The Pediatric Brain Injury Research Laboratory

Supervising Faculty: Amery Treble-Barna, PhD

Contact: Amery Treble-Barna,

Area of Research: Clinical Research in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

Description of Research: Dr. Treble-Barna is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the PITT School of Medicine and the Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP). Many children who sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) have lifelong difficulties in cognitive and behavioral functioning. Dr. Treble-Barna’s research aims to better predict recovery following pediatric TBI by examining the child’s personal biology (proteomics, genetics, and epigenetics) and environmental factors (family environment, rehabilitation).

Duties of Students: Students will have direct contact with children aged 3-18 years who are hospitalized for TBI and their families. Students will receive training in all study procedures with special attention to research ethics, including study recruitment, informed consent, data safety and reliability, and ethical issues related to psychological and clinical research. Duties will include screening electronic medical records for patient eligibility, study recruitment and informed consent procedures with families on the inpatient unit, data collection (parent questionnaires, neuropsychological testing of children, collection of blood and saliva samples), and data entry. Students will also contact families to schedule follow-up visits and conduct these visits at CHP. Additional training opportunities will include managing the biorepository of blood and saliva samples, assisting in literature review, learning to use a reference manager software to assist in creating citation lists, and creation of figures and tables from study data. Students will attend weekly lab meetings and participate in a journal club. Very motivated students will have opportunities to prepare scientific abstracts for submission to local, national, and international conferences and assist in manuscript preparation with authorship granted based on level of contribution. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in pursuing graduate school for clinical, developmental, or health psychology or for students interested in gaining clinical research experience prior to medical school.


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • A 2-semester commitment is required
  • A 10-hour minimum/week commitment is required
  • Please submit inquiries with a CV and transcript to Dr. Amery Treble-Barna ( Selected students will be invited to interview.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 3