Child Development Unit Marks Move to UMass Boston
June 06, 2012
Office of Communications
CDU Moved Into New Lab Space in UMass Boston’s Wheatley Hall in January
The Child Development Unit, which moved from its location at Boston Children’s Hospital to the University of Massachusetts Boston in January, held an open house Tuesday to celebrate the brand-new lab.
Director Edward Tronick says researchers in the lab are currently studying how parents interact with their infants, babies’ memories, and their stress levels. The unit’s two observation labs and its equipment room are used to measure changes in heart rate, skin conductance, and hormone levels in saliva, in 4-, 6-, and 10-month olds. Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies Zong-Guo Xia and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Patrick Day guided the development of the new lab.
Tronick founded the Child Development Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1970. He says the space in Wheatley Hall is more modern than the hospital space. Instead of a two-way mirror, staff members are now able to use a live video feed for their research. And that’s not the only benefit, Tronick said.
“I came to find a place on campus for myself and the research faculty and the graduate students so we would all be together,” he said.
Tronick, who is distinguished professor of psychology in UMass Boston’s College of Liberal Arts, says the move also allows him to collaborate on projects with other UMass Boston professors.
With Associate Professor of Psychology S. Tiffany Donaldson, researchers are doing a study on stress in rats. With Professor of Psychology Celia Moore, staff members completed a study using cortisol, a hormone found in hair, to measure stress.
The center’s staff will be featured on WHDH-TV’s Asian Focus later this month. Assistant Research Professor Cindy Liu’s interview on the risk factors of postpartum depression will air on June 17 at 6 a.m. Liu will also address why Asian Americans tend to be more at risk for postpartum depression.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.