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Mona Elsayed

Mona is a doctorate student under Dr. Torres supervision. Mona received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Psychology at the College of New Jersey. She has completed her MSci in Psychology, and is currently finishing up her PhD in Psychology. In addition to her rigorous science, Mona is an excellent teacher. She has significantly contributed to the development of the Rutgers Autism Certification to be launched in the Fall of 2023 and offered through the Rutgers Continuing Education Program.

Mona is working on several aspects of research and education. She designs new objective biometrics to assess pain induced through pressure and temperature assays in the laboratory and upon validation with clinical criteria, including the person’s self-reports, chronic pain conditions and genetically based pain conditions, she brings these concepts to measure it from the comfort of the person’s home. Her work created “the lab in the box” model during COVID, to remotely assess personalized behavior with high precision, using commercially available means, which enable us to scale our research and accelerate its translation to clinical practices, while being inclusive of all members of society. She combines biometrics of the heart rate variability with kinematics analyses of facial micro-expressions and bodily motions in a protocol that can be easily implemented at home and guided through zoom from our lab.  

At the education front, Mona translates these difficult concepts to layman terms and teaches our certification program aimed at changing the autism narrative and dispelling the myth that autism is a problem of misbehavior and social inappropriateness. Mona’s approach moves the field from the current deficit model to one that celebrates the child’s readiness potential and embraces the person as another member of our society.

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