Tag Archives: pediatrics

Research Opportunity: Genetics of pediatric epilepsy

Con­tact Name: Heather Mefford

Con­tact Email: hmefford[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Pediatrics, Genetic Medicine


Our lab uses genomic technologies to discover genetic causes of pediatric epilepsy syndromes and other disorders. Opportunities for projects include candidate gene sequencing to identify mutations, chromosome microarrays for copy number variant discovery, setting up functional assays to study the function of new epilepsy genes and bioinformatics analysis of sequence data to explore different models of inheritance.




Background in biological sciences
Able to commit 10-15 hrs per week minimum
Previous lab experience helpful but not required

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Research Opportunity: Oxidative stress in kidney injury and fibrosis

Con­tact Name: Daryl Okamura, MD

Con­tact Email: daryl.okamura[at]seattlechildrens.org

Depart­ment: Pediatric Nephrology


My lab has ongoing research projects in disease model research of kidney injury and fibrosis.  Our lab focuses on the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in the progression or recovery from kidney injury.  We use a combination of in vitro studies with in vivo disease models of human kidney disease in mice.  Students will be able to learn molecular biology techniques such as PCR, and various approaches to tissue analysis of injury such as immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy.


Coursework in Molecular Biology and related subjects. Strong interest in gaining laboratory research experience and able to commit at least 8 hours a week. Preference will be given to students willing to dedicate two or more years to working on a project.

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Research Opportunity: Concussive forces in youth soccer

Con­tact Name: Sara Chrisman, MD, MPH

Con­tact Email: sara.chrisman[at]seattlechildrens.org

Depart­ment: Pedi­atrics


We are studying concussive forces in youth soccer using a patch placed behind the ear (X2 biosystems) to try to understand 1) extent of forces experienced by youth in soccer and 2) differences between forces in girls and boys. This is a small preliminary study that will inform larger studies on this topic and the whole project will only last 8 months- 1 year.

Potential role: This is a small project (2-4 soccer teams) and we are working on a minimal budget so an interested undergraduate could potentially have a large role. It also should be fairly fun and interesting, as the role we are perceiving would be going to soccer games, placing force monitors behind the ear of each youth, and watching games for collisions. We might also need assistance calling parents and youth if they have not completed weekly surveys.

We would like someone to work at least 6-8 hours/ week.

Potential benefits: experience in research, experience in medicine (I am a pediatrician/adolescent medicine physician), career mentoring


Passion for research, quick learner, excellent social abilities and comfort interacting with youth and their parents, detail-oriented, driver’s license and ready access to a car, basic computer skills

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Research Opportunity: Early Childhood Cognition Lab

Con­tact Name: Miranda Sitch

Con­tact Email: sitchm[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Psychology


The Early Childhood Cognition Lab (ECCL) conducts research on how infants and children learn about their own and others’ behavior. Our projects are organized around two main themes: infants’ early social cognition, and infants’ understanding of cause and effect relations, and the mechanisms that support development in these domains. Our research uses both behavioral measures (e.g., habituation techniques, problem-solving paradigms) and neuroscience measures (e.g., event-related potentials and EEG). Our 499s typically devote 6 or 9 hours per week for 2 or 3 credits. Training is provided, and 499s have the opportunity to learn a wide range of research skills. We give preference to students who have daytime availability in at least 3 hour blocks. Experience working with children and previous coursework in developmental psychology and research design is preferable but not required.

If you are interested in applying to our lab, download an application from our website, http://depts.washington.edu/eccl/studentinfo.html#499 and email the completed application to eccl@uw.edu.


6 hours per week
2 quarter commitment

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New Fall Research Opportunities

Every fall we get many new research opportunity postings all the time. Below are the postings from the last week or so. Follow the links for more details. As always, you can browse all postings here.

  • James Lawson, Nonviolent Revolutionary
  • Sharecroppers’ Troubadour: John Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the African American song tradition
  • A Novel Process for Water Purification
  • Development of point-of-care diagnostic devices for the developed and developing worlds
  • Effect of requirement for prior insurance clearance on accrual of patients onto clinical trials for acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Closed Ecological Systems–Aquatic
  • Diversity and Teamwork Study
  • Stem cells as drug discovery agents
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Regulation of Macrophage Activation
  • Web-based Adolescent Health Screening and Risk Prevention
  • Medical Tricorder Project
  • Echocardiographic assessment of the structure and function of the normal and abnormal heart
  • Foster Business School Laboratory – 2 Research Assistants Needed
  • Manipulations of host cells by Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Local anesthesia in dentistry; techniques
  • Ultrasound imaging in dentistry
  • Human Immunology of Tuberculosis
  • Marketing/Social Media Research for Computer Experts
  • Sequencing Treatments for Mothers with ADHD and Their At-Risk Children
  • Myogenic stem cells: basic biology and applicability to muscle wasting disorders (muscular dystrophy) and age-associated muscle deterioration (sarcopenia)
  • Maternity, neonatal, Women’s health
  • Human Prostate Cancer Progression, Fred Hutch
  • Zebrafish models of heart and muscle disease
  • Oceanography research cruise
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant in Traumatic Brain Injury Lab
  • Learning in Biology
  • Platelet hyper-reactivity Cross talks between inflammation and hemostatic signals
  • Oral health and disease
  • Molecular Signaling Mechanisms of Heart Disease
  • Controlled fusion research in the HIT program
  • Blood-brain barrier in disease
  • Mouse genetics, cognition and Parkinson’s disease
  • Social Development in Childhood

Research Opportunity: Effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on facial development

Contact Name: Murat Maga

Contact Email: maga[at]uw.edu

Department: Pediatrics


My lab investigates the epigenetic (environmental) factors that influence the genetic control of the facial development. For example, we know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can trigger a wide range of disorders in the offspring. Among these, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most extreme and is diagnosed typically by growth retardation, craniofacial malformations, central nervous system impairment and low head circumference. But not every individual exposed to alcohol during gestation gets full-blown FAS. The reasons for these variable outcomes remain elusive. There are simply too many factors to isolate, e.g. the amount of alcohol consumed, when and how long it is consumed, the influence of maternal age, health and the inherent genetic variation in humans all factor in the outcome.

That’s why my lab uses an animal model of voluntary alcohol consumption during pregnancy to determine and measure changes in the facial growth of mouse embryos and pups. This way we can eliminate most of the confounding factors (such as timing, mixed genetic background and so forth) that contribute to the problem in humans. We use a combination of molecular, computational and quantitative approaches to achieve our goal.

We start by visualizing and quantifying the changes in observable traits, skull and face in this case, by using state-of-the-art 4D imaging. Our imaging is 4D, because the time dimension (i.e. the growth of the individuals) also factors into our analyses. We conduct manual and semi-automated shape analysis on these samples to visualize and measure the difference.

We then collect tissue samples from these individuals to see what it is different about their genetic constitution (such as SNPs) and/or functioning of their genes (as measured by gene expression experiments).

The major aim is to tie these two different sets of observations (phenotypic and genomic) together to paint a more comprehensive picture of how alcohol interferes with genetic programming and the normal development.

There are many kinds of research and training opportunities for all levels of undergraduates. These vary from data organization, to animal husbandry and bench work (microbiology), to 3D image analysis and programming. Biology and CSE students are especially encouraged to apply.

Do not hesitate to contact me via my e-mail with your background, and what is it that you are really interested.


The main requisites are: Being genuinely interested, responsible and communicative as well as the amount of commitment. I usually expect 8-10 hrs/wk for at least 6 months (the longer the better).

My lab is located at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute in downtown Seattle (9th and Steward), not on UW campus.

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