Great things happen in our lab!

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Welcome to the Lab, Carolina

February 7, 2024

SDL welcomed our new graduate research assistant, Carolina Cuomo, this week! Carolina is a first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy student here at UF and is interested in working in pediatrics or neurological rehabilitation. Read Carolina’s bio to learn more about our newest lab member!

New Lab Manager

February 1, 2024

This month’s news update is both happy and sad!

We are excited to announce that our lab manager, Elizabeth, was given the opportunity to pursue a position close to home that more closely aligns with her future career goals. So, she is moving on to new adventures! It is definitely a sad loss for our team, but we are excited to cheer her on in her future endeavors.

The happy news is that one of our own, Erin, is taking over the lab manager position! She decided to go through the application and interview process and we are thrilled that she has agreed to step into this role. We know that her passion, organization, leadership skills, and enthusiasm for the Sensory Development Lab and occupational therapy will only help us continue to serve our community and further the profession.


MPH Student Receives Scholarship

January 10, 2024

We are so excited for our graduate research assistant and Master of Public Health student, Devin Valdes, who was awarded the Dr. John J. Benton Endowed Scholarship! This scholarship is awarded to MPH students who demonstrate integrity, humility, compassion, good scholarship, and a good sense of humor as determined by a faculty committee. Congratulations, Devin!


Grad Student Selected for Simuvaction

December 7, 2023

We are so excited for our PhD Student, Jordan Major, who was selected for Simuvaction, a highly competitive program where graduate students engage in the ethical use and development of AI. This is an incredible opportunity for both our lab and the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Child Led Intervention Session

November 15, 2023

In the Sensory Development Lab, we love intervention sessions that are child led and centered around the child’s interests. For this session, Dr. Howell and the child went ‘reverse bowling’ where they rolled weighted balls up the ramp to knock over ‘bowling pins’ they created around a Dr. Who theme!

child led intervention session
child led intervention session

Dr. Howell as watson

Halloween Inspired Intervention Session

October 31, 2023

One of our kiddos spends time at home solving mysteries dressed up as Sherlock Holmes. So, for his visit on Halloween, he came has Sherlock and Dr. Howell dressed up as Watson. They searched for clues to solve a Top Secret mystery in the lab!

Lab Open House

September 19, 2023

Last week, Sensory Development Lab warmly welcomed faculty and students to our first-ever open house event. Attendees had the unique opportunity to explore our finalized lab space and sensory-based equipment, learn more about current and upcoming SDL research studies, and chat with Dr. Bodison and our incredible team of researchers.

Devin Valdes Selected as This is Public Health Student Ambassador

August 17, 2023

Devin Valdes, a graduate research assistant in Sensory Development Lab and a Master of Public Health student, was selected as a student ambassador for This is Public Health. As a student ambassador, Valdes takes up the responsibility of raising awareness about public health through community engagement and public events. His long-term goals are to pursue epidemiology research as an M.D. or Ph.D. and serve as an advocate for public health, specifically through the creation of sustainable programs for outbreaks and literacy. We are so proud of Devin and cannot wait to see where his research takes him! Click here to read more.

Ready Teddy- MRI Prep

June 12, 2023

This week we welcomed our first research pilot participant to our lab and completed the baseline assessments and MRI scan. We were so excited to use “Ready Teddy,” a VR tool that helps kids prepare for the MRI by allowing them to virtually experience the sights and sounds of the scan before getting in the machine.

Dr. Bodison Receives AOTA’s Roster of Fellows Award

June 1, 2023

Dr. Bodison, OTD, OTR/L, and director of Sensory Development Lab, has received the 2023 Roster of Fellows Award from the American Occupational Therapy Association. The award is given to occupational therapists who have made significant contributions to the field. Bodison was chosen for her groundbreaking research which employs advanced neuroimaging techniques to provide evidence-based pediatric occupational therapy interventions. We are so excited for Dr. Bodison and honored to be a part of her pioneering research! Click here to read more.

Our Research Lab is Open

May 22, 2023

Our Occupational Therapy lab and waiting area are open and ready to receive research participants! We are looking forward to officially recruiting children and families for our autism study.

Congratulations Erin and Devin

May 15, 2023

Our two Bachelor’s in Health Science (BHS) honors students, Erin Lebesch and Devin Valdes, both graduated this week! We are so excited for these two as they continue on in graduate programs at the University of Florida. This Fall, Erin will attend UF’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program and Devin will continue his Master’s of Public Health. Congrats to all recent graduates!

Refining our MRI Paradigm

April 11, 2023

Dr. Bodison got in the MRI machine with our virtual reality goggles this week to test out the paradigm for the Sensory Intervention study. The goggles will allow participants to watch a tv show or movie right in front of their eyes while in the scanner!

Bertec Testing

March 22, 2023

Excited to be piloting our Bertec balance protocol with our lab staff!

The Mats are Here

February 8, 2023

Our research mats have arrived and are a perfect fit!

Great things are happening in SDL

January 25, 2023

Our team is working hard to prep our lab’s intervention space. We can’t think of a better bonding experience than putting together sensory equipment! Plus our intervention mats arrive in just a few weeks. Great things are happening in SDL!

lab working together
lab laughs

The Swings Are Up

December 15, 2022

We are excited to announce that the swing structures are now in place and have been fully tested by lab staff!

In-Service at Magnolia Parke

October 20, 2022

This week, Dr. Bodison and Dr. Howell visited UF Health Rehab Center – Magnolia Parke to present about Sensory Integration and research activities. It was great meeting with Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapists in the field and sharing ideas directly related to patient care!

Recipient of McKnight Brain Institute Grant


We are excited to announce that SDL was awarded an essential equipment grant from the McKnight Brain Institute. These funds will be used to purchase an fMRI equipment package that includes MRI rated goggles to make neuroimaging for the kids easier!  

Scooters, Swings, and More

September 2, 2022

New lab equipment has been unboxed and tested! We are so excited for our intervention equipment including swings, scooters, a scooter ramp, and a ball pit.


Welcome to the Lab, Jordan Major

August 24, 2022

Sensory Development Lab welcomed our newest PhD candidate this week. Jordan Major, MOT, OTR/L moved from California to Gainesville, where she is enrolled in UF’s PhD program in Occupational Therapy. Read Jordan’s bio to learn more about our new lab member!


The First Piece of Lab Equipment Has Arrived

July 7, 2022

We are excited to begin assessing vestibular postural mechanisms as part of our research studies!

SDL’s First Lab Meeting

June 20, 2022

During the lab’s first meeting, lab mission and goals were discussed as well as plans for current and future research studies.

Lab Leadership Retreat

May 10, 2022

Lab Director, Dr. Bodison, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Research, Dr. Howell, and Lab Manager, Elizabeth spent the day developing lab protocol, discussing future projects, and planning the logistical components of the lab.

Lab Construction is Complete

April 14, 2022

Lab remodel completed! Next up…intervention equipment.


First Community Event for ASD Intervention

March 19, 2022

Lab leadership attended the 2022 STOMP the SWAMP for Autism where they spread the word about the upcoming ASD sensory intervention research study. The fundraising event hosted by the UF student group, Impact Autism, benefited the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

Sensory Development Lab Construction is Coming Along

February 24, 2022

We are hoping to be in the space soon to get things together and enroll our first participants in Fall 2022.

lab construction
lab construction 2