Sally Ozonoff, Ph.D.Principal Investigator

Sally Ozonoff, Ph.D. is an Endowed Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her current research focuses on very young children with autism, infant diagnosis, and recurrence risk. She is studying the onset of autism in a prospective investigation that follows high-risk infants from birth through age 3. She is also developing a new video-based measure to screen for autism in infancy. Dr. Ozonoff is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her clinical interests are in the diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorder, with specializations in infant and adult diagnosis. Dr. Ozonoff has written over a hundred peer-reviewed publications and chapters on these topics, as well as three books. Her work has been showcased on 60 Minutes, National Public Radio, and the NBC Nightly News. Dr. Ozonoff is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatrand serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Autism Research. 

Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D.Co-Investigator

Dr. Rogers specializes in conducting developmental and treatment research into autism and other developmental disorders and working with children with developmental disabilities and their families, especially young children with autism. She studies early developmental processes, including imitation, social-communicative behavior, development of motor skills, language, and social interaction patterns. She is currently focused on developing and improving treatments for early autism using a treatment model that she developed in collaboration with Geraldine Dawson, the Early Start Denver Model. Her efforts to deliver effective interventions to people with autism and their families takes her to places all over the globe, training therapists use ESDM in. She is the primary scientist of a number of federal grants, including an NIH funded ACE Network grant involving a multisite randomized clinical trial comparing ESDM and discrete trial interventions, a study focused on how to help parents use ESDM techniques at home to improve their children's language and behavior, and a large postdoctoral training grant that she directs with Dr. Amaral. Her clinical interests include evaluation of cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, and adaptive functioning; early intervention for children with autism; developing treatment and educational interventions for persons with autism of all ages, and social skills groups for adults with autism. She has written extensively in her field, authoring numerous articles and books and developing training videos. Dr. Rogers serves on the editorial board of many publications, including Autism Research, the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Infants and Young Children. She also reviews for many journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Science, American Journal of Mental Retardation, Journal of Early Intervention, Journal of Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry, and Development and Psychopathology.

Gregory S. Young, Ph.D.Co-Investigator

An assistant research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Gregory Young is a developmental psychologist. He specializes in longitudinal research design and analysis, with an interest in eye-tracking and behavioral coding as ways to measure intra-individual change as it relates to typical development and the early onset of developmental disorders such as autism. He collaborates with Drs. Sally Rogers and Sally Ozonoff on studies of the onset and treatment of autism in infant siblings and young preschoolers, and with Dr. Julie Schweitzer on the role of norepinephrine and the locus ceruleus in ADHD as measured by pupil dilation dynamics. Dr. Young also has specific interests and expertise in statistical analysis techniques using hierarchical generalized models as applied to growth curve analysis, Rasch measurement modeling, and sequential analysis of time series data.  Additionally, he has expertise in database programming and advanced data processing algorithms for use with methodologies such as eye-tracking and behavioral coding.  Dr. Young reviews regularly for a number of publications including Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Autism Research, Biological Psychiatry, and Biological Letters.

Devon Gangi, Ph.D.

Devon Gangi, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow

Devon Gangi is a postdoctoral fellow at the MIND Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami. Her research focuses on understanding heterogeneity in early social and emotional development among infants at familial risk for ASD and identifying behavioral and biological markers of ASD. She is also an examiner on the Infant Sibling Study.

Elise Hanzel, Ph.D.

Elise Hanzel, Ph.D. Behavioral Testing

Dr. Hanzel has been a staff psychologist at the MIND Institute since 2007 and joined the Infant Sibling Study in 2010. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, and her work focuses on the assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders and behavioral and developmental therapeutic interventions for children and families. Dr. Hanzel earned her B.A. from Boston University and her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

Alesha Hill, B.A.

Alesha HillProject Coordinator

Alesha is the Infant Sibling Study Project Coordinator. She began volunteering in the lab as an undergraduate research assistant due to her interest in the social difficulties associated with Autism and the effect these deficits have on development. After completing a B.A. in psychology from UC Davis she continued on with the lab as a junior specialist and currently as a staff research associate. She also participated in the MIND institute social skills program as a group co-leader. She serves in the lab as a main liaison for families who participate in our research study. Alesha also oversees and manages daily operations within the lab such as personnel and participant recruitment and retention. Her day to day tasks include managing data collection and entry, coordinating visits and supervising our team of research assistants.

Ana-Maria Iosif, Ph.D.

Ana-Maria IosifBiostatistician

Ana-Maria Iosif, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Her primary methodological research interest lies in the analyses of data with complex structure, including repeated measures, longitudinal assessments with dropouts, and clustered data with informative cluster size. Her interdisciplinary work focuses on mental health and she enjoys a very productive collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She became involved in autism research when joining the Infant Sibling Study team in 2009. Since then she has provided statistical support and co-authored 20 autism related papers utilizing behavioral and imaging data, including several reports from longitudinal studies of how the phenotype of autism develops and how it differs from developmental delay and
typical development in children.


Monique Moore Hill, M.A.

Monique Moore Hill, M.A. Project Manager

Monique is the Infant Sibling Study Project Manager and also an examiner on the project.  She received her B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University and her M.A. in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento. Prior to joining the Infant Sibling Study staff in 2007, she gained a diverse set of research and assessment skills working on studies of chronic disease self-management, depression, and  women’s health.  Her current research efforts are motivated by an interest in developmental processes and early detection of neurodevelopmental  disorders.  Monique’s  role on the Infant Sibling Study includes personnel management, project oversight, data management, and conducting behavioral assessments of infants, toddlers and school age children. 


Meghan Miller, Ph.D.

Meghan Miller, Ph.D.Postdoctoral Fellow

Meghan Miller is a licensed psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the MIND Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. Her current research focuses on identifying shared and distinct early signs of ADHD and ASD among infants at familial risk for these conditions. She is an examiner on the Infant Sibling Study and leads the project focused on infants at heightened risk for developing ADHD.

Erika Solis, B.S.

Erika SolisJunior Specialist

Erika Solis is a Junior Specialist with the Infant Sibling Study at the MIND Institute. She received her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior with a minor in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. In 2011, she started as a research assistant driven by an interest in child development, particularly with aspects relevant to the atypical neurodevelopment observed in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She aspires to pursue a career in the medical field concerned with childhood mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Her responsibilities include training and supervising our team of behavioral coders for the Phase III Synchrony Coding Project, as well as recruiting study participants and coordinating visits.

Mary Beth Steinfeld, M.D. Behavioral Testing

Dr. Steinfeld has worked at the MIND Institute since its inception in 2000 and joined the Infant Sibling Study in 2005 as an examiner. She is a board certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician and she works in the MIND Institute Child Development Clinic providing evaluation and follow-up of children with developmental and behavioral difficulties. In addition to her interest in autism spectrum disorders, Dr. Steinfeld is interested in behavioral feeding problems in young children, infant regulatory disorders and in the field of infant-parent mental health. Dr. Steinfeld earned her B.S. from Stanford University and her M.D. from Medical College of Virginia. She completed her pediatric residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and her child development fellowship from UCLA.

Other Collaborators

Susan Rivera, Ph.D.

UC Davis Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science, and Center for Mind and Brain

Dr. Rivera conducts research on the origins and development of symbolic representation in both infants and children. She uses classic behavioral as well as neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques to investigate such things as language acquisition, concept formation, object representation, and numerical cognition. As a member of the UC Davis MIND Institute, she also conducts research contrasting typical development with that of children with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and fragile X syndrome. Dr. Rivera's current investigations focus on several aspects of “parietally-mediated” cognitive functioning, including arithmetic reasoning, so-called “dorsal stream functioning”, biological motion perception and multi-sensory integration. She uses several different techniques in her research including eye-tracking, ERP and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI.) One of her main research goals is to build a framework for integrating the previously disparate methodological and theoretical orientations of cognitive developmental and neuroscience research. By employing a variety of converging research techniques, she strives to elucidate the complex brain-behavior relationships that underlie cognitive development.

Ted Hutman, Ph.D. 

UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment

Marian Sigman, Ph.D.  

UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment