Our Team

Principal investigator

Marie ChannellMarie Moore Channell, Ph.D.
Dr. Channell's research focuses on the development of language, cognition, and social-emotional skills in individuals with Down syndrome or other neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability (e.g., fragile X syndrome; autism spectrum disorder), particularly during middle childhood and adolescence. Her questions are framed by how skills in these domains work together to influence everyday communication in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Channell earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama in 2012. Following her PhD, she spent 3 years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis MIND Institute, where she received interdisciplinary training in the Autism Research Training Program (NRSA T32, NIMH). She joined the faculty of Speech and Hearing Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an Assistant Professor in 2015.


Lab Members

Graduate Research Assistants

Addie HoweAddie Howe, B.S.
Addie is a Master's student in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She is currently interested in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Lauren SiragusaLauren Siragusa, B.S.
Lauren is a graduate research assistant in the Intellectual Disabilities Communication Lab. She is currently enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Master’s Program. Her interests vary from working with adults with aphasia to children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Project Coordinator

Emily StrattonEmily Stratton, B.A., B.S.
Emily is a graduate research assistant in the IDCL responsible for recruiting and project coordination. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in School Social Work.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Jennifer GoodfriendJennifer Goodfriend
Jennifer is a sophomore studying Interdisciplinary Health Science with a minor in Speech and Hearing Science. After graduation, she plans to obtain a master's degree in nursing to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse.

Taylor HoffmanTaylor Hoffman
Taylor is a senior studying Speech and Hearing Science with a concentration in Cultural-Linguistic Diversity. Her research interests include the study of intellectual disabilities as well as other communication disorders. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

Teresa KubiakTeresa Kubiak
Teresa is a junior studying Speech and Hearing Science and plans on continuing her education to earn a graduate degree in speech-language pathology. Her main interests in the field are acquired communication disorders in geriatric populations and also intellectual disabilities.

Melissa PietrowiczMelissa Pietrowicz
Melissa is a sophomore studying Speech and Hearing Science with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career as a pediatric speech-language pathologist.

Lab Graduates

Shealyn AshbyShealyn Ashby, M.A.
Shealyn earned her master’s degree in 2017 and is currently completing her clinical fellowship year in Springfield, IL to become a certified speech-language pathologist. Afterwards, she plans to return to our lab to pursue a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science.

Caitlyn BoniCaitlyn Boni, B.A.
Caitlyn earned her bachelor’s degree in 2017 and is now a doctoral student pursuing a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Hahn and the Development in Neurogenetic Disorders research lab.