The HBC Lab is affiliated with the University of Iowa and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as a research lab in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Michelle Voss, Ph.D. established the lab when starting as faculty in January 2012. Our team includes undergraduate research assistants, post-baccalaureate research assistants, a lab manager, a community outreach liaison, exercise specialists and health coaches, graduate students earning their Ph.D., postdoctoral fellows preparing for a job in academia. Graduate students can enter the lab through a training program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (such as Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Clinical Science, or the Individualized Track), or through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience. We also host visiting internships with high school students through the Belin-Blank Center (https://belinblank.education.uiowa.edu/) and undergraduates at other universities through our the Summer Research Opportunities Program (https://grad.uiowa.edu/dei/srop).
Our focus is research, mentorship, and community outreach, with values of inclusion, transparency, and rigor. We strive to empower students to feel comfortable with uncertainty by having the skills to identify unknowns and methodically turn a puzzle into new knowledge. Just as we all approach puzzles differently, trainees come with diverse perspectives and skillsets, so effective teamwork and mentoring requires an awareness to listen, support, and amplify voices from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. We hope our lab offers an experience of how diversity can spark novel insights, solutions, and knowledge. This philosophy inspires an approach focused on personal interaction, asking questions, open discussion and feedback, and listening and learning from different perspectives.
Our research is funded by both external and internal funding sources. The largest source of external funding is the National Institute on Aging (NIH), which has funded our research on health behaviors and brain aging since 2015. We also have collaborative projects that have been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).