The Head and Principal Investigator of the Autism and Related Disorders team. Andrew trained as a Speech Pathologist (Curtin University) before completing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Western Australia. He then moved to the University of Oxford to undertake postdoctoral studies, where he was promoted to the Scott Family Junior Research Fellow for Studies in Autism (University College, Oxford). In 2009, he returned to Perth to take up his current position within the Telethon Kids Institute. He leads a team of hard-working researchers, who investigate the genetic and neurodevelopmental causes of Autism and specific language impairment, and conduct clinical intervention trials into these conditions.
Ashleigh Lin, PhD
Ashleigh is a National Health & Medical and Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Research Fellow. She studied Psychology at Curtin University and completed her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology and PhD at the University of Melbourne. In 2014, Ashleigh returned to Perth after 13 years in Melbourne and the United Kingdom to join our team. Her research has primarily focused on young people with mental health problems, particularly those at high risk of schizophrenia. Ashleigh hopes to provide a different perspective and set of skills to the Autism and Related Disorders Team.
Kiah Evans, PhD
Kiah is the Program Manager for the Autism Research Team and also coordinates the Autism CRC project to develop Australia’s first national guideline for autism diagnosis (http://www.autismcrc.com.au/national-guideline-autism-diagnosis-australia). Prior to this, Kiah was a researcher within the Curtin Autism Research Group, where she was involved in evaluating the Specialist Peer Mentoring Program. Kiah holds an honours degree in occupational therapy (Curtin University), and completed her doctoral research on how working mothers and carers balance their multiple roles (Edith Cowan University). She has over ten years experiencing working as a lecturer, researcher and project manager within an academic setting, along with over five years clinical and managerial experience within the public and private work rehabilitation sector.
Gail Alvares, PhD
Gail completed a Bachelor of Psychology with first class honours and the University Medal at the University of Sydney in 2009. She then worked as a clinical trials coordinator, facilitating projects investigating the effects of intranasal oxytocin to treat social impairments in a variety of psychiatric disorders, including youth with autism spectrum disorders.
She recently submitted a PhD in Medicine at the Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, investigating the behavioural and physiological correlates of social anxiety disorder. Gail joined the Autism Research Team as a postdoctoral research fellow to manage projects investigating early detection of autism and to investigate novel biological mechanisms associated with social impairments. A list of publications can be found here: http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=w8-WelQAAAAJ&hl=en
Kandice Varcin, PhD
Kandice completed Master of Psychology (Clinical) and PhD degrees at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her doctoral research focused on the identification of mechanisms contributing to social cognitive disruption in individuals with schizophrenia using electrophysiological techniques. Kandice then undertook postdoctoral research training at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital in the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience investigating early behavioural and neural markers of atypical development in infancy, especially autism spectrum disorder. In July 2016, Kandice joined the Autism Research Team at Telethon Kids Institute to continue her work in early identification and intervention for infants at-risk of developmental disorders. Kandice’s work also investigates early prenatal and postnatal influences on brain and behavioural development in infancy.
Jo Granich AssocDipDT, BSc(Hons) MPH
Jo is the Clinical Trials Coordinator within the Autism Research Team. She is responsible for managing three multi-site randomised trials as well as being a senior and founding researcher on the first pregnancy and autism study in Australia - The PRISM Study: PRegnancy Investigation of Siblings and Mothers of children with Autism.
Jo holds a Masters degree from the University of Western Australia and has over ten years experience in coordinating and evaluating family oriented, school-based and mass-media research projects. She has expertise in mixed methods studies which have led to peer-reviewed publications. Jo is also a registered dental therapist with over 20 years of clinical oral hygiene experience in the private sector.
She is a highly motivated and passionate researcher who is also a parent of two young children, of which one has Autism. Her research knowledge, skills and professional experience together with personal insight has placed her in a unique position to work in this complex and evolving field of neurodevelopmental science. Her aspirations are to make a difference to individuals and families affected by autism through the eyes of rigorous research, thereby facilitate discoveries and improve our knowledge and outcomes of this life long disorder.
Alexis Harun, BHSc
Alexis graduated from The University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Health Science. She first joined the Autism Research Team in 2013 after completing her professional practicum placement. Alexis currently coordinates theTestosterone and Language in Kids (TALK) Study and is also currently working on the West Australian Autism Register. Alexis is also a qualified phlebotmist.
Dominique Cleary, BA, BSc(Hons)
Dominique graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology with first class honours from the University of Western Australia in 2016. During her undergraduate years she also worked with children with autism spectrum disorders, which led to an interest and passion for developmental research. She joined the team in 2017 as a Research Assistant working on the Australian Autism Biobank- a national study designed to discover more about the genetic and environmental influences contributing to ASD.
Maryam Boutrus, BA(Hons)
Maryam is currently completing her PhD through the University of Western Australia. Her research project aims to identify biological and neurocognitive markers that may help to recognise children at an increased risk for autism within their first year of life. She hopes that the earlier recognition of autism would enable earlier intervention, and contribute to more positive outcomes for individuals and their families.
If you'd like to contact us, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Telethon Kids' reception on (08) 9489 7777.