Research Team

  • Beth Malow, M.D., M.S.

    Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; B.S. Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois; M.D. (Six-Year Honors Program in Medical Education)

    On Job / On Campus Master of Science Program in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
    Assistant and Associate Professor (with Tenure), Department of Neurology, University of Michigan (1994-2003)

    Associate Professor (with Tenure), Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2003-2008)

    Professor (with tenure), Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2008-present)

    Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development, Department of Pediatrics (2011-present)
    2007-present "Best Doctors"
    2007, 2009, 2010 Professional Research Consultants (PRC) Five Star Customer Service Award for Excellence in Quality of Physician Care (top 10% of physicians nationally)
    2008 Health Care Provider Award, Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities
    2009 Pfizer Visiting Professorship in Neurology
    2010 Robert Haslam Lectureship in Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
    2011 Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development, Department of Pediatrics
    2012 Sleep Science Award, American Academy of Neurology

    Dr. Malow is also a member of Metro Nashville Chorus, an award winning ensemble performing women's barbershop music within Sweet Adelines International.

  • T A Meridian McDonald, Ph.D.

    Dr. T A M McDonald is the principal investigator of the Spectrum for Life (S4L) Lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is also a research investigator with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and a member affiliate of the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. Dr. McDonald's work is focused on optimizing outcomes of adults on the autism spectrum through a) adapting, creating, and validating measures and b) adapting and developing interventions for autistic populations.  Through individual and collaborative interdisciplinary research projects, she takes a life course approach to autism research and has examined factors across the lifespan, from toddler to adulthood, to increase understanding of development and outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum. She is interested in better understanding individual differences in the perspectives, experiences, and outcomes of adults on the autism spectrum through interlinked, longitudinal online studies. She is continuing research on autism identity, neurodiversity, and self-determination and is also currently working in the implementation science space by adapting an evidenced-based intervention for insomnia (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Insomnia) to meet the learning and motivation needs of autistic individuals as well as the clinicians who serve them.

  • Whitney Loring, Psy.D.

    Whitney Loring is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry. As part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Centers Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), her responsibilities include developing and conducting workshops and consultation for parents, educators, and providers in the community regarding evidence-based assessment and intervention strategies for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Her research focus includes developing and evaluating intervention strategies that address behavioral pediatric concerns for children with ASD (e.g., sleep concerns, toileting difficulties) and the effectiveness of various models of parent training and consultation. As part of the Sleep and Autism lab, Dr. Loring is responsible for training community providers in providing sleep education services in their practices. She also provides clinical services through her Behavioral Sleep Medicine clinic for children with ASD or related disorders who have insomnia or who need assistance in wearing CPAP devices.

  • Lydia MacDonald, R.N., B.S.N., B.A.

    Research Nurse Specialist

    Lydia is a licensed registered nurse and the co-coordinator of the Behavioral Sleep Education study for children with autism and insomnia. Her responsibilities include recruitment of participants, data management and analysis, and submitting regulatory documents to the IRB. She has also been trained as a sleep educator and provides sleep education to the parents of study participants. She is currently obtaining a Masters degree in nursing and will graduate as a Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner this coming May. Outside of the office she enjoys riding horses, decorating, exercising, reading and not cooking. She lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with her husband and three children ages nineteen, eleven, and seven.

  • Deborah Wofford

    Clinical Research Coordinator

    Deb Wofford attended Nashville State Community College with a focus on Computer Operations. She began her career with Johnson & Higgins Insurance and later joined Nashville based Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, where she worked as a business Methods Analyst. Before joining Dr. Malow's research team in 2008, she discovered her passion for research while working in the Pediatric Clinical Research Office at Vanderbilt. Through the years, Deb has dedicated volunteer time with the Christian Women's Job Corp. A new passion was discovered recently while volunteering with a mission team who served families in the Baton Rogue, LA area after a devastating loss due to recent flooding. Deb and her husband Doug have been married 25 years. They have five children and thirteen grandchildren.

  • Janet Shouse, B.J.

    Clinical Research Coordinator

    Janet Shouse works at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, TN, as the program coordinator for the IDD Toolkit,, an online resource for medical providers to better serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The IDD Toolkit Project offers online training and telehealth training to help build capacity of clinicians to serve adults with IDD. Janet also serves with TennesseeWorks, a partnership of state agencies and disability organizations aiming to improve the employment landscape for people with disabilities. As part of that work, she writes and edits a blog called “Rise to Work.” Janet has also been a member of the advisory board of a national research project examining the needs of young adults with IDD and mental health conditions. She is the parent of three young adults, including a son with autism.