This summer, Emily In will start her research journey studying postural control deficits in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Zheng Wang. In is a second-year pre-medical undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology. “I am very excited to receive this award. Acquiring research experience at the College of Public Health and Health Professions will help me transition my knowledge set from the dish to human subjects,” In said. In will be working on a project to examine the effect of visual and proprioceptive information on the control of postural ability in children with ASD. In is also interested in addressing the relationships amongst postural instability, diagnostic severity and cognitive ability in children with ASD. This award will lay a solid career foundation for her to pursue future clinical practice opportunities in the health professions.
Daniela Moreira, a Bachelor of Health Science Honors program student, was awarded a 2019-2020 University Scholars Program scholarship to carry out a mentored research project in Dr. Amber Angell’s lab in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Moreira will conduct Spanish language interviews with Latino families of girls with autism. This project, which will serve as Moreira’s honors thesis, is part of a larger project in Angell’s lab that aims to address gender, racial, and ethnic disparities in autism diagnosis. Girls are under-identified with autism compared to boys, yet little autism research has focused on females, and even less is known about Latina girls with autism. Understanding how Latina girls are distinctly affected by autism is a critical first step in addressing disparities. In addition to her Spanish fluency, Moreira brings to the project a complex understanding of culture and disability, and a passion for addressing health disparities for under-served populations.