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Brain Development & Education Lab


Principal Investigator

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Dr. Jason Yeatman is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Stanford University. As the director of the Brain Development and Education Lab, the overarching goal of his research is to understand the mechanisms that underlie the process of learning to read, how these mechanisms differ in children with dyslexia, and to design literacy intervention programs that are effective across the wide spectrum of learning differences. A major component of this work is the development of new quantitative brain imaging methods for modeling the neurobiological basis of cognitive development. | CV | Google Scholar


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Adam Richie-Halford is a postdoctoral scholar in the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Stanford University and an affiliate of the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington. Along the way he also served as an officer in the Air Force and as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Morocco. Adam is interested in developing statistical learning techniques for the analysis of neuroimaging data and new browser-based technologies to assist in the deep phenotyping of dyslexia. He is also interested in developing open-source software tools to enable other scientists to analyze and share large datasets. Adam is a member of the Software and Data Carpentry communities. | Personal Website | CV | Google Scholar

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Carrie Townley-Flores is the Director of Research and Partnerships for the Rapid Online Assessment of Reading (ROAR). She is a PhD Candidate in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, where she is advised by sean reardon and Jelena Obradović. Before coming to Stanford, Carrie taught elementary, middle, and high school in Michigan, New Hampshire, and Finland. Her experiences with the deep inequalities in the U.S. education system brought her to Stanford to study education policy. Working with many middle and high schoolers who had not received the literacy education they needed to thrive led her to the ROAR. She has a B.A. in English and Education from University of Michigan.

Post-Doctoral Scholars

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Maha Ramamurthy is broadly interested in the intersection of higher-order mechanisms, like attention, in the functional reorganization of the brain. Naturally occurring conditions like amblyopia and dyslexia particularly interest her. At Stanford, her studies will focus on the role of visual attention in Dyslexia. | Personal Website | CV

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Sendy Caffarra is an Assistant Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) and a visiting scholar in the Brain Development and Education Lab. She is interested in how language comprehension changes as a function of experience. At Stanford, she is trying to characterize functional and structural brain changes related to reading acquisition using electrophysiological (MEG) and diffusion MRI measures. | Personal Website 

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Maya Yablonski is interested in the neural bases of language learning and reading. After completing her PhD at Bar Ilan University, focusing on white matter correlates of reading in adults, Maya’s research at Stanford will explore reading and brain development in children with dyslexia. Maya aims to combine structural and functional MRI to shed light on mechanisms of brain plasticity that support reading improvement following reading intervention. | Google Scholar

Graduate Students

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Jamie Mitchell is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Education’s Developmental and Psychological Sciences program at Stanford University. She received her B.A. in Education Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, focusing on Children’s learning and Development and received a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. As and undergrad and postbaccalaureate, Jamie began her research as a research assistant in the Individualizing Student Instruction Lab where she assisted in the development of the OLOS classroom observation system. Jamie joined the Brain Development and Education Lab in July of 2020 shortly before begining her graduate studies that fall. Her research interests focus on the role of the visual system in reading and utilizing fMRI to study the neural underpinnings of reading. Jamie is particularly interested the neural processes involved in reading development in special populations (such as those who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing) who have difficulty learning to read. | LinkedIn

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Wanjing Anya Ma is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Education’s Learning Sciences and Technology Design program at Stanford University. She received her B.S. in Computer Science and Teaching Chemistry 7-12 from New York University and M.S.Ed in Learning Sciences and Technologies from the University of Pennsylvania. Anya’s previous research focused on science education and learning analytics. After teaching middle school chemistry for two years in Brooklyn, NY, she became more interested in developing computational learning tools to support children with special needs. At Stanford, Anya is excited to explore adaptive reading assessments and interventions for children with varied reading abilities.

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Ethan Roy is a third-year graduate student in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences and Learning Science and Technology Design programs working with Bruce McCandliss and Jason Yeatman. Before coming to Stanford, Ethan received a B.A. in neuroscience from Middlebury College and taught English and math in Spain, Vermont, and Costa Rica. He is excited to combine his interests in education and neuroscience to help further our understandings of how the brain changes as students learn mathematics and how to reason numerically.

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Julian M. Siebert is a third-year PhD student in the Developmental and Psychological Sciences and Education Data Science programmes, supervised by Guillermo Solano-Flores. His research aims to increase linguistic fairness and equity in cognitive assessments, as well as to conceptualise and trial inherently multilingual means of assessment. He is also interested in (interactive) data visualisation and effective science communication. Prior to coming to Stanford, Julian received a BSocSc(Hons) in Psychology, Linguistics, and Sociology  and MScoSc in Psychology from the University of Cape Town, as well as an MPhil in Psychology and Education from the University of Cambridge. | Personal Website | LinkedIn

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Howard Chiu is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Education’s Developmental and Psychological Sciences program at Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to Stanford, Howard worked in Singapore as an educational psychologist in the Ministry of Education’s Special Educational Needs Division. His research will focus on using transdiagnostic longitudinal neuroimaging methods to understand the developmental trajectories of individuals within and across functional areas, so as to better understand how neural development relates to educational and other well-being outcomes.
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Research Coordinators

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Jasmine Tran joined the lab after receiving her B.A. in Psychology from SJSU. She previously interned at AnLar, where she worked on projects for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and the Louisiana Department of Education. After seeing how research influences early education policy, she became interested in exploring educational psychology and its’ practical applications. Jasmine is excited to explore educational interventions for diverse learners and fidelity monitoring. Outside of the lab, Jasmine spends her free time being bad at video games and eating free Costco samples. 

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Hannah Stone joined the lab after graduating from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. She previously worked for Marmolab at the University of Rochester’s Center for Visual Science where she studied how internal brain states effect visual processing. Hannah has also worked as a teaching assistant, tutor, and tour guide and is excited to explore the neural processes behind education and learning. Outside of work she enjoys surfing, painting, and working on her pilot’s license.

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Mia Fuentes joined the lab after completing her BA at the University of Pennsylvania in Psychology and Criminology. During her time as an undergrad, Mia worked with Dr. Allyson Mackey’s Changing Brain Lab where projects explore how the brain changes as children grow up and learn new things. Mia focused her work there on exploring ways to optimize positive outcomes for child learning. Mia has worked in a variety of roles to support disadvantaged populations from tutoring to coaching to having held social work positions. Outside of the lab, Mia can often be found exploring dog parks and hiking trails with her husband, Jayson, and puppy, Nala.

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Tonya Murray is interested in the translation of reading research to practical application in schools. She’s excited about applying the Design Thinking methods she learning during her M.S. in Learning Design & Technology program at Stanford to the ROAR (Rapid Online Assessment of Reading) software. Before coming to Stanford, Tonya spent over 15 years working as a software engineer and project manager. She was inspired to become a reading researcher by seeing the progress her dyslexic son made when he received effective intervention.

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Albu Ungashe is interested in studying at the intersection of reading research and social justice to create more equitable access to information and intervention for all students and their families. Before coming to Stanford, Alby spent 5 years working in marketing. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in International Development Studies, focusing on identity politics in the Horn of Africa, and most recently completed a  Post Bac in Counseling and Psychology through UC Berkeley. She hopes to utilize her diverse experience to contribute to this lab and eventually specialize in the cognitive and behavioral outcomes of immigrant and refugee populations.

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Kelly Wentzlof joined the lab after receiving her B.S. in Psychology and Statistics from Indiana University. During her time as an undergrad, Kelly worked in Dr. Amy Holtzworth-Munroe’s lab where she analyzed the efficacy of various mediation tactics for families experiencing interpersonal violence. Kelly has also worked as a tutor and an undergraduate instructor for various math and statistics courses and is excited to merge her interests in psychology and education. Outside of the lab, Kelly spends her free time hiking, biking, and skating around campus and Palo Alto.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Grace Adebogun is a senior at Stanford majoring in Human Biology. She joined the lab in December 2020 as a Wu Tsai NeURO Fellow, and has continued to work within the lab. She is interested in working on projects related to attention and dyslexia, as well as projects generally focused on educational neuroscience and children. 

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Willy Chan is a freshman at Stanford studying math and computer science. He finds pleasure in teaching others and is interested in the intersection of computational neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Willy is from New Jersey and joined in January 2023. Outside of the lab, he is a huge fan of scary movies, lacrosse, and designing electronics.

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Alina Davison is a junior from Austin, Texas, studying Symbolic Systems and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. She is curious about the intersection of neuroscience, technology, and social justice. In her free time, she loves making Spotify playlists, playing the violin in Stanford’s Mariachi band, thrifting, and finding new boba spots.

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Loran Baxter-Mercado (he/him) is a freshman at Stanford interested in the intersection of language and neuroscience, but is currently unsure of his major. He is from Los Angeles and has experience teaching kids math, reading, and horseback riding. Loran loves nothing more than working with kids and since joining in January 2023, is excited to combine his passions with the LMB project and more. Outside of the lab, he can be found running, watching movies, or playing Pokemon.

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Charlotte Xu is a senior at Stanford majoring in Psychology, Early Childhood, Learning, and Development Pathway. She is also broadly interested in East and South Asian religious studies. She joined the lab in January 2023 and is excited to work on the Lindamood-Bell project with children regarding dyslexia intervention research. Charlotte is from Shanghai, China and enjoys traveling, singing, and scuba diving with friends.

Lab Loved Ones

Carrie’s Family

Jasmine’s Family

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Carrie started grad school with a baby and a toddler, who have since grown up on Stanford’s campus. In their free time, they like to hike, camp, and swim all over California.

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Jasmine has two younger brothers and comes from a tight-knit family of Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants. They love eating at their favorite spots in East San Jose and exploring California’s beautiful landmarks.

Maya’s Family

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Maya likes to explore California with her family. Since moving here from Israel they are looking for the perfect beach

Jamie’s Family

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Jamie and her husband moved to Stanford from Southern California. In their free time, they like to watch movies, play games, explore new restaurants, and visit family.

Mia’s Family

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Mia and her family moved to Stanford from Philadelphia, but are originally from Arizona. They used to enjoy long drives, but Nala drew the line at two cross country trips.

Lab Alumni

Emily Kubota
Graduate Student, Stanford University Department of Psychology

Libby Huber
Research Scientist, UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

Sung Jun Joo
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Pusan University, Korea | CV | Google Scholar

Elle O’Brien
Personal Website | Google Scholar

Douglas Strotdman

Patrick Donnelly | Google Scholar

Joining the Lab

We’re excited you’re interested in joining our team! Below are some of the ways you can go about getting information on involvement opportunities.


There are a few different ways that undergrads can get involved as RAs- whether that be through Cardinal Commitment, for course credit, etc. Typically we require an 8-10 hour weekly commitment for minimum 2 quarters. If you’re interested in being considered as an RA, fill out this form. Please note that we are not always looking to add to our team, but we keep record of these applications for when we are!

If you have specific questions, please reach out to any of our research coordinators: and

Open Positions

Feel free to check here for open positions by searching Yeatman in the search bar.