Research Teams


Michal Ben Shachar, PhD

Dr. Michal Ben-Shachar is a Lecturer in the English Department and a member of the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University, where she is the Head of the Neurolinguistics Lab. She completed her Ph.D. at Tel-Aviv University and conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

Learn more about Dr. Ben-Shachar's Neurolinguistics Lab.

Research Assistants

Vanessa Kovachy, BA

Vanessa is the research assistant and lab manager for Dr. Feldman. She graduated from Harvard University in May 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology with a Life Science emphasis and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational and School Psychology. Vanessa is interested in the interactions of childhood developmental disabilities and learning disabilities with various educational outcomes and targeted educational and behavioral interventions. Her primary research project is investigating how preterm and term born children differ in how they learn how to read, and how each group of children develops skilled reading throughout early elementary school. Vanessa is also taking on a key role in the development and implementation of an intervention aimed at helping both preterm and term born who are struggling with reading and reading-related skills.

Elizabeth Loi, BA

Liz is a research assistant for Dr. Feldman and Dr. Loe. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 with a B.A. in History. Her thesis focused on child rearing in the United States during the post-World War II era. While she was at UC Berkeley, she was involved as a research assistant in several psychology labs, including most recently, the Cal Mania Program, where she worked on a study examining reward sensitivity in bipolar disorder. At the DBP Research Group, Liz co-coordinates the Predicting Language Outcomes From Early Processing Efficiency in Preterm Children study and coordinates the Myofascial Structural Integration for Cerebral Palsy Study. She is also a coach for the Brain Training study. Liz is broadly interested in atypical development, socioemotional competence, and the factors that contribute to improved outcomes in children of various clinical populations.

Mai Manchanda, BA

Mai Manchanda is a doctoral student in clinical psychology in the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium at Palo Alto University. She is currently working with Dr. Huffman as a research assistant.  Mai is a graduate of Brown University. Her clinical interests include working with children, adolescents, and their families; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); and family systems. Research interests include psychological flexibility, psychotherapy processes, ethics, and education/training/professional development in clinical psychology.

Cory Dodson, BA

Cory is a research assistant and assistant lab manager for Dr. Loe and Dr. Feldman. She graduated from Stanford University in June 2015 with a B.A. in Human Biology, with a concentration in Maternal and Children’s Health. As an undergraduate, Cory was a research assistant for the Stanford Project on Adaptation and Resilience in Kids in the Stanford School of Education. She assisted with projects that assessed children’s self-regulatory skills in the context of a school environment. As a part of the DBP Research Group, Cory coordinates the Brain Training in Children at Risk for Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Executive Function Impairment study and assists with the neuroscience components of the Reading in Preterm and Full Term Children study. Cory is broadly interested in the neurological correlates of behavior as well as how in-utero complications and early life stress influence a child's development. She will continue to explore her interests as a member of the DBP Research Group team.

Lisa Gresch, MS, CCC-SLP

Lisa is a certified speech-language pathologist and a research assistant for Dr. Feldman. She received her M.S. in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University in 2015 and her B.A. in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton in 2013. Lisa has worked with children and adults of all ages with speech and language disorders in private and school-based settings and enjoys collaborating across disciplines to understand and support children with developmental disabilities and their families. As a member of the DBP Research Group, Lisa assists with the Predicting Language Outcomes From Early Processing Efficiency in Preterm Children study and the Reading-Parents and Children Together study. She is broadly interested in improving professional and public understanding of children with language and learning disabilities and creating positive learning experiences for children with diverse learning needs.

Lauren Borchers, BA

Lauren is the Co-Lab Manager and Clinical Research Coordinator for Dr. Feldman. She graduated early from The University of Colorado Boulder with distinction, receiving her B.A. in Psychology in December 2015. While Lauren was at CU Boulder, she worked for the Center for Health and Addiction: Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment Lab. She was the Chapter President of Psi Chi and was an active member of the community volunteering with the Mental Health Partners. Lauren is extensively involved in the development, testing, and analysis of three studies in the lab: Reading in Preterm and Full term Children, Reading, Parents and Children Together and a Computer-Assisted Reading Intervention. She is committed to understanding the disparities of reading acquisition in children born preterm and their cognitive and neuropsychological underpinnings. Lauren plans to earn her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in the upcoming years.

Research Alums

Yael Leitner, MD

Jenna Adams, BA

Elizabeth Martin, MD

Nchedo Ezeokoli, BA