• Dr. Jamee Mae Berg is a neuroscientist and singer/songwriter.
         As a neuroscientist, Dr. Berg has a broad range of experience studying neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically Cayman ataxia, speech and language disorders, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). After obtaining her B.S. from the University of Michigan, Dr. Berg helped discover the genetic basis of Cayman ataxia and was part of a research team that furthered the understanding of human language by identifying brain expression networks associated with human-specific variants in Forkhead box protein P2 (FOXP2), a molecule implicated in speech and language. Following this, Dr. Berg conducted her Ph.D. research at the University of California, Los Angeles under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Geschwind. Dr. Berg’s Ph.D. research focused on janus kinase and microtubule interacting protein-1 (JAKMIP1), a protein dysregulated across various forms of ASD. She found JAKMIP1 to be a novel regulator of neuronal translation, modulating synaptic function and autistic-like behaviors in mice. For this research, Dr. Berg was awarded the Eva Kavan Brain Research Institute Award. Dr. Berg’s postdoctoral fellowship and staff scientist position at the University of California, Los Angeles, continued to focus on JAKMIP1, but also included the behavioral profiling of mice overexpressing cytoplasmic FMR1 interacting protein-1 (CYFIP1), a gene implicated in autism and schizophrenia. Dr. Berg has over 14 years of experience in neuroscience research, with extensive training in genetics, proteomics, cell culture, mouse behavior, and bioinformatics. Dr. Berg is published in high-ranking journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, and Neuron.
         As a singer/songwriter, “Jamee Mae” launched her solo career in 2016 with her debut EP, “Fly,” which won the Akademia award for best R&B/Soul EP. Jamee Mae has performed in several high-profile events, including the Genius Loci Music Festival, the Lucidity Music Festival (recurring performer), and the LoveLife:Livestream event, which included performances by Rachel Platten and Andy Grammer. Jamee Mae has recorded in the famous EastWest studios and has worked with Grammy-Award winning producers Jamey Heath (OPOPP Productions, EP “Fly”) and Paul Hoyle ("Letter to the World"). Jamee Mae's music video, “Candle,” was selected by the Lady Filmmakers Festival and Holly Shorts and screened at the legendary TCL Chinese (formerly Grauman’s Chinese) Theatre in Hollywood, California. Jamee Mae’s songs, “Follow Me" and "Oh My," were featured in the short film, “She Was,” which won best Experimental Short at the 2019 L.A. Live Film Festival. Jamee Mae is the author of musical books, “Kaileia’s Garden” and “Surrounded in Light: A Mother’s Protection Song,” was a musician for “Musicians on Call,” and is a Vanguard Audio Labs Artist.
         Dr. Berg is thrilled to be integrating her lifelong commitment to science and music by studying the neuroscience of music under the mentorship of Dr. Reyna Gordon at the Music Cognition Lab.

  • Catherine Bush

    Speech Language Pathologist

    Over the past 17 years as a Speech Language Pathologist, Catherine has primarily worked with young children in early intervention and in clinical research settings. Originally from Cookeville, TN, her Bachelor’s degree is in Music Therapy, and she earned her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Catherine’s most recent research endeavors were dedicated to coaching parents of baby siblings with Autism Spectrum Disorder to support their engagement and communication. She is excited to return to her musical roots and to more formally study the connections between the brain, music, and language. Outside the lab, Catherine enjoys hiking, planting flowers, and spending time with her awesome nephews! 

  • Kelly Corcoran joins the Music Cognition Lab as a Social Scientist bringing a range of experiences in performance, community partnership and public health to the team.  In this position, Kelly works on epidemiological studies as well as community initiatives.  Named “Best Classical Conductor” by the Nashville Scene, Kelly is Artistic Director & Conductor of Intersection, a contemporary music ensemble in Nashville. Corcoran founded the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted the Nashville Symphony in hundreds of performances for nine seasons as Associate Conductor and Director of the Symphony Chorus. She has guest conducted many major orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and National Symphonies and orchestras in Argentina, England, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico and Chile. Corcoran has worked with a range of artists and conducted National Geographic's Symphony for our World international tour. A graduate of Boston Conservatory (BM - Vocal performance) and Indiana University (MM - Instrumental Conducting), a proud alum of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, the New World Symphony and the Lucerne Festival with Pierre Boulez, her primary conducting mentors are Leonard Slatkin and Marin Alsop. Additionally, Corcoran is on the music faculty at Middle Tennessee State University and Lipscomb University and is proud to serve on the Advisory Council for Music Makes Us (supporting music education) and Nashville’s Health Equity Workgroup. Kelly recently completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Behavior from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is deeply interested in the role of music in building health in our communities.

  • Talia Liu is originally from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. In 2018, she graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas where she majored in both Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. Her research has focused on language development in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder, infant language development, and speech perception. She enjoys working with infants and children, as well as with individuals with autism. She is currently finishing up her MS in Speech-Language Pathology at Vanderbilt while continuing to work part-time in the lab. In her free time, Talia likes to play her instruments (mainly piano and oboe), and eat pizza, soup noodles, and dumplings.


  • Julie Mazzone

    Speech Language Pathologist

    Julie Mazzone grew up in NY and earned her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Hunter College in 2017. Upon graduating, she worked as a Speech Language Pathologist with young children with hearing loss. Outside of her 9-5 job, Julie pursued her love of music by performing, as well as teaching children’s music classes. She is excited to work in the lab as it combines her passions. In her free time, Julie enjoys writing music and playing with her dog.

  • Jess Knoble

    Board Certified Music Therapist
    Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

    Jess is a Board-Certified Music Therapist with certifications in Neurologic Music Therapy and NICU Music Therapy, and serves as a Pediatric Music Therapist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN, specializing in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Hematology/Oncology, Cardiology, and Neuro/Trauma/Rehab. Born and raised in Nashville, Jess attended Belmont University for her undergraduate studies in Music Therapy, and completed her 1200 hours of internship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Jess is currently pursuing her Master’s of Music Therapy through Colorado State University, and serves as the Treasurer for the Tennessee Association for Music Therapy, and as Communications Coordinator for the TN Music Therapy Task Force as they advocate for state licensure for Music Therapists. At the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab, Jess conducts music therapy and music class sessions for intervention studies. Jess enjoys traveling with her family and friends, thrift-shopping, playing video games, and drinking coffee.

  • Will Hiser

    Research Analyst

    Will Hiser grew up in rural Ohio before relocating to Nashville, where he received his Bachelor's degree in chemistry and music history from Vanderbilt University in 2019. Since then, he has cultivated a passion for translational clinical research while working across several departments within VUMC. His particular research interests include pragmatic trial design, mental health advocacy, and neurocognitive developmental disorders within the context of mental illness. Outside of work, Will enjoys reading, writing, rock climbing, chess, playing his saxophone, and exploring the world with his cat, Jinn.

  • Elizabeth Lawrence

    Research Assistant

    Elizabeth Lawrence is an accomplished musician and nontraditional undergraduate student. She is passionate about musicality, language, and the different ways that these complex brain processes can be explored, understood, and leveraged towards optimal development across the lifespan.

    Elizabeth is originally from Westminster, Maryland. In 2011, she moved to Lowell, Massachusetts and opened a music lessons studio, fostering an inclusive community music presence in the city by hosting regular open jam sessions, concerts, and educational clinics. Elizabeth relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in 2014 and toured full time for several years before focusing her energies towards academic study.

    Alongside her work at the lab, Elizabeth teaches music in various capacities and works as guitarist for hire. Outside of work, she enjoys learning, yoga, and playing with her cat, Felicity.