Women's Biobehavioral Health Laboratory

Supervising Faculty: Rebecca Thurston, PhD

Contact: Rebecca Thurston, thurstonrc@upmc.edu

Area of Research: Bio-health psychology, women's health

Description of Research: The Women’s Biobehavioral Health Lab focuses on women’s health at midlife and beyond. Ongoing research projects consider both biological (e.g., menopause), and psychosocial factors (e.g., sexual violence) and their relationships to women’s cardiovascular and brain health as they age.

Duties of Students: Duties of students REVISED: Students will gain familiarity with the research area and lab goals by assisting with a systematic review. Students will have the opportunity to critically examine study titles/abstracts to determine if they meet inclusion and exclusion criteria, build skills searching databases for full text articles, gain experience reading research studies and extracting key pieces of information, assess the quality of research studies, and summarize major findings. They will work closely with laboratory members in conducting these activities.


  • 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
  • 2 semester commitment required

Recruitment Process: Undergraduates who contact the lab will be asked to submit a resume and cover letter. Students who meet the course and time commitment requirements (see below) will be invited to meet to determine fit with our research group. At this meeting, students will be presented with the lab’s mentorship goals and expectations for directed research students. The students will be asked a uniform set of questions such as 1) What are your reasons for joining directed research? 2) What makes you interested in the Women’s biobehavioral health laboratory? 3) Do you have any specific research interests? 4) What skills, knowledge, or experience do you have that you think could add to the lab? Time will be reserved for students to ask questions. We will prioritize students with an interest in women’s health and bio-health psychology who can commit to at least 2 semesters of directed research credit. If possible, students with prior leadership experience (other research, work experience, volunteerism) or strong interpersonal skills will be preferred.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 2

Lab website: https://www.thurstonlab.pitt.edu/