The REINVENT-PT lab (REhabilitation INnoVations & Emerging Novel Technologies in Physical Therapy, PI: Dr. Sudha Srinivasan) at the University of Connecticut (UConn) is interested in understanding developmental trajectories of individuals with developmental disabilities including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, etc. across the lifespan.
The REINVENT-PT lab is interested in understanding developmental trajectories of individuals with neuro-developmental disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and Intellectual Disability across the lifespan. We are interested in studying how infants and children with developmental disabilities explore their physical and social environment compared to typically developing peers and the cascading effects of motor difficulties on a child’s social communication and cognitive development. We are also interested in assessing health-related outcomes in adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities, including their physical activity and physical fitness levels. Based on our understanding of the developmental trajectories of individuals with disabilities, our goal is to develop multisystem, engaging, evidence-based, behavioural interventions and assistive technologies to empower the lives of people with disabilities.
At present, the lab has 2 ongoing research projects: (1) we are exploring the utility and efficacy of using playful joystick-operated ride-on-toys to promote upper extremity function and spontaneous use in children with hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy both in a camp setting and as a home-based program. Specifically, we are also interested in comparing the efficacy of single versus dual joystick ride-on-toy navigation training in improving uni- and bimanual function in children with hemiplegic CP, (2) assessing the ability of healthy neurotypical children to drive joystick-operated ride-on-toys using their non-dominant side.
We are looking for passionate, energetic, and empathetic undergraduate students interested in working on projects involving infants, children, and adults with disabilities. Students can pursue research at the lab for credit, for work study, and with the potential of converting a subset of the research into an honor’s thesis. Students are required to commit to pursuing research in the lab for at least 2-3 semesters in order for the experience to be meaningful for students. Students are required to complete CITI training given that our research is with human subjects (details will be provided by the study PI).
How to Apply
Students from diverse backgrounds including but not limited to psychology, physiology and neurobiology, biology, exercise science, communication sciences, allied health, and education are encouraged to contact Dr. Sudha Srinivasan at email@example.com. Please attach your CV/Resume and your unofficial transcript in your email.
Mentor: Sudha Srinivasan, Assistant Professor
Department: Kinesiology (Physical Therapy)
Timing: Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Ongoing