22q11.2 Research Center and Clinic: Team Members
Tony J. Simon, Ph.D. » — Director - Dr. Simon is a pediatric cognitive neuroscientist. His research focuses on the interactions between neural, cognitive, affective and stress biology differences in young people with genetic disorders that produce learning difficulties, behavioral dysregulation and psychopathology. Dr. Simon has spent over a decade and a half investigating how dysfunction in specific neurocognitive processing systems, such as attention, and spatial or temporal processing generates cognitive impairments in thinking about space, time, numbers as was as real world challenges like math, using money and navigation. He has developed and is testing a digital neurotherapeutic intervention (in the form a video game) to minimize such disability. Dr. Simon's current main project is a National Institute of Mental Health funded longitudinal study on risk and protective factors for psychosis proneness in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (Velocardiofacial/DiGeorge) syndrome based on the interaction of neurocognitive and affective processing and stress reactivity.
Kathy Angkustsiri, M.D. » - Associate Professor of Pediatrics — Kathy received her B.A. in psychology with a minor in Human Biology from Stanford University. She attended New York University for her medical training and completed a pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Oakland. She joined the 22q Research Center and Clinic during her fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and has been working with the team for over a decade. Her research interests include the parent-child relationship, optimizing functional and behavioral outcomes, and the interaction of physiological arousal with anxiety and adaptive behaviors. Dr. Angkustsiri is medical director of the 22q Healthy Minds Clinic and also sees patients with 22q and other neurodevelopmental disorders in the Massie Family Clinic.
Ingrid Leckliter, Ph.D. » - Psychologist — Ingrid is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in developmental neuropsychology. She has more than 20 years of experience providing clinical services to children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. She earned her Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1984 and completed post-doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at Oregon Health Sciences University in 1986. Learning disorders are an area of particular interest to her. Dr. Leckliter is committed to helping families understand their child’s unique strengths and cope with their child's special needs. This process enhances the child and parent relationship, thereby supporting the child's emotional coping skills, and his or her functioning in society.
Danielle Harris, B.S. Junior Specialist – Danielle received her undergraduate degree in Human Development from UC Davis in 2016. During her time at UC Davis, she supported adults with developmental disabilities in her community and worked part-time as a preschool teacher at Kids on Cowell in Davis. After graduation, Danielle taught at Discovery Learning Center, an outdoor preschool in Fair Oaks, CA. Seeking an opportunity to contribute to the development of mental health treatments, Danielle began her career as a research coordinator with the 22q11.2 Research Center and Clinic. Danielle guides families in their journeys near and far to the MIND Institute, administers cognitive assessments, behavioral tasks, and questionnaires, and supports the operations of the lab.
Veena Do, B.S. Junior Specialist - Veena graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Genomics. During her undergraduate, Veena worked under Dr. Popa and Dr. Simon on the behavior and EEG testing of teen anxiety, and the risk and protective factors for psychosis proneness in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. In addition to working at the MIND, she was a research assistant at the UC Davis Medical Center Emergency Department in determining the efficacy of improved medical protocol and products, and at the UCDMC Main Hospital as part of the Code Blue Simulation Team. Veena continues to work with Dr. Simon on psychosis proneness, administering cognitive assessments and collecting EEG/ERP data.
Anthony Schmiedeler, M.S. Junior Specialist – Anthony received a B.A. in Human Biology with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas followed by a M.S. in Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. While attending graduate school he worked full-time, first as a psychometrician, administering psychological test batteries for neuropsychologists. Anthony then worked as a research assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, primarily helping conduct studies centered on the biological and perceptual components of hallucinogenic symptoms in people with schizophrenia.
Samantha Linton, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher - Samantha graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2013, followed by a Master of Science in Psychological Research Methods in 2015, and a PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience in 2018. Samantha specializes in the use of psychophysiology, most commonly EEG/ERP techniques, to study emotion processing in developmental populations, with a particular interest in how anxiety may influence how adolescents process emotional cues in their environment. She is currently working with Dr. Simon on his longitudinal study on risk and protective factors for psychosis proneness in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (Velocardiofacial/DiGeorge) syndrome.
Alumni and Collaborators
Kathryn McCabe Ph.D.
Courtney Durdle, B.S., B.A.
Jordan Garner, B.S.
Abbie M. Popa, Ph.D.
Michele Amato, B.A.
Danessa Mayo, Ph.D.
Hannah Morgan, B.S.
Freddy Bassal, B.S.
Joel Bish, Ph.D. - Ursinus College
Carrie Bearden, Ph.D. - University of California, Los Angeles
Elliott A. Beaton, Ph.D. » - University of New Orleans
Margie Cabaral, B.S.
Nina Q. Cung, B.A, B.S.
Joshua R. Cruz, B.S.
Yi (Michelle) Deng, Ph.D.
Janice Enriquez, Ph.D.
Christine Godwin, B.S.
Naomi Goodrich-Hunsaker, Ph.D.
Michele Mazzocco, Ph.D. » - University of Minnesota
Y Bella McLennan, B.S.
Marisol Q. Mendoza, M.A.
Vy Nguyen, B.A.
Yufeng Qin, Ph.D.
Andrea I. Quintero, B.S. » - Johns Hopkins University
Dave Reyes, B.S.
Tracy Riggins (DeBoer), Ph.D. - University of Maryland
Judith Ross, M.D. » - Thomas Jefferson University
Heather Shapiro, B.A.
Siddharth Srivastava (Sid), Ph.D.
Joel Johnson Stoddard, M.D. »
Nicole Tartaglia, M.D. » - Children’s Hospital of Colorado
Yukari Takarae, Ph.D. - UT Southwestern
Ling M. Wong, B.S. - AAAS Science and Technology Fellow at National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke NIH
Zhongle Wu, Ph.D.