Meet The Team

Lab Director

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Tiffany Woynaroski, PhD, CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor in Hearing and Speech Sciences

BS, Psychology, Valparaiso University (2002)
MS, Speech-Language Pathology, Vanderbilt University (2009)
PhD, Hearing and Speech Science, Vanderbilt University (2014)

Tiffany received her PhD from Vanderbilt University’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences in December 2014 after an extensive clinical career working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as an early interventionist/parent educator, speech language pathologist, and autism consultant. She has authored 33 published or in-press peer-reviewed articles, 2 book chapters, and 90 presentations at academic conferences.

Research Staff

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Bahar Keçeli-Kaysili, PhD
Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator

Bahar completed her PhD in Special Education at Ankara University. Her research specializes in communication, language development and social interaction dynamics. She also studies educational interventions to promote communication and language, as well as developmental links between language and theory of mind in children with ASD.

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Jacob Feldman, PhD, CCC-SLP
Research Fellow

Jacob is a research fellow in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. He completed his bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University and his masters and PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at Vanderbilt University.
 

He is interested in early identification of autism spectrum disorder and how audiovisual multisensory integration may explain variance in core autism symptoms and higher level factors, such as language and literacy. He has been an author on 5 peer-reviewed publications, 1 clinical tool, and 44 conference presentations.

Doctoral Students

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Kacie Dunham, BA
Graduate Research Assistant, Neuroscience

Kacie is a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. She graduated with a bachelors in Neuroscience with a minor in Music from Vanderbilt University in 2018. 

 

Kacie’s research interests include early identification of autism, sensory processing, particularly multisensory integration, and early language development. She is additionally interested in applying neuroimaging and eye tracking to her broad research interests. Her current research focuses on neural correlates of speech processing and links with language ability in infancy. Read more about here work here.

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Jennifer Markfeld, MS, CF-SLP
Graduate Research Assistant, Hearing and Speech Sciences

Jennifer is a first year PhD student in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. She completed her bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University and her masters in Speech-Language Pathology at Vanderbilt University.

 

Jennifer’s research interests include caregiver-infant interaction, infant language development, and interventions designed to address risk factors that contribute to ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Zachary Williams, BS
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Graduate Research Assistant, Medical Scientist Training Program

Zack Williams is an MD/PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. He is also an affiliate of the Vanderbilt University Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. He received his bachelors in Psychology from Yale University, where he was heavily involved in autism research at the Yale Child Study Center.
 
Zack's research focuses on the phenomenon of decreased sound tolerance (including hyperacusis, misophonia, and phonophobia) in autistic and non-autistic adults, which he hopes to better understand using a combination of self-report questionnaires, psychoacoustic tasks, and electrophysiologic measures. Additional areas of interest include the assessment and treatment of co-occurring mental health problems and psychosomatic symptoms in autistic adults and the development of novel questionnaires to assess core and associated features of the autism phenotype. In addition to his work in the BAND lab, Zack is a member of the INSAR Autistic Researchers Committee, the Autistic Researchers Review Board of the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P), the Autism Care Network, and the Autism Sensory Research Consortium. You can follow him on Twitter at @QuantPsychiatry.

Undergraduate Students

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Sophie Kaiser
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sophie is a junior pursuing degrees in Cognitive Studies and Medicine, Health, and Society with minors in Spanish and Special Education. Her research interests include language and communication development in infants and children with or at high familial likelihood for an autism diagnosis, with a particular focus on how caregiver linguistic responsiveness predicts language outcomes.

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Nisha Mailapur
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nisha is a junior pursuing a pre-medicine track with a major in Economics and a minor in Spanish. She is participating in the SyBBURE Searle Undergraduate Research Program. She is interested in how senses and perception impact behavior in autism and sensory disorders such as synesthesia.

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Grace Pulliam
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Grace is a senior triple majoring in neuroscience; medicine, health, and society; and communication of science and tech. Her research interests involve audiovisual integration in school-aged children with ASD.

Affiliated Students

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Pooja Santapuram, BA
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Pooja graduated from Vanderbilt with a major in Neuroscience in 2018. As a medical student at Vanderbilt, she continues to work in the lab to complete her honors thesis project looking at the link between attention to audiovisual speech and prelinguistic development in infants at high- and low-familial risk for ASD.

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Sweeya Raj, BA
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Sweeya graduated from Vanderbilt with a major in Neuroscience. As a medical student at Vanderbilt, she continues to work in the lab investigating sensory development of children with ASD.