Whitacre, Melinda

Medical Resident Melinda Whitaker wins Best Poster Presentation at Pediatric Research Day

About the Lab and Current Projects

We invite you to apply to join the Attachment and Neurodevelopment Lab (ANL), affiliated with the newly funded Hawkeye Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (Hawk-IDDRC), under the lead of Dr. Lane Strathearn. The lab is launching an exciting interdisciplinary study that will recruit hundreds of participants (mother-child dyads) to investigate the roles of social experience and epigenetic changes in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Social experience will be measured using a phone app designed specifically for the study.

Undergraduate Research Assistantship to the Autism Genetics and Epigenetics Study (AGES)

Undergraduate research assistant (RA) positions are available for credit, volunteering, or possibly internship (summers). Undergraduate RAs may assist with participant recruitment, participant retention efforts, data collection (e.g., genetic samples, video of parent-child interactions), and data auditing. Undergraduate RAs who work in the lab for at least a year and interested may be able to conduct an individual research project, such as an honors thesis or presentation at an undergraduate research conference. We understand that there are barriers to undergraduate research participation; we encourage applicants to apply and reach out with any questions if you would like to join our lab as a student researcher. 

Qualifications and Considerations

We are looking for undergraduates and graduate students who have an interest and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research, child development and behavior, and/or epigenetics. Students should be able to show how this research experience will inform or connect with their professional goals. Students of any major and level of experience are welcome to apply. For undergraduates, good academic standing and a two-semester commitment is preferred. Students interested in pursuing a PhD (clinical- or research-oriented), MD, or who are interested in connecting research with public health/policy are particularly welcome.


If you have questions about joining our lab, please contact Dr. Lane Strathearn at lane-strathearn@uiowa.edu.