Katina Calakos joined the SFARI team in February 2023 as a Clinical Research Scientist. Calakos collects, manages, analyzes, and disseminates clinical data for the Simons Searchlight cohort study on rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. She summarizes and reports back clinical insights to families that participate in Simons Searchlight and additionally curates Simons Searchlight datasets for researchers to access and use via SFARI Base. Calakos also connects with prospective and current Simons Searchlight families and interested researchers at family meetings and scientific conferences.
Prior to joining SFARI, Calakos earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience at Yale University, where she conducted clinical PET neuroimaging studies of substance use disorders with Kelly Cosgrove. She previously examined neural mechanisms of age-related cognitive decline as an associate researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Rockefeller University with John H. Morrison and Bruce McEwen. She earned her B.S in neuroscience and behavior at Barnard College, where she performed research on the neurobiology of fear learning with Elizabeth Bauer. Calakos also previously interned at the Brooklyn Autism Center, where she assisted teachers and staff with educational activities for children with autism spectrum disorder.