Lawrence offers paid summer research fellowship opportunities to provide you with hands-on experience in your chosen field of study! These experiences can be incredibly rewarding and provide you with an excellent opportunity to apply what you have learned and explore the world of research. 

Applications should be submitted by Friday, February 17, 2023. Please don't hesitate to ask questions of the Summer Research Coordinator (Alyssa Hakes), your advisor, or a professor whose interests align with your own.

We have a recording of the summer research information session.

Not finding what you're looking for? Check out non-Lawrence affiliated research opportunities.

Faculty Member Department Email Project Title Project Description
Beth Zinsli Art History The Teakwood Room: A Plan to Preserve a Global Humanities Treasure The Teakwood Room is a university treasure and an extraordinary example of global material culture that requires specialized care. In October 2021, professionals from the Midwest Art Conservation Center conducted a General Needs Assessment and Item-Specific Survey of the room and produced a report with recommendations for preservation activities. This summer project will include: 1) processing MACCâ report and creating short- and long-term goals to address its recommendations, 2) completing some high priority activities, including object cataloging and environmental monitoring, and 3) conducting research on the objects and the Teakwood Roomâ history.
Elizabeth Carlson Art History Picturing the New Woman With The Art Decoâ Kamra-pak The mass-produced Art Decoâ Kamra-pak combination compact held powder, lipstick,cigarettes, and a mirror. As the brand name implies, this multi-purpose compact resembled a slimcamera. The compactâ combination of make-up, cigarettes, and camera, all carrying specific andconflicting gendered meaning in the 1930s, make it an especially fruitful object to examine theAmerican New Woman and her changing social position. Emma Goodman, a third-year student in my material culture seminar, wrote an excellent analysis of a specific "Kamra-pak” compact for the final assignment. I’d like to collaborate with her this summer to expand the project. The summer research will include: 1. locating and examining advertisements from journals and newspapers from the compactâ first appearance in 1929 to its decline in popularity shortly before WWII. 2. Identify and view specific examples of the compact in history and decorative arts museums. 3. View films from the 1930s that feature such compacts and note its specific use in scenes.
Alyssa Hakes Biology Advancing research in plant-insect interactions. Be a part of new and continuing research on plant-insect interactions. The Hakes Lab continues to study a rare, Pitchers thistle plant and the invasive plants and insects that threaten its extinction (field work will take place at Whitefish Dunes State Park in Door County for a portion of the summer). We will also explore new plant-insect systems for future study in Appleton, and use modeling and analysis tools to examine data in new ways.
Bart De Stasio Biology Aquatic Crustaceans avoiding Predators: Integration of Advanced Technologies We will conduct field and laboratory research on the behaviors employed by aquatic crustaceans to avoid being eaten by fish and invertebrate predators. Students will participate in a collaborative project with experts from UW-Madison and Cornell University to integrate the advanced techniques of infrared/low-light videography and hydroacoustics with traditional procedures. We will assess the impact of the behaviors on lake productivity and water quality, as well as effectiveness for avoiding predation.
Brian Piasecki Biology Exploring ciliary function in the nervous system Students will work to characterize the function of several genes involved in the function of ciliated-sensory neurons using the model nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. My lab is currently using comparative genomics and laser-scanning confocal microscopy to characterize the role that several genes play in sensory-specific processes that may be relevant to the understanding of a variety of complex human diseases that contain dysregulated sensory cilia in the nervous system, including certain forms of epilepsy, retinal degeneration, and/or dyslexia.
Elizabeth A. De Stasio Biology The Role of Xap-5 in C. elegans My lab has studied the control of transcription of genes in ciliated and non-ciliated neurons in C. elegans for several years. Recently, others discovered a gene called xap-5 that activates transcription of some cilia genes in the algae, Chlamydomonas. We are interested to uncover the role of this gene in C. elegans by studying the behavior of worms in which this gene has been knocked out. Some molecular genetics to confirm the worm genotypes and behavioral assays can be done by a student.
Elizabeth A. De Stasio Biology Pedagogical Research in Biology I am interested in designing rubrics and other tools to assess new course content and active learning modules in courses such as Biology 130 and Genetics. The student could also help further work to make these courses inclusive and anti-racist by identifying readings, scientist spotlights, and new activities, depending on the interest of the students. I hope to have a collaboration with a education researcher to help with assessment design.
Israel Del Toro Biology Pollinator education and outreach: Engaging a city using LU's Pollination Education Center Lawrence University will open its brand new pollinator, education and research station this spring. Students will work with Israel to collect data on Honeybees, maintain honeybee colonies and develop educational materials to share with and engage our community.
Israel Del Toro Biology Form and function of bees: Using microCT technologies and Physiological Experiments to understand how bees function as pollinators Students interested in microscopy, and big data image processing are encouraged to apply. Students will use microCT data to quantify functional trait morphologies and physiological responses of bees to stressors. 
Judith Humphries Biology Neurobiology of the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata This project aims to 1) determine whether select neurotransmitters (e.g., 5-HT, dopamine, NPY) are present in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, and if present, 2) identify where they are localized specifically. Furthermore, 3) if possible we will examine the putative functional roles these neurotransmitters play in the snail. This project will examine B. glabrata across multiple stages of development, from embryos to juveniles and adults.
Judith Humphries Biology Investigation of NFkappaB transcription factors in Biomphalaria glabrata This project will focus on the NFkappaB transcription factors, p65 and p105/50, in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. NFkappaBs are known to play a role in regulating immune responses in vertebrates, and an increasing number of studies suggest invertebrate NFkappaBs may do the same. This project will investigate whether B. glabrata p65 and p105/50 play a role in regulating immune responses; this may involve exposing whole snails and/or cells to products of pathogens to see how p65 and p105/50 react to such a challenge. Furthermore, NFkappaBs are under the control of cell signaling pathways so an additional aspect of this project, time-permitting, is to investigate what cell signaling pathways regulate p65 and p105/50.
Kimberly Dickson Biology Examining the role of cysteines in the structure and function of the ribonuclease inhibitor This project will provide students with the opportunity to study how the amino acid composition of a protein impacts its 3-dimensional structure as well as its function. Our work will focus on a human protein called the ribonuclease inhibitor (RI). We will construct variants of RI with multiple amino acid substitutions and examine changes in the structural stability and oxidation sensitivity of RI.
Graham Sazama Chemistry Investigation of solution state transport through metal-organic framework materials using quantitative EPR of stable radicals Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new class of materials that are straightforward to synthesize and have remarkable porosity. Scientists and engineers are interested in making use of the pores these structures posess, but relatively little is known about how molecules in the solution phase make their way into and through the pores. We aim to use quantitative electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the kinetics of the diffusion of solute molecules, specifically organic radicals, into and through MOF materials.
Graham Sazama Chemistry Synthesis and application of new luminescent organic radical candidates based on BDPA In previous years, LURF fellows have synthesized several candidate radicals with chromophores built into a previously known organic radical framework. We will continue substituting in various positions around the BDPA radical framework to better understand the design criteria for organic radicals that do indeed luminesce. We will also work to incorporate our luminescent molecules into devices such as LEDs and oxygen sensors to show their applicability to real-world problems.
Kelly Culhane Chemistry Parathyroid Hormone 1 Receptor hormone binding and signaling activation Parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (PTH1R) regulates calcium homeostasis and bone density. We know calcium increases hormone binding to PTH1R, but the calcium effect on PTH1R activation is unknown. In this project, you will use molecular biology and biochemical techniques to create and characterize fluorescence based sensors to study how calcium affects the activation of PTH1R signaling pathways.
Stefan Debbert Chemistry Synthesis of Novel Antiparasitic Drug Candidates Students will use the synthetic organic chemistry training they received in Chemistry 250 and 252 to design, synthesize, and characterize compounds that may be of use in the treatment of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that impacts hundreds of millions of people yearly. Compounds that are successfully made and characterized may be sent to our collaborators at the University of Basel for testing against the parasite in vivo. Our 2021 publication in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, with four LU student co-authors, can be found here:
Andy Mast Conservatory Myron Welch interview transcription and processing Interviews conducted with Myron Welch, retired Director of Bands at The University of Iowa, and other leaders in the wind band world will form the basis of this research. A student researcher would transcribe the interviews and, as time permits, help research and compile other sources.
Ann Ellsworth Conservatory Engineering, editing and producing soundtracks for podcast. I am preparing for season 3 of my podcast about the interface between playing a high maintenance instrument and having a home life that is also high maintenance. I am looking someone with a strong musical sense and music editing skills. They will need to record and edit about 5 hours of me speaking, then create an intro and outro using music I have pre-recorded from which they will also choose incidental music for each episode.
Ann Ellsworth Conservatory Uncelebrated Composer Data Base of Music for Brass The LU Brass Department is requesting a summer research fellow(s) to research and create a data for brass instruments and brass ensembles by diverse and under-celebrated composers outside our current "standard repertoire." We are also asking that our fellow(s) search for similar works that could be adapted, arranged or transcribed for brass instruments. At this second phase there would be interface with the Brass Faculty to weigh in on feasibility and if a piece seems like a good candidate for transcription, we can make decisions on whether the student would upload the score into a music software program in advance of arranging or if the student would like to arrange the piece theirselves. These pieces would be made available free of charge to our peer institutions, our students and the general public. Another component of this project would be determining copyright procedures, public domain and/ or licensing protocols.
Anthony Padilla Conservatory Transcribing Indigenous Asian/Pacific Islander music, Part II In collaboration with LU Conservatory composition major Julian Hofstetter, I will continue to transcribe traditional indigenous music from Polynesia and Asian Pacific Islands into Western Classical notation and adapt themes for piano and other Western classical instruments. We will continue to consult with ethnomusicologists specializing in Native Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures for advice on how to proceed with respect to these traditional cultures, with the intention of celebrating and promoting them, while avoiding and reducing the pitfalls of cultural appropriation as much as possible.
Michael Mizrahi Conservatory Decoda Chamber Music Festival The Decoda Chamber Music Festival is two-week chamber music intensive that offers daily coachings on chamber music repertoire as well as private lessons and masterclasses. Decoda artists and 28-30 pre-professional young artists collaborate to curate performances and interact with communities at venues across the Fox Valley. Participants have daily rehearsals, coachings, private lessons, master classes, and workshops. They also work with a local singer-songwriter from the Mile of Music festival.
Michael Mizrahi Conservatory Decoda Chamber Music Festival - Arts Admin Positions The Decoda Chamber Music Festival is two-week chamber music intensive that brings to Lawrence 28-30 pre-professional young artists from around the country (including several Lawrence students). Two Lawrence students will work with faculty from Decoda and the Conservatory in helping to run the festival. Those students will help program concerts, plan workshops, coordinate logistics, and gain insight into the day-to-day operations of a professional ensemble and a major chamber music festival. These are not performance positions, but are instead focused more on developing administrative and managerial skills in the arts.
David Gerard Economics Ownership Structure of Professional Sports Leagues The ownership structure of North American professional sports leagues is so pervasive that to question it may seem to be too banal or trivial even to consider. The marquee leagues are generally owned by a cooperative of the team owners themselves. Yet, the univese of potential ownership structures is vast. Indeed, there are passionate and persuasive arguments both for more centralized ownership (e.g., a television network &/or an investment group) or more decentralized ownership (e.g., players)! The principal task of this project is to identify some universe of extant professional sports leagues, and then to develop quantitative and qualitiative measures to characterize the ownership structure of these leagues. This should produce a paper with the title to the effect of "The Ownership Characteristics of Professional Sports Leagues." The direction is to develop an understanding of the factors that lead different leagues to adopt different ownership forms.
Sigma Colon Environmental Studies Digital Mapping Site This project aims to develop a digital lab to house a range of student projects that might include digital storytelling, mapping, historical research, oral histories, etc. Experience with Omeka or other online software preferred, but the position is also open to someone willing to learn.
Sigma Colon Ethnic Studies Water Policy and Immigration The goal of this project is to complete a draft of an article that focuses on the Rio Grande and brings together issues of freshwater sustainability and immigration policy. Work on this project will include reviewing relevant literature, developing key arguments, and reading drafts.
Jeff Clark Geosciences Remote Sensing of Earth using UAVs Join an interdisciplinary team of natural science, data science, and engineering undergraduates from around Wisconsin in studying Earth from above using cutting edge sensors flown on an UAV (aka a drone). Successful applicants will become FAA certified UAV pilots, learn how to plan and execute data collection missions, and apply cutting edge remote sensing and geospatial analysis techniques. Students will work collaboratively to develop a project which will culminate in the presentation of the work at the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium annual meeting in August 2022 and the preparation of a manuscript for publication. Students need to apply through this separate portal no later than February 14th:
Relena Ribbons Geosciences DNA and RNA based explorations of Wisconsin forest soil microbial communities This research is rooted belowground and focused on fundamental science of identifying and quantifying who lives beneath our feet, and what roles those organisms play in the ecosystem. Researchers should be curious about soil health, and soil microbial communities. This summer is focused on both lab and field methods and skills to collect, detect, and analyze genetic markers for fungi, bacteria, and archaea starting from soils collection and sieving to DNA and RNA isolation.
Vanessa Plumly German Introduction to Disability Studies Course Planning Disability studies has become a prominent area of academic study, a method for promoting social justice, and for creating more equitable and inclusive spaces. This project entails conducting research for an introductory course that students and professors are co-creating with the goal of adding the course to the Lawrence curriculum. Students will research and consider source materials, engage with scholarship on accessible assessment design and implementation, and develop an archive of existing course material and approaches to teaching disability studies at institutions across the United States.
Andrew Sage Mathematics Gaining Insight Through Statistical Machine Learning Statistical machine learning algorithms are frequently used to make predictions in a wide range of applications. While these approaches have been shown to often carry strong predictive power, they are often criticized for a lack of transparency. Recent research has sought to go "inside the black box" to gain insight on the factors influencing predictions. In this project, we will continue in this direction, likely focusing on the random forest algorithm. We might apply the algorithm in a range of applications. Two applications I am particularly interested in exploring are sports analytics, and analysis of information contained in textual responses (such as essays) in undergraduate statistics courses. Students interested in working on this project should be familiar with programming in R, and should be interested in further developing their statistical programming skills.
Julie Rana Mathematics Combinatorics of stable surfaces We will use graph theory, combinatorics, and computer programming to produce new examples of mathematical objects known as stable surfaces. Students who have taken the equivalent of Math 230 (Discrete Mathematics) are eligible to apply. Students with interests in mathematics and/or computer science are particularly encouraged to apply!
Scott Corry Mathematics Network Theory Networks are used by scientists and mathematicians to describe a wide range of processes, including chemical reactions, electrical circuits, population dynamics, and epidemics. The mathematics underlying the theory of networks includes graph theory, linear algebra, differential equations, and probability. This project will investigate relationships between a network's structure and the dynamics that play out on the network.
Scott Dixon Philosophy Redundancy at the Fundamental Level The purpose of this project is to explore work that has been done which addresses the question of whether there can be redundancy at the fundamental level. Suppose, for example, that certain facts about macroscopic objects depend, in part, on a certain elementary particle p1 being more massive than another elementary particle p2. Could there be two fundamental facts on which the facts about macroscopic objects depend, like p1's being more massive than p2 and p2's being less massive than p1? Or would this posit unacceptable redundancy at the fundamental level? Would these facts instead need to be identified? We will read a number of books and papers that address the question, either directly or indirectly, of whether there can be redundancy at the fundamental level, including Karen Bennettâ _Making Things Up_, Jessica Wilsonâ "What is Humeâ Dictum, and Why Believe It?" and Jonathan Schafferâ "What Not to Multiply without Necessity”. We will assess a number of specific cases of potential redundancy at the fundamental level, including the one discussed above, as potential examples of redundancy at the fundamental level. And we will assess a number of general methodological principles that might be relevant to the question of whether redundancy at the fundamental level is possible.
Douglas Martin Physics Building an open-source microscope The goal of this project is to prototype an open-source microscope: one in which (i) the design is freely available, (ii) most components are 3D printed, and (iii) is programmable using open-source software. We will build from individual optical and mechanical components to a completed microscope, and then test and refine the microscope using fluorescent biological samples. Students will have the opportunity to learn to use optical design software and mechanical design software, microscope programming, and to do wet-lab experiments with this new microscope.
Douglas Martin Physics Super-resolution imaging of depolymerizing microtubules This is an ongoing project to explore a biophysical process involved in mitosis, cell division. Chromosomes are pulled into the newly divided cells by long, narrow, subcellular objects called microtubules. These microtubules pull chromosomes by unraveling - a surprising result, akin to an unraveling rope lifting an object. The microscopic nature of this process is unclear; this project uses super-resolution microscopy to image microtubule unraveling at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales (that is, very small and fast).
Margaret Koker Physics X-ray Research Lab Development X-rays are an incredible tool for studying materials! Working with x-ray sources requires an abundance of caution (and shielding) due to the ionizing radiation. Join me in developing the tools to properly control and monitor x-ray experiments in a new on-campus facility. This project will provide experience in electronics, signal triggering and processing, computer coding, motor controls, video monitoring, and 3D modeling for system design. Developing skills like these is ideal for any STEM student looking forward to a career or graduate school in the sciences.
Margaret Koker Physics Scientific Investigations of LU Wriston Collection Collaborations between historians and x-ray scientists can answer interesting questions about objects of historical significance, only available by looking deep inside materials to their structure or chemical composition. Specifically, we can analyze various objects of unknown origin or with open inquiries, clarifying processes for dating or establishing authenticity. Join me in unlocking secrets of objects in the Wriston Collection by analyzing x-ray diffraction and fluorescence data (to be collected in February 2022 at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab). You will learn about x-ray interactions with matter, read relevant peer-reviewed literature spanning the arts and sciences, and analyze data sets to extract trends and develop conclusions. Experience in python (or similar object-oriented programming language) is helpful but not required.
Matthew Stoneking Physics Electron source for non-neutral plasma generation The student research assistants will participate in Professor Stoneking's research on non-neutral plasma in toroidal magnetic configurations. The project is to design, construct, and test an electron source for use in the Lawrence Plasma Physics Lab as well as on the APEX Levitated Dipole experiment in Germany.
Amanda A Draheim Psychology Evaluation of the role of the availability heuristic in outcome probability bias for social anxiety Outcome probability bias refers to the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of a feared outcome. In social anxiety disorder, this commonly manifests as overestimating the likelihood of embarrassment or being judged negatively in anticipation of a social encounter. The aim of this project is to improve understanding of how outcome probability bias develops and how it might be overcome.
Beth Haines Psychology The Kindness Project: Bringing Mindfulness Training to Preschoolers and their Teachers and Families The Kindness Project is a longitudinal project studying the implementation of a mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum at local agencies serving preschool and 4K children. The project serves predominantly low-income children, their parents, and their teachers. Mindfulness training helps to build self-regulation skills that lead to personal, social, and academic success. In this final year of the project (2021-22) we are focused on outreach: extending mindfulness programming to more community agencies and adapting it to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. In 2021-22, a total of 42 classrooms serving about 700 children are implementing the Curriculum. In the summer of 2022, we will focus on analyzing data and producing reports on the 4th year of the project, and comparing year 4 findings to those from years 1 through 3.
Brittany Alperin Psychology The relationship between emotion and thought Under the supervision of Dr. Alperin, the research fellow will help analyze already collected data from a study looking at the impact of emotion on different aspects of thought. We will use this data to answer the following questions: 1) Do different emotional states differentially affect different dimensions of thought? 2) How do different dimensions of thought impact subsequent affect? There will also be an opportunity to translate these findings into a manuscript for publication.
Elizabeth A. Becker Psychology Oxytocin Cell Activation in Response to Social and Non-social Stimuli Following Developmental Fluoxetine Exposure Depression is a debilitating disease and affects many women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Women who seek help for depression during their perinatal period are often prescribed antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Taking SSRIs during pregnancy and postpartum can lead to adverse effects for the developing child such as an increased risk of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These adverse outcomes may be due to the imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is critical for neurotypical development. In animal models, SSRI use during perinatal development has been shown to decrease the amount of oxytocin (OT) produced in the brain. OT plays a critical role in social behavior and may have an influence on the abnormal pattern of social behavior seen in those with ASD. Recent studies have found that individuals with ASD display differential brain activation when viewing social stimuli compared to neurotypical peers. Testing a rodent model of ASD, the current study aims to investigate the OT cell activation in response to social and non-social stimuli in animals that have been exposed to stress during the prenatal period and the SSRI Fluoxetine during the postpartum period to look for differences in OT cell activation.
Linnea Ng Psychology Diversity and Intergroup Relations in Organizations This student will work closely with Professor Ng to develop projects in our psychology lab around topics including diversity, identity, and intergroup relations in organizations. They will be involved in tasks including reviewing psychological literature, developing research questions, and beginning to initiate research protocols (i.e., working on submission to IRB). Students should have some familiarity with and interest in psychological research (e.g., taken a psychology course).
Lori Hilt Psychology Child and Adolescent Suicide Prevention My lab has a long-standing relationship with a local, school-based suicide prevention program--Connected Community Wellness Screen. The student research assistant will analyze data gathered during the previous school year to inform school administrators of the mental health of their students. Additionally, the student research assistant will: provide recommendations for the current screening tool based on data analysis, help develop a screening tool for younger students, and co-present the findings to our community partners.
Lori Hilt Psychology Understanding and Reducing Rumination My lab has several projects related to rumination, i.e., the emotion-regulation strategy of dwelling on negative emotional content that puts children and adults at risk for the development of psychopathology. The student research assistants will have the opportunity to analyze and present data as well as design new projects. Most of our work is focused on the developmental period of adolescence, but we also study younger children and college students through both basic and intervention work.
Peter Thomas Russian Russian Language Interactive Teaching Tool Development This summer we will expand the development of interactive teaching tools to include materials targeted at second-year and upper-level Russian classes. The tools developed for first-year have been used with great success for three years, on Moodle and Canvas.We will also aim to develop an in-house proficiency exam that can be used to place new students in the program, and to assess the progress of students at the end of each course.
Thelma Jimenez-Anglada Spanish Latinx/Latin American Texts of Trafficking This project examines contemporary Latinx and Latin American texts in which trafficking is at the center. Here trafficking is understood in a broad, and oftentimes imbricated sense: from narcotrafficking to human trafficking. Because at its core trafficking takes place across borders, this project questions the ways in which these texts presuppose a commonly ignored continuum that connects migration to both Latin American, and Latinx subjectivities.
Audra Sterling Psychology Communication with Children with Down Syndrome Many young children with Down syndrome use gestures frequently to help with communication. Gestures are an important part of communication and particularly important for children with language disorders, such as children with Down syndrome. Research has consistently demonstrated a significant benefit for training parents to recode their childrenâ communication. Recodes are verbal translations and can be used for responding to childrenâ spoken and nonspoken communication, such as gestures. Importantly in our own recent work (Lorang et al., 2018), we found that mothers of young children with Down syndrome were recoding their childâ gestures at the same rate as mothers of neurotypical controls (approximately 40%). This research indicates that mothers are already in tune with their childâ communication. Given that children with Down syndrome do not access their language learning environment in the same way as neurotypical peers it is important to provide as many language facilitating opportunities as possible. Therefore, we plan to pilot an intervention study over the spring and summer of 2022. We will create videos and short lessons to teach parents to use recodes when their child gestures. The materials will include education about why recodes are important, how they can be used, and clear examples of them. We will then pilot this study with a group of parents with Down syndrome. Data collection will take place remotely and we will track pre-and post-intervention parent use of recodes as well as child communication. We will ask parents for input regarding the intervention, and suggestions for improvement. Data will be used for a larger project extending the work to a larger group of individuals as well as to children with other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Aviad Hai Psychology Development of Next Generation Sensors for Brain Recording and Imaging The Hai laboratory is offering summer internship opportunities as part of the joint program of the Waisman Center and Lawrence University. Students interested in developing next generation sensors for brain recording and imaging are encouraged to apply. Current projects include (1) pushing the boundaries of nano-scale fabrication technologies for highly innovative interfacing between live neurons and recording devices; (2) in vitro and in vivo neurobiology using on-chip and implanted devices for electrophysiological and magnetic recording; (3) computational modeling of device-nerve tissue interactions. (4) in vivo animal functional MRI using implantable probes. For more information see
Doug Dean Psychology Investigation of Brain Development in Early Life The Developing Brain Imaging Lab (DBIL) is dedicated to advancing knowledge about early brain and child development. We combine aspects of neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science and genetics with advanced neuroimaging techniques to discover how the brain develops as we grow and learn and to assess how environmental and genetic factors influence early neurodevelopment. The summer project within the DBIL project would consist of analyzing diffusion and quantitative MRI data to investigate how the brain changes during early life. Students will learn and work with advanced neuroimaging research analysis programs and gain experience with computer programming (e.g. Python, bash).
Leanne DaWalt Psychology Working Together: A Psychoeducation Intervention for Young Adults with Autism and their Families Working Together is a multi-family group psychoeducation intervention for young adults with autism and their families. Working Together is based on evidence from longitudinal research and feedback from families of individuals with ASD. The program is associated with improvements in employment outcomes for young adults with ASD.
Robert Pearce Psychology Impacts of Controlled Drugs on Memory Formation We are interested in how the formation of memory is controlled by drugs such as anesthetics and other agents that modulate GABAA receptors. We found recently that receptors that incorporate a specific GABAAR subunit (alpha5) in interneurons in the hippocampus are essential. We are now testing which interneurons are involved. We will employ both behavioral studies and calcium imaging of ‘place cells’ and ‘engram cells’ in awake behaving mice that lack these receptors in specific subsets of interneurons. The student will participate in behavioral and imaging studies, and will help analyze data using custom-written software, and will prepare results for presentation
Sigan Hartley Psychology Aging in Down Syndrome and Lifestyle Risk and Resiliency The Hartley Lab is part of the NIH-funded Alzheimerâ Biomarkers Consortium of Down Syndrome (ABC-DS). This consortium involves researchers across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. The goal of ABC-DS is to identify biomarkers of Alzheimerâ disease in people with Down syndrome. The study aims and institutions involved in ABC-DS can be found here: People with Down syndrome have an early age of onset and increased risk for Alzheimerâ disease because they are born with three copies of chromosome 21, rather than two. The goal of ABC-DS is to better understand the course of Alzheimerâ disease in people with Down syndrome. The study involves the collection of brain imaging scans and blood and tissue samples as well as a battery of cognitive measures. In the ABC-DS sample, we are also examining the role of lifestyle factors in the timing of Alzheimerâ disease in people with Down syndrome. This study is also funded by NIH. Specifically, we are examining sleep (e.g., sleep disruptions and amount of sleep), physical activity (e.g., how much exercise and how much time spent sitting), social engagement (e.g., amount to time talking to other people), and cognitive stimulation (e.g., amount of concentrating, reading, or thinking through problems).
Xinyu Zhao Psychology Analysis of the Neural Stem Cells and Neurons to Understand Neurodevelopmental Disorders The student will participate in research in analyzing neural stem cells and neurons to understand genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders. The student will work directly with a graduate student or postdoc in the lab and will present in our Annual Undergraduate Student DataBlitz at the end of July. See for an overview of the research focus of the Zhao lab.