Lab Members

Anila M. D'Mello, PhD

Lab Director

Dr. Anila D'Mello is an Assistant Professor and Jon Heighten Scholar in Autism Research in The Department of Psychiatry and Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern. She is also faculty within The Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. D'Mello received her BA in Psychology from Georgetown University and completed a PhD in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience at American University. She completed postdoctoral training at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Dr. D'Mello is also an external fellow of the Center for Vital Longevity, and an affiliate of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing at UTD and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

Contact Anila:; Office: 214-645-7669

Graduate Students 

Bangjie Wang, M.Sc.

Doctoral student 

Bangjie is a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas. His work focuses on the functional organization of language in the cerebellum. He is interested in understanding how the cerebellum and cortex, as well as their interactions, support language comprehension. He completed his BA in Psychology from Grinnell College and his MSc in Neuroscience from University College London. In his spare time, Bangjie enjoys cooking and learning new recipes.

Contact Bangjie: 

Carol Zeng, B.S.

Masters student 

Carol Zeng is a first-year MS-Speech Language Pathology student at UT Dallas. She completed her B.A. in French Studies and B.S. in Speech Language Hearing Sciences at UT Austin. She has experience working with kids who stutter, adults with aphasia, and kids with ASD. As a clinician and as a potential Ph.D. research interest, she would like to work with families in Early Childhood Intervention and AAC education. She enjoys playing board games, rhythm games, various sports, the bass guitar, and annoying her two cats.

Contact Carol: 


Audrey Courreges, B.S.

Lab Manager

Audrey is a clinical research assistant and lab manager for the D'Mello lab at UT Southwestern. She received her BS in Psychology from Southern Methodist University where she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Family Health and Development lab. Following graduation, she worked in a neuropsychology practice as a psychometrist and administered ASD and ADHD assessments to children. However, Audrey's interest in psychology and autism stretches back many years. She briefly worked as an ABA therapist, but ultimately found the most satisfaction working with various families as a caregiver for kids and teens on the spectrum. She loved learning about each family's unique experiences and how they approach problems associated with neurodiversity. In the future, Audrey plans to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology and conduct research on various topics associated with autism and neurodiversity. 

Contact Audrey: 

Tanny Tahami, B.S.

Research Coordinator

Tanny is the research coordinator for the D’Mello and Tsai labs at UT Southwestern. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a B.S. in Psychology, and plans to pursue higher education. Throughout her undergraduate program, she worked as a Behavior Technician (RBT) providing individualized ABA therapy for children on the autism spectrum. Tanny is particularly interested in how intersectionality impacts research and disability, and she hopes to help further expand potential therapeutic approaches and provide inclusive support for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Contact Tanny: 

Haley Waker, M.S.

Affiliate Research Coordinator

Haley is a research coordinator in the Tsai lab at UT Southwestern, and an affiliate of the D'Mello lab. She received her B.A in Psychology from the University of North Texas in Denton. She received her M.S in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. She has 6 years of experience working with children diagnosed with ASD, ages ranging from 2-11 years old. Her passion was to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, but through the finding of research, she is determined to broaden her horizons in the research realm. While her main interest is the Autistic population, in the future, Haley hopes to expand more on research of neurodiversity and vulnerable populations. 

Contact Haley: 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Sneha Elangovan

Undergraduate RA

Sneha is an undergraduate research assistant for the D'Mello Lab at UT Southwestern. She is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Dallas and is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. After finishing her degree, she plans to attend medical school. She is interested in studying the connections between technology and science that contribute to medical advances. 

Alishba Silat

Undergraduate RA

Alishba is a pre-med undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science at UT Dallas with an emphasis on Neuroscience. She strives to be an advocate for mental health and ultimately hopes to pursue a career revolving psycho and exposure therapy. Her plans involve either attending graduate school and completing a PsyD in Clinical Psychology or pursuing an MD in Psychiatry. Maybe both, who knows! In her free time, she enjoys listening to K-Pop, watching Netflix, and catching up on the latest young-adult novels. 

Ashley Blanco

Undergraduate RA

Ashley is a sophomore studying Neuroscience on the pre-medical track at UT Dallas. She is interested in language, memory, and sleep and how neurodevelopmental disorders may impact these cognitive processes. She is currently working as an ED pediatrics scribe at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas. After graduation, Ashley plans on pursuing an MD/Ph.D. and working as a pediatric neurologist specializing in neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Summer Students and Interns

Tori Lajous (Brandeis University) - Summer 2023

Jessica Ding (Brown University) - Summer 2023

Rod Benzanilla Davila (Southern Methodist University) - SURFin Fellow, 2023-2024

Interested in joining our lab? Dr. D'Mello is hiring at all levels!