Meet the BabyDevLab team
Dr Sam Wass - Research Group Leader, UEL BabyDevLab
Sam gained a First Class undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and did his PhD at the Centre for Brain Cognitive Development in London. After this, he was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, based at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge. After this he moved to the University of East London, supported by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship.
Sam's research examines how concentration, stress and learning capacities develop during childhood. He works with typically developing children as well as children growing up in diverse socio-economic status backgrounds in East London. He is also a collaborator on a range of projects in London, Europe, the United States and Canada with clinical populations (children with Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, preterm birth and Rett Syndrome). His research has been funded by the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the National Institute of Health Research, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, and others.
In addition, Sam is also very active in the public communication of science. He has been heavily involved in the development, and featured as an on-screen scientist, of the multi-award-winning Channel 4 series The Secret Life of 4-, 5- and 6-Year-Olds (2014-ongoing). This series has consistently reached audiences of up to 3 million viewers. He has fronted press campaigns both for charities (National Trust, Save The Children) and for commercial organisations (Tesco, Dulux, Ikea, Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network). He has appeared as an expert commentator on all TV networks (BBC, ITV, Sky), radio (BBC Radio 4/5, Sky) and all major national newspapers (Sun, Mirror, Daily Mail, Times, Telegraph, Independent, BBC News).
Sam also has a research blog.
See his staff profile.
Dr Kasia Kostyrka-Allchorne
Kasia gained a master's degree from the Warsaw School of Economics. After moving to the UK, she completed a conversion degree in psychology at London Metropolitan University and worked as an assistant psychologist in a clinical setting. Following a career break to raise her children, Kasia returned to academia to start a PhD at the University of Essex. There she investigated the immediate effects of video editing pace on children's attention and inhibitory control. Kasia is now working as a postdoctoral researcher at King's College London where she is co-ordinating three research projects. These projects relate to a core theme of examining the neural underpinnings of self- regulation during crucial developmental periods: infancy, early childhood and adolescence. This research is led by Prof Sonuga-Barke (KCL) and Dr Sam Wass (UEL) is the key collaborator involved in these studies.