Meet Daina, a child clinical psychologist, and READi Lab’s newest postdoctoral researcher. She recently joined the team and has already contributed immensely to our new RISE study! Learn a bit about her and how she integrates theory with evidence-based practices below.
So, you’re a postdoctoral researcher. What exactly does that mean?
Being a postdoctoral researcher means that I have completed my doctoral degree and pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology, but that I want more experience working with accomplished researchers and building up my own independent research before officially going on the job market and trying to become a professor!
What are the real-world applications of your research?
My research focuses on the development, adaptation, dissemination, and implementation of assessments and interventions for young children with autism. I am also interested in novel ways to assess change through intervention and utilizing family-centered assessment and treatment protocols. This work helps make evidence-based interventions and assessments available in real-world settings such as community clinics and schools and helps ensure services are in line with patient goals and priorities to improve their overall quality of life.
You’re also a budding child clinical psychologist. What is the best part of your clinical work?
I love being able to take what I learn in my clinical work and apply it to my research and vice versa. For example, on my internship, I was trained in a parent-training intervention to help manage behavioral problems in children with autism. Through talking to parents and clients, our clinic very quickly realized that the intervention would also be incredibly helpful to parents of adults with autism, so we developed a research project to adapt and test the intervention for a completely new population – adults. One day we hope to be able to formalize this intervention for adults and encourage providers across the country to utilize it!
There’s a rumor that you own a small… wizard? What’s that about?
I have a 10-month old French Bulldog/Wizard named Merlin! He is magical 🙂 (see picture).
Did you pick up any new hobbies during the COVID quarantine?
I was definitely a part of the sourdough breadmaking trend. I also started making my own kombucha!
Share with us two truths and a lie. (Scroll down to see Daina’s fib!)
I can do a backflip.
I won a competition to start my own business.
I started drinking coffee when I was 6.
(The lie is the second one. I was a finalist, but I didn’t win).