Lab Members

Meet the Lab

Northwestern University

Front: Stephanie Crawford, Sejal Shah, Bethany Delong, Molly Losh, Nell Maltman, Jamie Barstein
Back: Daniel Hamburger, Christie Stiehl, Brynn Thomas, Abby Hogan-Brown, Christine Rothermel, Shannon Stanfill, Michelle Lee, Laura Henry

Not Pictured:  Deanna Hano, Jeanne Hou, Ashley Jahren, Julia Delguidice, Holly Romaniak

Principal Investigator

Molly Losh, Ph.D.
Jane and Michael Hoffman Associate Professor
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208
m-losh@northwestern.edu
Lab Phone: 1-877-275-7187
Frances Searle Building, Rm 2-366
Molly Losh’s research focuses on autism and related neurogenetic disorders. Specifically, her studies adopt clinical-behavioral and family-genetic methods and designs to characterize patterns of language strengths and weaknesses that define particular developmental disabilities, and examine ties to neuropsychological and genetic underpinnings.

Graduate Students

Abby Hogan-Brown, Ph.D. Student
Contact: (847) 467-2517; abigail.brown@u.northwestern.edu

Abigail Hogan-Brown is a Ph.D. student in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and has been a member of the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Lab since starting the program in 2010. Abby earned her B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University, and worked for several years as a behavior therapist and then a research assistant before beginning her doctoral program at Northwestern. She is interested in language and social cognition in individuals with autism and their siblings. Her current research focuses on defining specific quantitative phenotypes, such as rapid automatized naming abilities, which can be used in future genetic studies of autism. When she isn’t busy being a graduate student, Abby loves knitting, reading, and taking her dogs to the beach.

Michelle Lee, Ph.D. Student
Contact: (847) 467-2517; michellelee@u.northwestern.edu

Michelle is a PhD Student in the Clinical Psychology department at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Psychology and English, and has several years of experience working with children with disabilities. She is interested in the relationship between language and social cognition and how this relationship can inform our understanding of autism. When she isn’t in the lab, Michelle loves reading, running and exploring Chicago.

Alexis Nell Maltman, Ph.D. Student
Contact: (847) 467-2517; alexismaltman2017@u.northwestern.edu

Nell is a PhD student in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.S. in Psychology and has worked with families affected by autism since 2006. Her research interests include understanding the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorders and how broader phenotypic characteristics, such as language qualities, might provide clues to solving this mystery. In her free time, Nell enjoys running with her dog Stella, cooking, and improv comedy.

Jamie Barstein, Ph.D. Student
Contact: (847) 467-2517; jamie.barstein@u.northwestern.edu

Jamie is a PhD Student in the Clinical Psychology department at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in education. Jamie has been working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities since a young age, through her previous roles as an Applied Behavior Analyst, peer mentor, and clinical research coordinator. Jamie is interested in identifying genetic and phenotypic links amongst ASD and Fragile X Syndrome by examining language, neurobiological, and behavioral aspects of such disorders. Outside of school and lab, Jamie loves to try new restaurants and recipes, and to run outside!

Research Staff

Christine Rothermel, Senior Project Coordinator
Contact: (847) 467-4054; christine.rothermel@northwestern.edu

Christine is the senior research project coordinator in the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory and oversees the NIH-funded projects in the lab.  She is a  speech-language pathologist who completed her M.S. degree in communication sciences and disorders at Purdue University, where she spent two years working with children and families in neuro-biological research. Through her clinical work as a speech-language pathologist, she worked directly with children with ASD and became interested in language development in children with autism. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, spending time outdoors, and playing with her dog Riley.

Stephanie Crawford, Research Assistant
Contact: (847) 467-2504; stephanie.crawford@northwestern.edu

Stephanie graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. In addition to working in the lab, Stephanie provides services to facilitate the integration and inclusion of children affected by developmental disabilities into mainstream recreational programs and works closely with children affected by Autism as a volunteer at H.A.V.E Dreams. She is interested in the aberrant development of language that is displayed in children with developmental disabilities and hopes to attain a M.A. degree in Speech and Language Pathology to provide therapy for related clinical populations. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys trying new restaurants, reading, and running outside.

Christie Stiehl, BCaBA, Project Coordinator
Contact: (847) 467-2518; Christie@northwestern.edu

Christie joined the NDL in January 2013 as a Project Coordinator. She earned her BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University and is a Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst. In addition to coordinating the NDL, she provides developmental and behavioral therapy to children with social, developmental, and behavioral difficulties. Her main research interest involves the influence of gender on the manifestation of autism symptoms and the most effective approaches to identifying and treating girls and women with developmental deficits. On her free time, Christie enjoys participating in book club, exploring Chicago, and attending events on the Northwestern campus.

Brynn Thomas, Project Coordinator
Contact: (847) 467-2512; brynn-thomas@northwestern.edu

Brynn is interested in working with children with autism through Applied Behavioral Analysis. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College with a B.A. in Psychology and hopes to become a board certified behavior analyst.

Undergraduate Students

Julia Delguidice, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Julia is a junior at Northwestern University pursuing a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Psychology. She transcribes language samples from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). She hopes to attend graduate school for Speech Pathology and possibly pursue a Ph.D.. Julia loves working with people with disabilities; aside from working in the NDL, she coaches a Special Olympics team and volunteers in the Learning Clinic in Francis Searle.

Kara Ferracuti, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kara is a sophomore majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Spanish, with plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician. Her interest in helping individuals affected by autism was developed primarily through her involvement as a piano teacher for the Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education (AMASE), a student organization at Northwestern that provides music education to children on the spectrum. She is currently examining gaze patterns, as well as how other clinical and genetic variables relate to these patterns, as a way to characterize the overlap between autism spectrum disorder and fragile X syndrome. Kara loves playing music, volunteering, traveling, and reading the classics.

Daniel Hamburger, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Daniel is junior majoring in Biological Anthropology with a concentration in Human Biology. He became interested in autism research after spending his summer working with children with autism and their families. He is currently working with NDL on projects examining gaze patterns as a predictor of language use in individuals with autism. His interests include ultimate frisbee and weight training.

Laura Henry, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Laura is a junior majoring in Psychology and CSD. She has previously worked in a lab researching cognitive development in infants and is interested in studying the development of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She plans to apply to graduate programs in psychology in the future.

Ashley Jahren, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ashley is a sophomore majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Human Communication Sciences. She has worked with children affected by autism for the past 6 years and initially became interested after close relatives were diagnosed at a young age. Ashley is planning to use her degree to design devices that will assist children with mental and physical disabilities.

Holly Romaniak, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Holly Romaniak is a Psychology major and a CSD minor. She is interested in cognitive development and social cognition, especially in neurodevelopmental disorders, and plans to apply to PhD programs in the future.

Sejal Shah, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sejal is a CSD major and is a pre-med student. She is an active member of Autism Speaks U on campus and is interested in the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Lab Alumni

Undergraduates

Kyle Frost
Bret KravisCummings Rork
Deanna Hano
Joanne Yi
Emily Orell
Sandra Maerzacker
Bethany DeLong
Catherine Wu
Jenna Lebersfeld
Natalie Friend
Neelima Agrawal

Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Fellows

Jessica Klusek, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Jane Hornickel Ph.D.

 

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