ASF Fellowship Hall of Fame – Class of 2010

Karen Marie Barnes, Ph.D.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Autism Center at UW
Dr. Barnes (then Burner) spent her fellowship at the University of Washington examining early temperament in infants later diagnosed with ASD. You can watch her describe her project here. Early temperament is now thought to contribute to resilience towards ASD symptoms. Today, Dr. Barnes provides psychological services at The Seattle Clinic. She specializes in psychological and neuropsychological assessments including: cognitive (IQ), developmental, learning and memory, academic, and executive functioning (such as organization, planning, inhibition, and flexibility). She is an integral part of the team at UW and works directly with families in a research setting. She enjoys collaborating with families to better understand their child’s strengths and challenges and provide appropriate recommendations for home and school, and her treatment with children, teens, and families focuses on developmental, behavioral, and emotional challenges, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, social deficits/differences, and disruptive behavior.

Sarah F. Laughlin, Ph.D. 
Neuropsychologist & Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR), University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine 
Sarah Hannigen (now Laughlin) focused her work at University of Pittsburgh studying on the earliest signs of autism in infants. This included some of the earliest landmark studies on how infants look at faces and perceive emotions, leading to better targeted early interventions. Today, Dr. Laughlin provides neuropsychology inpatient and outpatient services within UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she has specialized clinical expertise and interest in epilepsy; autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, intellectual disability, and related genetic syndromes; the neuropsychological effects of childhood trauma and/or maltreatment. Dr. Laughlin regularly contributes to the education of SOM trainees by providing lectures and opportunities of observation of her clinical work. Dr. Laughlin is a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Related Disorders (LEND) faculty member and the lead LEND faculty member in the psychology discipline. In her LEND role she is the principal investigator (PI) of the University of Pittsburgh’s LEND Outcomes Study and contributes to cross-disciplinary training/education in the LEND clinic, psychology doctoral student recruitment and supervision, and the development of LEND’s autism curriculum.

Matthew Maenner
Epidemiologist and Surveillance Team Lead, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
During his work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Matt utilized a variety of data sources to better understand differences across people with autism in the US. Click here to hear him describe his project. Since then, he has worked at the Centers for Disease Control on autism projects. Today, Matthew leads the Surveillance Team in the Developmental Disabilities Branch at CDC. His team runs the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, which currently funds sites in ten states (plus one at CDC). Beginning next year, his team plans to include a new component to ADDM to follow-up on adolescents that had ASD (or symptoms of ASD) when they were younger. His team is focused on generating population-level data about prevalence, early identification, and health conditions for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Dr. Mike Sidorov, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mike was trained at MIT studying the metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling and how it regulates synaptic plasticity in mouse visual cortex. His fellowship tested the hypothesis that pharmacological inhibition of metabotropic glutamate receptors in adulthood may improve synaptic function and behavior in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. This has opened new avenues for drug discovery and development in ASD, and led to a large clinical trial examining this drug target in ASD. Following his fellowship, he earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at MIT in 2014. Currently he is at UNC Chapel Hill and is broadly interested in understanding how experience modifies synapses, cells, and circuits, and how these processes are disrupted in mouse models of human disease. He currently focuses on how experience modifies synapses and circuits in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, using in vivo and in vitro methods. Dr. Sidorov was awarded a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award by NEI in 2018 and will be starting a faculty position at the Center for Neuroscience at Children’s National in Washington, DC in December 2019.