and the effectiveness of psychotropic medications. Jacob is passionate about having a transformative impact on the lives of children. His goal is to earn his doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a special interest in the neurodevelopment assessment of children.

Ahrisue Choi

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She schedules MRI scan visits, manages key data and facilitates appointments to support the participants and their families. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biopsychology, cognition and neuroscience at the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant on a study that explored different factors behind making economically selfish, fair or altruistic decisions.

Ahrisue is passionate about mental health and hopes to improve the dialogue on mental illness, starting with children.

Alexia Cole

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for MRI scheduling and preparation, data collection, and ensuring participants and their families feel comfortable throughout their screenings.

Alexia graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. There, her studies affirmed her passion for children’s mental health and socioemotional development. During her undergraduate career, Alexia worked as an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity at the Center for Justice, a network of leaders dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice. As a research assistant on a pilot program that brought together local youth and representatives from prominent city agencies, she explored the effects of youth-adult partnership on positive youth development and community connectedness. This experience further piqued Alexia’s interest in helping young people develop the strengths and skills they need to overcome social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Her goal is to obtain a combined school and clinical psychology degree.

Sydney Krieg

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for scheduling and preparing MRI scan visits, managing key data and facilitating appointments to support study participants and their families.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology while completing a double minor in sociology and business from the University of Colorado Boulder. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant in the Cognitive Development Center, where she explored the development, language and memory of children and adolescents. Additionally, Sydney spent two of her undergraduate summers interning at the Child Mind Institute’s Summer Program. She helped the children in the program achieve their behavioral, learning and social goals while providing a fun summer camp experience. Sydney is passionate about children’s mental health and hopes to obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Speech and Language Pathology

Jessica Falco, MS, CCC-SLP

is a speech-language pathologist for the Healthy Brain Network. Jessica is responsible for evaluating and diagnosing study participants with speech and language disorders, utilizing a battery of standardized tests. She also provides comprehensive feedback sessions with the parents of participants regarding test results.

Jessica received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Maryland in 2009 and her master’s degree in communication sciences from Mercy College in 2015. Jessica completed her clinical fellowship in speech-language pathology at NYU Langone’s Cochlear Implant Center, where she provided evaluations for cochlear implant candidacy, as well as post-implantation auditory habilitation. After completion of her fellowship, Jessica continued to work at the Cochlear Implant Center and also lead the music portion of an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP).

In addition to her work with the Healthy Brain Network, Jessica also serves as a clinical supervisor to graduate students in the Communication Sciences Department at Mercy College.