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Meet our Team


Chief Investigator

Dr. Kate Cooper

Kate is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor at University College London. Kate is leading the ATAG study, working closely with the team of people on this page. 

Kate’s work focuses on improving mental health and well-being in autistic young people. She is particularly interested how identity relates to mental health and well-being, and in developing psychological support for autistic teenagers and young adults.

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Trial Manager

Dr. Annabel Burnley

Annabel is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Bath, and the trial manager of the ATAG study.

Annabel’s work focuses on the development and evaluation of online programs for anxiety and mood disorders. Her most recent work involves the adaptation of interventions for neurodivergent individuals, such as those with Developmental Language Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder.



Lucy Portway

Lucy is an autistic adult and research assistant on the ATAG project. 


Lucy is passionate about spreading awareness about the struggles and barriers neurodiverse people face, especially in education and the workplace. She is also enthusiastic about spreading awareness of mental health issues associated with autism and late diagnoses of neurodiversities, and aims to make a positive change to how places of education and workplaces support neurodiverse people.



Prof. Laura Crane

Laura is a Professor of Autism Studies at the University of Birmingham, where she is Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER). Previously, Laura was Professor of Autism Research and Education at University College London (UCL).


Laura has published extensively on the diagnostic and post-diagnostic experiences of autistic people, their families and the professionals who work with them. She has also led evaluations of autistic-led post-diagnostic support programmes for autistic people. Central to all of Laura’s work is a passion and commitment for involving autistic people in research that ultimately benefits them.



Prof. Bryony Beresford

Bryony is a Professor and Co-Director of the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York.

Bryony's large body of work includes understanding how to better support parents, families and young people with long-term conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


Chief Investigator

Prof. Will Mandy

Will is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Neurodevelopmental Conditions at University College London. Will is the co-chief investigator of the ATAG study, meaning he helps support Kate on leading the project. 

Will has a particular interest in the relationships between autism, sex and gender, and how this relates to behaviours such as camouflaging. He aims to find better ways of supporting autistic people to live happier, more satisfying lives. 


Programme Manager

Ben Redmayne

Ben is a Programme Manager at Ambitious about Autism. Ben leads on the co-production and the day-to-day management of the online peer support group. 

Ben is passionate about facilitating opportunities for autistic young people to improve their wellbeing and social connections. 



Leon Allain

Leon is an autistic adult and research assistant on the ATAG project.


Leon's most recent work involved advising ed tech companies on how to make their products more neuroinclusive on The Lego Foundation’s Play for All programme. He is passionate about ensuring that the barriers autistic people and other neurodivergents face are addressed, particularly in the areas of education and employment.



Prof. Ailsa Russell

Ailsa is a Clinical Psychologist and professor at the University of Bath. Ailsa leads the Centre for Applied Autism Research. 

Ailsa has an interest in research that seeks to understand the mental health problems that co-occur with autism. Some of her work focuses on how best to adapt cognitive behavioural interventions to meet the needs of autistic people. 


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