The UW READi Lab, formerly the Stone Lab, was founded in 2010 by Dr. Wendy Stone, with a focus on conducting research related to early identification and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). READi Lab projects range from longitudinal studies of young infants at elevated risk for ASD, to community-based training in ASD screening and intervention for birth-to-three providers. We are a busy research lab, involved in many projects designed to identify, understand, and treat children with ASD, as well as dedicated to imparting cutting-edge research findings and knowledge to families and community providers throughout the state.
Our Team – UW READi Lab
University of Washington Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention
Wendy Stone, PhD, Director
Dr. Wendy Stone is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the READi Lab at UW. She joined the UW Department of Psychology in May 2010, having spent the previous 20+ years at Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, she founded and directed the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), which has a threefold mission of research, clinical services, and community outreach. Read more
Lisa Ibañez, PhD, Assistant Director
Dr. Lisa Ibañez is a Research Scientist and Assistant Director of the READi Lab where she originally began working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Summer of 2010. Her journey to the READi Lab began as an undergraduate at the University of Miami where her curiosity about the early building blocks of development was piqued after working with infants at the university’s preschool. To learn more, she joined a lab at UM that was studying social-emotional functioning in infants and later transitioned to examining early behavioral and neurophysiological markers of ASD. She went on to be a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Pre-doctoral Trainee in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as a graduate student at UM, where she received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology in 2010. Over the last several years, she has developed a line of research that revolves around identifying deficits in infants at risk for ASD and improving screening and intervention practices in the community. From 2013-2015, she was the Project Manager for the ASAP! Project, which aimed to improve the early identification of ASD and ASD-specialized interventions by providing trainings to interested birth-to-three providers throughout Washington (WA) State. As part of this program, 31 free workshops were provided to nearly 700 birth-to-three providers and educators. She is currently Co-Investigator and Project Manager for the Screen-Refer-Treat (SRT) Project, which implements and evaluates an innovative service delivery system for toddlers at risk for ASD by engaging both primary care providers and early intervention providers. Lisa’s work has led to: (1) scientific articles in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Autism, and Infancy;(2) a chapter in the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders; and (3) numerous presentations at national conferences. She is also Co-Chair of the Improving Practice and Policy Action Team for the WA Help Me Grow Partnership that aims to increase universal screening using validated tools and ensure subsequent referrals and optimal care coordination. During her time in Seattle, she has enjoyed the company of her funny, dedicated lab mates, the great Pacific Northwest cuisine, and the long Summer days.
If she could have one super power, it would be... "to conquer the space-time continuum, because, among other benefits, it would allow me to be at multiple places at once…and I’m sure the lab, my friends, and my mom would greatly appreciate it!"
Colleen Harker, MS, Graduate Student
Colleen is a child clinical psychology graduate student at UW. She is originally from the East Coast, where she worked at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research (CMHPSR) on a research study in the Philadelphia School District. Colleen is interested in researching the best ways to build community capacity to implement evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism and their families.
If she could have one super power, it would be…“MINDREADING!”
Sarah Edmunds, MS, Graduate Student
Sarah is a child clinical psychology graduate student at UW. She is originally from North Carolina, and she attended Cornell University in upstate New York. There, she discovered her passion for researching the way that children develop language and interact with the world by working with Drs. Michael Goldstein and Jennifer Schwade to study the social influences on infants’ language learning. Subsequently, she worked with Drs. Patricia Kuhl and Sarah Roseberry at ILABS at the University of Washington to investigate the influences of social contingency on infants’ speech learning from video. In the READi Lab, Sarah is interested in identifying early behavioral risk factors of ASD by studying the way that language and social skills develop in children at high and low risk for ASD.
If she could have one super power, it would be… "flying. As a kid, I was always flying in my dreams; I would literally swim through the air!"
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Karp, MS, Graduate Student
Lizzy is a child clinical psychology graduate student at UW. Originally from Los Angeles, she became interested in working with children with ASD and their families through her work as an interventionist at UCLA's Center for Autism Research and Treatment. Lizzy is interested in researching stress and emotion regulation in parents of children with ASD as they relate to the effectiveness of early intervention programs.
If she could have one super power, it would be… “the ability to fly, because that sounds amazing!”
Catherine Dick, BA, Graduate Student
Catherine is a child clinical psychology graduate student at UW. She is originally from Upstate NY, and attended McGill University in Montreal for her undergraduate degree. During her undergraduate years, she was involved in research at McGill and at the University of Rochester that helped to cultivate her research interests. Subsequently, she worked at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain with Dr. Cathy Lord on a multi-site language intervention study for minimally-verbal children with ASD. Catherine is interested in researching social communication development and intervention in ASD.
Sarah Baum, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
A Virginia native, Sarah graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Neuroscience in 2009. She earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2013 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where she used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand how the brain integrates auditory and visual stimuli in speech. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University where she began to work with children with autism with an emphasis on using fMRI to understand sensory processing differences, especially as they relate to speech and communication skills. In 2015 she was awarded the Meixner Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Research from Autism Speaks to examine mechanisms of sensory processing differences in autism in order to help shape treatment strategies. She joins UW co-mentored by Wendy Stone, director of the READi Lab, and Adrian KC Lee, director of the Laboratory for Auditory Brain Sciences & Neuroengineering. Her goal is to use magnetoencephalography (MEG) in addition to fMRI to better understand both structural and functional connectivity in sensory processing in children with autism.
Katie Ragsdale, BS, Research Coordinator
Katie joined the team in September 2014 as an undergraduate assistant, and is now the Research Coordinator for the READi Lab. Katie graduated from the UW in June of 2015 with a B.S. in Speech & Hearing Sciences. Though her research interests in this field have been cultivated more recently, her passion for working with children with autism is nothing new. Growing up with a younger brother with autism, Katie has a great deal of compassionate understanding and first-hand experience with the challenges that families often face when navigating the journey that follows an autism diagnosis. As project coordinator for the ImPACT Study, Katie provides in-home intervention to parents and their infants at risk for ASD. In the future, Katie hopes to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.
Katie Coddington, BS, Research Study Assistant
Katie is a Research Study Assistant in the READi Lab. Her primary roles include leading the behavioral assessment team for ImPACT and coordinating the UW baby siblings cohort for ECHO. A Colorado native, Katie graduated in the Spring of 2016 from Pacific Lutheran University with a BS in Psychology and minors in Statistics and Biology. Katie is very passionate about working with children with developmental disabilities and has worked with this population for over 10 years as a behavioral technician, respite care provider, and camp counselor. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology, with the ultimate goal of conducting her own research that focuses on the development of interventions for children with comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders.
If she could have one super power, it would be… "I would love to be multiple places at once!"
Roya Baharloo, BA, Research Study Assistant
Roya is a research study assistant in the READi Lab. She recently graduated from UW with a B.A in psychology and a minor in Spanish. She currently works on the Screen-Refer-Treat community-based study. Roya also assists with behavioral assessments for the ImPACT study. Before joining the READi Lab, she worked as a research assistant in Jessica Sommerville’s lab where she studied aspects of early social cognitive development. During her last quarter at UW, she received the Mary Gates Research Scholarship for her research investigating social attention in 6-month-old infants and how it may relate to ASD. She is happy to continue working with children and excited to better understand ASD in all its complexities.
If she could have one superpower…"it would be the ability to control the weather. I'm always too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer!"
Elyanah Posner, BA, Research Study Assistant
Elyanah is a research study assistant working on both the SRT and ImPACT studies. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a minor in education. During her undergraduate career, Elyanah conducted research at the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab, completing her honors thesis on the presence of the desire bias in young children’s statistical reasoning, and the Zhou Family and Culture Lab, where she assisted in spearheading a study on the impact of preschool teachers on students’ emotional regulation. Elyanah is pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology where she hopes to study the effect and treatment of trauma, specifically in children with ASD and other developmental disorders. Elyanah enjoys working with children in all capacities, especially hanging out with her ridiculous 3-year-old niece.
Juan Pablo Espinosa, BS, Research Study Assistant
Juan Pablo is a research study assistant in the READi Lab working on the Screen-Refer-Treat study. He graduated from the University of Washington in August 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Physiology) and a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry. Juan Pablo became interested in working with children after volunteering at Seattle Children’s.. His passion for pediatric medicine, combined with his desire to improve the access and delivery of healthcare services brought him to the READi Lab. Juan Pablo is originally from Mexico but grew up in Yakima, Washington. He is excited about assisting in this research study that will benefit the community as well as improve the lives of underserved Hispanic populations statewide. Juan Pablo hopes to become a pediatrician, specifically a primary care provider in a community-based health clinic in eastern Washington. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, reading, cooking and learning how to play the guitar.
If he could have one super power it would be… "the ability to use the force like a Jedi Master."
Taylor Renno, BS, Research Study Assistant
Taylor is a research study assistant in the READi Lab, working primarily on the Screen-Refer-Treat study. Prior to graduating from UW with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, she worked in the Cognition and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory, where her undergraduate thesis looked at the effects of belief manipulation on memory performance. Shortly after graduating, she was awarded the University of Washington Institute of Neural Engineering fellowship, allowing her the resources to study the impacts of neurofeedback training (NFT) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). Outside of research, her interests include rock climbing, weight lifting, making art, and eating tacos.
If she could have one super power it would be...super strength and healing, Wolverine style.
John Hershberger, BA, Research Study Assistant
John is a research study assistant in the READiLab. Born and raised in New York City, John has grown to love the Pacific Northwest. He is pursuing a second career in child developmental research after working in children's media as Brand Manager at the Pokémon Company International. His time working with children at Pokémon sparked his interest in learning more about how children's minds grow over time. He is excited to be involved in scientific research firsthand at READi Lab. In his spare time, John enjoys hiking, video games, and occasionally acting on stage.
If he could have one super power, it would be…“invisibility - it worked well for both Bilbo Baggins and Harry Potter!”