© 2019 by Ellen J. Hoffman

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Lab Members

Ellen J. Hoffman, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Email: ellen.hoffman@yale.edu

Ellen studied Biochemistry at SUNY Stony Brook and received her MD from SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. As a medical student, she worked in the laboratory of Gail Mandel of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Ellen did her residency in Psychiatry and fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she worked in the laboratories of Deanna Benson and Joseph Buxbaum. She then completed a research fellowship in Childhood-Onset Neuropsychiatric Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center and received her PhD in Investigative Medicine from Yale University in the laboratories of Matthew State and Antonio Giraldez. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Yale Child Study Center and the Yale Neurogenetics Program.

Hellen Weinschutz Mendes, PhD


Email: hellen.weinschutz@yale.edu

Hellen was born and raised in Brazil where she obtained her B.S. in Biology from Pontifical Catholic University of Parana and her Master's degree in Immunogenetics from Federal University of Parana. During her Masters, Hellen was a visiting researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark. She moved to Canada and obtained her PhD in Biology at the University of Ottawa, where she studied the roles of dlx genes in the adult zebrafish brain. Hellen joined the Hoffman lab in January 2020 as a Postdoc Associate. Her research focuses on identifying biological mechanisms involving genes related to ASD and novel pharmacological candidates that target these pathways. Hellen also enjoys producing Podcasts, maps, traveling, swimming and being in Nature.

Sarah E Fitzpatrick

MD-PhD Student

Email: sarah.e.fitzpatrick@yale.edu

Sarah was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Ohio State University in 2016. Throughout undergrad and for 2 years after graduation, she worked with Dr. Craig Erickson at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital studying neurodevelopmental disorders both from the bench and in clinical trials. She also spent time doing research at the UC Davis MIND Institute and OSU Nisonger Center. She left to Midwest to join the Yale MD-PhD program in August 2018. In Fall 2020 following 2 years of medical school, she will affiliate with INP and begin her graduate work in the Hoffman lab where she will study the roles of ASD-risk master regulator genes in early neurodevelopment. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, theater, hiking, and traveling.

Tianying Chen

Post-Graduate Associate

Email: tianying.chen@yale.edu

Tianying received her B.S. in Biology from Beijing Normal University and her Master's Degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at SUNY Stony Brook. She worked in Benjamin Martin's lab at Stony Brook, where she investigated the effect of retinol acid on angioblast migration during early zebrafish development and the role of tcf15 in mesodermal patterning. Tianying joined the Hoffman lab in February 2019. Her work focuses on investigating changes in brain structure in zebrafish mutants of ASD risk genes.

Kristen Enriquez

Undergraduate Student 

Email: kristen.enriquez@yale.edu

Kristen is a junior in Yale College majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB). She joined the Hoffman lab in June 2018, where her project focuses on defining behavioral phenotypes of zebrafish mutants of ASD risk genes. Kristen is involved in identifying differences in brain structure and activity in ASD-risk gene mutants, and how these differences predispose to behavioral dysfunction.