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!”