Meet Our Team

Sara J. Webb, Ph.D.

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Webb’s research focuses on the use of electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potentials (ERPs), eye tracking, and behavioral measures to study how infants, children, and adults learn about their social environment, and how that learning is impacted by developmental disruptions.
Her current work covers several areas including (1) attention, perceptual, cognitive, and social abilities in individuals with developmental disabilities including autism, Fragile X, and developmental delay; (2) early risk markers and protective factors for ASD; and (3) development of biomarkers for use in clinical trials. These projects represent an effort to understand the neural circuits that contribute to and underlie atypical development. Currently, she is the principal investigator of several projects sponsored by the NIH and has had funding from Autism Speaks, Autism Science Foundation, SFARi, Korean Foundation, and Seattle Children’s Research institute.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rachel-website-photo-2-510x768.jpgRachel K. Earl, Ph.D.

Acting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Rachel Earl is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically the neuropsychological and genetic correlates of autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Earl completed her doctorate at the University of Washington, residency at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and postdoctoral fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She has specialized expertise in phenotypic characterization of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and rare genetic mutations. Dr. Earl is passionate about fostering research engagement for families of individuals with developmental disabilities, thereby building close family-research partnerships and connecting families with personalized community and resource supports.

Eva Kurtz-Nelson, Ph.D.

Clinical Director, Clinical Psychology

Dr. Kurtz-Nelson received her Ph.D. in school psychology and MS in special education from the University of Oregon. She completed her clinical training at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. Her research and clinical work center on the prevention of severe challenging behavior and the promotion of positive caregiver-child relationships for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Outside of work, Dr. Kurtz-Nelson enjoys reading, traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.

Anne B. Arnett, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Child Clinical Psychology

Dr. Arnett studies brain-behavior relationships in children with developmental disorders. Her research is primarily focused on genetic and neuropsychological factors associated with atypical attention, memory and learning. Dr. Arnett received her degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver and completed her clinical training at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Outside of work, Dr. Arnett enjoys backcountry skiing, sailing, and camping with her family.

Hannah Rea, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Rea received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia and completed her clinical training at UC Davis MIND Institute and CAARE Center. Her research and clinical work focus on improving service delivery for individuals with developmental disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys training for triathlons, skiing, and cooking.

Elizabeth (Liz) Jones

Psychometrist

Liz graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant in the Integration and Perception Lab at the University of Oregon and the Clinical Neuroscience Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously worked as a psychometrist at a clinic administering assessments for patients suspected of having brain injuries, learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders. Liz’s research interests include neuropsychological assessment, exploring the neural and psychological mechanisms of neuropsychological disorders, and identifying protective and risk factors for those disorders. She aims to pursue a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology with a focus in one of her previously mentioned interests. Outside of lab, Liz enjoys running, hiking, baking, playing with her dog and reading.

shapeimage_6_1Alana Peters-Whiting

Administrative Assistant Lead

Alana graduated from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Geology. As an undergrad, Alana worked as a Laboratory Assistant in the WWU Department of Biology as well as the UW Department of Pharmacy. Her love of science brought her to work at the Bernier Lab. She currently builds databases and manages the data collected from all of our studies. Alana also pursues musical theatre professionally and performs at local theaters, including the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Village Theatre.

shapeimage_6_1Wesley Ganz

Research Study Coordinator

Wesley graduated from Seattle University with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in biology. As an undergraduate, he volunteered in Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab at the University of Washington. Wesley’s research interests focus on perceptual processing differences in individuals with ASD using EEG and neuroimaging methods. He ultimately hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience focusing on auditory processing in individuals with ASD. Outside of the lab, Wesley enjoys playing with synthesizers, watching sports, exploring Seattle’s flora and fauna, and cooking with friends.

Christina Sargent

Research Study Coordinator

Christina graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in Biology and a B.S. in Psychology.  As an undergraduate, she interned here with the RAB Lab,  the Neuro-ICU at Swedish Medical Center, and the Psychology Department at Seattle U as an undergraduate research assistant.  Christina’s research interests lie in the cognitive and behavioral neurosciences, aiming to pursue a Ph.D. in one of these fields one day.  Outside of lab, Christina enjoys going to concerts, spending time outdoors, and finding the best happy hours in Seattle!

Grace Stewart

Research Study Coordinator

Grace graduated from Seattle University in 2019 with a B.S in Psychology. As an undergraduate she interned with Dr. Lengua at UW’s Center for Child and Family Well-Being where she worked on a study about stress and mindfulness with primiparous mothers. After graduating, Grace worked as a full-time research assistant at UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. At I-LABS she assisted with data collection with infants and children on projects involving brain imaging and face to face neuroscience. Grace is interested in behavioral neuroscience and clinical interventions, hoping to one day pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience. Outside of lab, Grace enjoys spending time outdoors, trying out new recipes and has taken up printmaking!

Curtis Eayrs

Research Study Assistant

Curtis graduated from the University of Washington in June 2017 with a premed degree. He is interested in neurobiology and its effect on behavior of both neurotypicals and neuroatypicals. As an undergraduate, Curtis was one of the original members of UW’s HuskyMOSSAIC program. After graduation, he became an Advisory Board Member for UW’s HuskyMOSSAIC and continues to attend their monthly social gatherings, offering advice/feedback on strategic planning. In his free time, Curtis enjoys listening to/reading the Bible, listening to music, singing karaoke and performing with choirs, as well as watching TV (animated and live-action) in addition to local Seattle and UW sports. Fun Fact: Curtis memorized 355 digits of the number Pi in 10 minutes during a 7th grade Pi Day contest!

Theo Ho, MPH

Research Study Assistant, Seattle Children’s Autism Center

Theo obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh in 2012.  He has experience working with all age groups of the ASD population, in a variety of capacities, spanning the entire continuum of ASD.  He is interested in health care service delivery to marginalized patient populations, specifically health care scenarios involving peripheral-careers (informal and professional) centered around young adult patients on the spectrum.  In his spare time, Theo enjoys growing spare thyme and never making bad puns.