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Research Assistant Professor

Clare is a researcher whose work focuses on women's psychological health in pregnancy and the peripartum, how these are shaped by maternal stress and trauma, and the intergenerational transmission of adversity. She is also interested in the interaction between brain, biology, and the environment in shaping adaptation to parenthood. Dr. McCormack received her PhD in public health in 2016 from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where she studied alcohol use during pregnancy and infant cognitive development. She then completed an interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University as a Robert A. Burt Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience. Dr. McCormack joined the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in 2022 as a research assistant professor. 



Postdoctoral Fellow

Cassie is a postdoctoral fellow whose work examines how our earliest experiences, as well as the experiences of our parents, shape neurobiological development and stress responsivity. She is particularly interested in biobehavioral processes that are linked to long-term psychiatric risk and resilience.



Postdoctoral Fellow

In her postdoctoral work, Denise is interested in establishing how developing neural and behavioral systems are shaped by experience and environmental factors, such as maternal health, parenting practices, stress/adversity, and socioeconomic status.

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Research Associate

Harini is a 4th year undergraduate at Barnard College studying Neuroscience and Behavior and Science and Public Policy. Harini has been conducting research with Dr. Moriah Thomason since September 2020, and she is a member of the COPE Study's Data Acquisition and Data Processing Teams. In addition, Harini is pursuing her senior thesis studying the associations between prenatal maternal stress, fetal hippocampal functional connectivity and toddler executive functioning. After graduating in May 2022, Harini plans to conduct research before pursuing a degree in medicine, specifically in the field of psychiatry.

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Research Associate

Leslie Gaines is a graduate of the University of Richmond. During her studies, she worked in a psycholinguistics lab and was a summer volunteer with NYU's ISLAND Lab. Since graduating, she has been working in the field of education. She is very excited to be returning to the field of psychology and to be working with the SCAN Lab. 

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Research Associate

Sofia graduated from Smith College in 2021, majoring in Neuroscience. She worked in New York as an au pair for a year before joining the SCAN lab. Sofia wants to earn a master’s degree in computer science before pursuing a career in computational neuroscience. 

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Data Analyst

I am an Irish native who moved to New York City. I completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at the University of Galway and following this, a Master of Neuroscience degree at Trinity College Dublin. My research interests range from neurodevelopment and autism spectrum disorders to inflammation, stress and neurodegenerative diseases. Through my work, I hope to achieve a significant impact in the field of neuroscience, increasing our understanding of human brain development and the pathogenesis of neurological disorders, ultimately contributing to the development of treatments for those who need it most.

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Research Assistant

I am 19 years old (about to turn 20 on June 30) and I am an undergraduate at NYU, majoring in Biology and planning to minor in CAMS. I was born in Cuba and moved to the U.S. when I was 9 years old. I love animals and I have a tabby cat named Juliette. I currently live in New York City with my family and we all love going sightseeing around the city. I have traveled to Spain and Italy, but I plan to travel the world as much as I can.

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Research Assistant

Jenna John is a student at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY studying psychology and is originally from Staten Island. She is interested in social work in medical or educational settings, specifically in pediatrics, maternal and palliative care, and has a strong interest in social justice and diversity. She also likes to read, write, and sing!

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Research Assistant

Anushka Gupta is a sophomore at NYU majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS). She is very passionate about mental health advocacy and is involved in many organizations both on an off campus that support student mental health. In her free time, Anushka enjoys cafe hopping and going for long walks while listening to her favorite music. 

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Research Assistant

Hello! My name is Christine and I am a current junior at NYU majoring in Psychology and minoring in Data Science and Korean. I'm originally from the suburbs of Chicago, so being in NYC has been such a wonderful and crazy experience. I also work as an intern at GPEG at Columbia University and I am also hoping to find a job as a server to support myself in this beautiful but expensive city. I hope that I can bring as much positivity and help as I can to this lab :)

Emma Veron


Research Assistant

Emma is an undergraduate student at New York University majoring in Applied Psychology with a double minor in Child Adolescent Mental Health Studies and Teacher Education, specializing in Special Education. In the future, she plans to get her doctorate in School Psychology and work with children in special education. She is an NYC native, and loves fitness, romance novels, and true crime TV shows!

Alexis Mckay


Research Assistant

I am a junior at New York University, majoring in psychology on the pre-med track. I am passionate about developmental psychology and its applications to neuroscience, particularly in how early environments can affect a child's development. I'm excited to gain more experience in psychology and neuroscience research while working in this lab! After I graduate, I plan to become a pediatric physician.

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William Jang

Research Assistant

I am currently a sophomore attending Columbia University and studying psychology. My academic interests lie with developmental psychology, where I am particularly fascinated by the crossover between the developing brain and behavioral patterns from infancy to adolescence. Additionally in my free time, I enjoy exploring new restaurants with friends and traveling to new cities. I'm excited to join the COPE Team and get involved with its current projects.

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Derek Puin Palacios

Research Assistant

Hi! I'm Derek, an undergraduate biochemistry major and a proud immigrant from Cuenca, Ecuador. My journey has taken me from Ecuador to the life of a pre-med student. I have a huge passion for research — it's where I get to satisfy my curiosity and contribute to something bigger. When I'm not in the lab, you can find me on the soccer field. It's my go-to way to unwind and have fun. In between studies, research, and soccer, I also work part-time as a barista, brewing up coffee and conversations. Just living the student life and enjoying the adventure!

Team Bios
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Bosi chen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Bosi is a postdoctoral fellow with a background in clinical psychology and developmental neuroscience. Her research broadly focuses on early neurodevelopmental processes that shape later brain maturation and developmental outcomes using behavioral and neuroimaging tools. Bosi is particularly interested in understanding early risk and resilient factors and the role of early intervention on the developing brain.

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Iris' research aims at articulating different data modalities (cerebral, genetic, behavioral and environmental) using statistical tools derived from applied mathematics (network analysis, structural equation modeling, machine learning) to better characterize cognitive development and learning. She is particularly interested in the early factors that may play a role in neurocognitive development. In her postdoctoral work, she is focusing on the effect of fetal inflammation and prematurity on both cognitive and cerebral development.

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Bryan is a postdoctoral fellow with a background in biomedical engineering and medicine (psychiatry). Bryan is interested in exploring the development of disorder origins and how environmental factors contribute to the development of illnesses. He examines these questions using neuroimaging tools.

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Lanxin Ji is a postdoctoral fellow with a background in biomedical engineering. Her interest is to understand fetal and infant brains with cutting-edge fMRI analysis models and tools, such as interactions between key functional networks and the brain connectivity dynamics. Lanxin is also interested in developing denoising methods and optimizing pre-processing pipelines to manage the unique challenges in baby brain imaging.

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Clinical PhD Student

Ellyn is a current Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. She is interested in early life mechanisms that promote adaptive neural and behavioral development in order to better understand risk and resilience in historically underserved youth. 

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Program Associate

Maya Ruiz is the Program Associate in The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. She works closely with the Vice Chair to manage and maintain a conducive workflow. While Program Associate is her primary job function by day, she also has a love for the arts! Maya has earned her degree in Recorded Music from New York University Tisch School Of the Arts.

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Research Associate

Bradley Susskind graduated with high honors from Lehigh University in 2022 where he studied Psychology and minored in Biology and Health, Medicine and Society. Bradley has prior research experience working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia within their Center for Autism Research, and has also studied within the family and integrative medicine realm at St. Luke’s University Health Network. Following his time as a Research Associate working with Dr. Moriah Thomason at NYU Langone, Bradley plans to pursue a degree in medicine and has a particular interest in child and adolescent psychiatry.

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Data Analyst

Tanya graduated with a degree in Biopsychology and a minor in statistical science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Spring 2022. She is part of the data management and processing team of the HBCD Study at NYU Langone. While in college, she researched retinal implant devices, the needs of blind people with activities of daily living, memory and decision-making in neuroscience labs. She also led a program to teach tennis to kids with autism. She is interested in leveraging neuroscience and data science to improve healthcare outcomes, especially of vulnerable populations. 

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Research Associate

Sarwat graduated with her bachelors from New York University in 2021. Her goals include obtaining a medical degree and pursuing a career in developmental pediatrics.

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Research Assistant

I am an upcoming junior at Tulane University studying Cell and Molecular Biology and Economics. I love to go to the gym and love being outdoors.

Aisha Kanuteh


Research Assistant

Hi, My name is Aisha Kanuteh, and I'm currently a junior at NYU CAS. I'm studying psychology with minors in genetics, CAMS, and chemistry on the pre-med track. Im Gambian and Malian, raised in the city. I speak about 5 languages and hope to learn more and travel to the places where these languages are spoken.

Seyeon Yim


Research Assistant

Seyeon Yim is a sophomore at New York University studying psychology on the pre-med track. Her interest in medicine arose from a desire to research the neuropsychology of music throughout her life as a dancer. As she pursues her pre-med journey, she wishes to expand her interests and study the effects of various environmental factors on the cognitive and behavioral development of children. As a research assistant in COPE's MRI Team, she looks forward to gaining insight on how research is performed at the intersection of psychology and neuroscience.

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Research Assistant

My name is Arthur (Hae Seok) Yoon. I am currently a third year student @ New York University under a psychology major at the CAS school. Some of my hobbies includes sports, working out, and socializing with my friends. I want to pursue a career in medicine as a doctor, and I hope to further my understanding of science through this lab as well. In my spare time, besides doing my hobbies, I love to go trying out new things within the city, and catching up on studying for the rest of my classes (sad).

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Research Assistant

My name is Dhruvi Patel, and I am a third-year student at the College of Arts & Sciences at NYU, majoring in neural science and minoring in chemistry & psychology. I am on the pre-medical track, and I hope to attend medical school in the near future. I have always been interested in studying more about how COVID-19 affects the normal developmental trajectory of pediatric populations, and I am looking forward to working as a research assistant on the COPE team!

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Daelah Nicholas

Research Assistant

I am a undergraduate student at New York University currently majoring in neural science with a minor in child and adolescent mental studies on the Pre-health track. I'm a very driven and ambitious student who's passionate about STEM and research. I hope to study medicine, and become an OB-GYN in the future.

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Sarah Bennett

Senior Project Coordinator

Sarah Bennett is a Senior Project Coordinator for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study in Dr. Thomason's Social Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment (SCAN) Lab. She graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with an M.S. in Neuroscience & Education in May 2023. Sarah has prior research experience at Columbia University in developmental cognitive neuroscience, and is particularly interested in the the long-term neuropsychological effects of stress and trauma in children and adolescents. She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

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