Solomon Lab Team | UC Davis MIND Institute

Solomon Lab Team

  • Principal Investigator

    Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D.

    Dr. Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine.  Her work is primarily focused on high functioning individuals with autism. She studies and implements school and clinical intervention programs to help children and adolescents with autism. Her current research efforts extend to using cognitive neuroscience methods, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to study cognitive control; learning, motivation, and rewards processing; functional connectivity; and neurodevelopment from early adolescence through young adulthood in individuals affected by autism.

  • Surina Bothra, B.A.

    Junior Specialist
    B.A. Psychology, Minor in Asian American Studies, Scripps College, 2021

    Surina Bothra is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from Scripps College in 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Asian American Studies. For her senior thesis at Scripps, Surina conducted independent mixed-methods research that examined parental stress in Asian American and non-Asian American parents of children with developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked with children of all ages in a variety of educational and clinical roles, including as a special education intern and Registered Behavioral Technician. Surina currently coordinates the Specifying and Treating Anxiety in Autism Research (STAAR) study. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in pediatric neuropsychology, specifically focusing on providing culturally-sensitive services in underserved communities.

  • Catherine Gonzales, B.A.

    Junior Specialist
    B.A. Psychology, B.A. Spanish, University of California, Davis, 2022

    Catherine Gonzales is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2022 with two B.A.s in Psychology and Spanish. As an undergraduate, Catherine was a research assistant in two labs. The first, under Dr. Richard Robins, focused on the development of shyness among Mexican-origin youth. Here, Catherine co-authored a paper discussing a study on this topic. Catherine was also a research assistant in Dr.Yuko Munakata’s Cognition in Context lab, where she contributed to projects pertaining to executive function in youth and variables of diversity in background and presented research findings. Near the end of her undergraduate career, Catherine became a RISE-UP scholar, where she had the opportunity to gain clinical, community, and research experience, while conducting a research project with the UC Davis MIND Institute, which had the goal of identifying culturally relevant and family-centered feedback for the improvement of the “Let's Talk” Spanish support group for parents of autistic children. Catherine currently coordinates the DDS Supported Employment project. In the future, she’d like to pursue a career as a pediatric psychologist and work with underserved populations through research and practice.

  • Jo Ann Yon Hernández, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Researcher
    B.A. Psychology, B.A. Spanish, University of California, Davis, 2022

    Jo Ann Yon Hernández, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral researcher working in Dr. Marjorie Solomon's lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Salamanca. She has worked as a clinical psychologist and researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Ricardo Canal-Bedia. She has participated in different studies and RCTs within the AIMS-2-Trials. Her research has focused on executive functioning and daily living skills in autistic adults and individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, using a transdiagnostic research approach. Currently, she is investigating the broader autistic phenotype (BAP) in different groups, such as school-aged children and adults with substance use disorders. Her goal in the Solomon Lab will be to conduct longitudinal analyses studying different trajectories of adaptive functioning of the different cohorts of the Autism Phenome Project (APP) and the CoCoA Study.   

  • Kali Kecskemeti, B.A.

    Junior Specialist
    B.A. Intensive Psychology, Minor in Education, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2020

    Kali Kecskemeti is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2020 with a B.A. in Intensive Psychology and a Minor in Education. As an undergraduate, Kali worked in the Early Social Interaction Lab (ESIL) with Professor Audun Dahl, where she studied helping behaviors in infants and investigated how students from various backgrounds understand different cultures and religions. She was also a research assistant in the Athena Lab with Professor Steve Whittaker, where she assisted in developing and testing a conversational chatbot. Kali has worked with children of various ages in school and research settings. She is currently coordinating the Autism Phenome Project (APP). In the future, Kali is interested in pursuing a career in educational psychology.

  • Sebastian Xu

    Lab Assistant

    Sebastian Xu joined the Solomon lab as a CoCoA Study Volunteer in the summer of 2017, and was hired into his current position in 2019. He assists in the scoring and entry of many of the questionnaires and interviews that participants and their families complete during their visits. Sebastian loves working on computers and he frequently uses his talent with Microsoft Office in his work in the Solomon Lab. Sebastian is currently expanding his repertoire by taking classes in graphic design and graphic vernacular. His favorite part of being in the Solomon Lab is interacting with the research assistants.