Kali Kecskemeti

Jr. Specialist (Study Coordinator)

Kali Kecskemeti graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2020 with a BA 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 a study coordinator for the middle childhood and adolescent time points of the APP and GAIN studies. In the future, Kali is interested in pursuing a career in educational psychology.

Kiran Sharma

Jr. Specialist (Study Coordinator)

Kiran Sharma received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz. She has worked at length in Behavioral Health as a Registered Behavioral Technician, specializing in children on the Autism Spectrum as well as other Neurodevelopmental disorders. She is currently working at the MIND Institute as a research coordinator for the GAIN and APP studies managing study recruitment, data analysis, and supporting participant visits. Kiran is interested in Adolescent Psychiatry and Development.

Shayan Alavynejad

Jr. Specialist (Study Coordinator)

Shayan Alavynejad graduated from UC Davis in 2021 with a BS in Biological Sciences. As an undergraduate, he volunteered with the APP and GAIN studies as a research assistant aiding with MRI scans and data entry and with Dr. Bibiana Restrepo on analysis of gastrointestinal symptoms in autistic children. He is currently a study coordinator on the BRAIN and GAIN studies and a pilot study on gastrointestinal assessment methods through the MIND Autism Center of Excellence. In the future, Shayan plans to become pediatric gastroenterologist, with a focus on providing quality medical care for autistic children.

Tori Liggans

Jr. Specialist (Study Coordinator)

Tori Liggans earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Howard University. She has recently worked with school-aged children on the Autism Spectrum as a Registered Behavior Technician. Tori is currently working as a study coordinator for the adolescence phase of the APP study. In the future, Tori plans to continue her education by obtaining her doctorate in clinical psychology, specializing in children and adolescent care.

Val Sierakowski

Jr. Specialist (Study Coordinator)

Val Sierakowski is a recent graduate from UC Davis with a degree in Psychology. an undergraduate, he worked as a research assistant aiding in MRI scans and outreach in the Memory and Development Lab with Dr. Simona Ghetti studying associate memory formation in toddlers. We are excited to have him join our team as a study coordinator. He will be leading the early childhood visits for the GAIN study. In the future, Val plans to pursue a career in teaching and research, with a focus on equitable and flexible education.