Dr. Mandell is also with Population Health, Office of Health Affairs at the University of Texas System Administration in Austin.

She received her PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle in Developmental Psychology and her BA from the University of Texas, Austin. She also served as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Cognitive Science Center at the University of Amsterdam.

Her research has spanned multiple topics in maternal and child health with a focus on understanding the relations between early experiences and later neurocognitive outcomes. She has extensive direct public health experience through her work on a variety of public health topics including work that has supported the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, Healthy Texas Babies, Child Fatality Review, and the strategic plan to align prevention resources between the Department of Family Protective Services and the Department of State Health Services in Texas.

Her current work focuses on understanding individual and community-level risk and resiliencies during the transition to parenthood and pediatric periods. She also works with her collaborators to develop and evaluate programs and systems-change projects that support families. She is currently the primary investigator for the Texas Safe Babies project and the Maltreatment Risk Mapping project funded by Department of Family and Protective Services. She also leads the work of the Texas Pediatric Brain Health Initiative, which is a multi-agency and multi-sector initiative to realign and support early child systems, so they promote optimal brain development in children.