Our Team

Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Dr. Elisabeth Dykens has been working with individuals with disabilities since 1978.  From her training as a doctoral student at Yale Child Studies Center and then on the Psychiatry faculty at UCLA from 1997-2003 she has worked with children and adults with developmental disorders. She worked in the Neuropsychiatric Institute Clinic with individuals and their families who experienced emotional and behavioral problems. She is licensed in Tennessee as a Clinical Psychologist. She is the key investigator on Trajectories of Phenotypic Behavior in Prader-Willi Syndrome, an NICHD funded 5 year longitudinal continuation study looking at behavior and development in individuals with PWS across time and lifespan. She is the Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and oversees all aspects of the research program in Prader-Willi syndrome. She is interested in individuals with genetic syndromes and how the strengths and weaknesses that are characteristic of these syndromes may be related to different environment and genetic influences.  Biographical Sketch

Elizabeth Roof, M.A., Senior Research Specialist, Research Lab Director

Elizabeth Roof has worked with over 250 individuals with PWS and their families since 1995. She is trained as Psychological Examiner and is licensed to practice in the state of Tennessee. She coordinates all research and clinical assessments and does extensive psychiatric/behavioral interviews with all parents and participants. She also helps arrange travel and hotel for research participants and their families. With her former background as a teacher, she consults with school to provide behavioral support and training to staff of students with PWS. She consults with medical professionals to help problem solve behavioral and psychiatric issues. She is interested in supporting families through outreach programs of support groups and face to face and phone consultations. Biographical Sketch

Support Staff:

Lauren Deisenroth, B.S. – Research Analyst, Prader-Willi Syndrome Lab

Caroline Oates, B.S. – Research Analyst, Prader-Willi Syndrome Lab

Loren Tilson, B.S. -Research Analyst, Prader-Willi Syndrome Lab

Sasha Key, Ph.D. – Director, Psychophysiology Lab

Dorita Jones – Research Coordinator, Psychophysiology Lab

Cary Fu, M.D. – Instructor: Neurology (Epilepsy Division)

Niru Madduri, M.D. – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Greg Barnes, Ph.D., M.D. – Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics

Steve Couch, M.D. – Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

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Our Team