Research Assistant (Half-Time): NICHD-funded Study of Maternal Neurobiology and Infant Stress
Harvard Medical School
September 10, 2018
Part Time - Experienced
Seeking a half-time Research Assistant to assist with a longitudinal study of mothers and infants for an NICHD- funded study of mother- infant attachment processes and maternal and infant neurobiology. Research assistants work with the Project Director and Recruitment Coordinator, under the direction of Dr. Lyons-Ruth, to schedule and conduct assessments of mother-infant interaction, maternal trauma histories, maternal psychopathology, and maternal and infant stress hormones. Mothers and infants will be assessed at three ages, including the third trimester of pregnancy, 4 months infant age, and 15 months infant age. The position is in the laboratory of Dr. Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Biobehavioral Family Studies Lab, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Hospital. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the MRI labs of Dr. Martin Teicher, McLean Hospital, and Dr. Ellen Grant, Children’s Hospital and study staff will also coordinate the scheduling of visits to those MRI labs.
Preferred applicants will have a Master’s degree in clinical or developmental science and/or one to two years clinical, research, or other related work experience. Experience working in infant mental health or with low-income community clients would be an additional asset. Position requires applicant to have a car. This is an excellent position for applicants with clinical or developmental degrees who want to be involved in clinical research or for candidates who are interested in applying to clinical or developmental Ph.D. programs in the future. Applicants must have strong interpersonal and communication skills and be comfortable working with mothers and infants from a wide range of backgrounds. Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, is required. Familiarity with SPSS would be an asset.
Position Details: 20 hours per week, 5 afternoons per week, minimum 1-year contract
START DATE: Sept., 2018
CONTACT: Interested applicants should send a CV that includes a statement of goals and interests to:
Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Ph.D.
Please include in subject line of e-mail: Research Assistant Position
Master’s degree or 1-2 years experience in research position in developmental or clinical fields.
Internal Number: N/A
About Harvard Medical School
The Family Studies Lab, led by Karlen Lyons-Ruth, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, is conducting translational research to better understand the contributions of early relational risk, trauma, and genetic factors to social adaptation in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The lab collaborates with other Harvard Medical School investigators to examine stress-hormone responsiveness among patients with borderline personality disorder (Gunderson), genetic contributors to borderline and antisocial symptoms (Pauls), fMRI responses to reward cues among young people with histories of trauma (Pizzagalli), and aspects of brain morphology associated with poor quality care (Teicher). The Family Studies Lab also trains researchers internationally in attachment-related assessments, including the AMBIANCE assessment for atypical forms of parent-infant interaction and the RISE scale for assessing indiscriminate infant attachment behavior.Following her training, she won a New Investigator Award from NICHD to study social perspective taking in children's play. Subsequently, her work has focused on the assessment of attachment relationships in high-risk environments over the i...nfancy, childhood, and adolescent periods and has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Borderline Foundation, the Mailman Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund. Several attachment-focused assessments developed in her lab are now being disseminated internationally, including the AMBIANCE scales for atypical parent-infant interaction. She has served on a number of councils related to child mental health and social policy, including the Massachusetts Task Force on Perinatal Mental Health, the Committee on Policy and Communications of the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Massachusetts Infant Mental Health Consortium. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a former Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. She has served on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Infant Mental Health Journal. She is the author of more than 90 research articles and book chapters on infant development, maternal depression, the early attachment relationship, and, more recently, the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in young adult psychopathology. Under current NIH funding, her group is developing tools for assessing attachment relationships at risk in adolescence and evaluating their interplay with traumatic experiences and genetic factors in contributing to young adult depression, suicidality, and borderline psychopathology. In collaboration with McLean neuroscientists Diego Pizzagalli and Martin Teicher, studies are also assessing the effects of early adversity on neurobiological structure and function in young adulthood.