Get to know one of our hardworking Research Study Assistants, John! John has played a pivotal role in our Screen-Refer-Treat study, among others. Learn a bit about him and his motivation to advance the study of autism below.
Tell me what projects you work on in the lab.
We all do a little bit of everything here at the lab, but my primary focus is managing databases for our studies. That includes programming surveys, validating and correcting data, and running statistical analysis. I also prepare a lot of training materials and research new technologies we can use to make our studies run more smoothly.
What made you want to work in the READi lab?
I have always been interested in how our brains develop from childhood. I come from a big family with a lot of siblings, so I had a lot of firsthand examples of developing brains when I was a child. I also had the opportunity to lead a local trading card gaming community for several years when I worked at Pokémon. I got to know many children, youth, and adults with ASD in that community. When I returned to school to study developmental psychology, I was particularly interested in ASD, so READi Lab seemed a perfect fit!
What is the state of your current relationship with spreadsheets?
Spreadsheets are my friends, usually…
So, you’re from New York City, huh? What was it like growing up in the Big Apple?
New York lives up to a lot of its stereotypes: it’s loud, busy, direct, and wonderfully diverse. I found that being raised around people coming from many cultures and perspectives helped me to develop my own observational and critical thinking skills while also teaching me to be open-minded. Also, you can get amazing pizza pretty much anywhere!
What would your Pokémon team name be and what Pokémon would you be most proud to have as your champions?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! There are so many to choose from! How about I make a psychology research-themed team? I will call it the “Psychic Storm,” and it will consist of:
- Mesprit, a Legendary Pokémon said to have helped create emotions.
- Gothita, a Pokémon that is skilled at observing human behavior.
- Abra, an intelligent Pokémon that is said to be able to read minds.
- Ralts, a timid Pokémon that can sense emotions.
- Espeon, a strong Psychic-type Pokémon that is said to predict the future.
- Snorlax, because it is my favorite!
Please share two truths and a lie about yourself. (Scroll down to discover John’s fib!)
I have performed onstage with wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.
I have six toes on my left foot.
I can speak Greek.
I do not have six toes on my left foot.