John Colombo, Ph.D.
John Colombo, professor of psychology, became the third director of the Life Span Institute September 2007. Colombo also serves as the director and principal investigator of the University of Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center.
Professor Colombo has previously served the University of Kansas as faculty chair of the Human Subjects Committee on the Lawrence campus (1993-2012), as an associate dean of KU’s Graduate School (2001-2004) and as acting chair of the Department of Psychology (2005-2006). He joined the KU faculty in 1988 preceded by six years as a postdoctoral trainee and research associate.
Along with being an active participant in the Cognitive and Brain Science and Developmental Science doctoral programs within the Department of Psychology, he is affiliated with three interdisciplinary doctoral programs: Child Language, Clinical Child Psychology and Neuroscience.
Professor Colombo’s research interests are in the developmental cognitive neuroscience of attention and learning with a special focus on early individual differences in these areas and how they relate to the typical and atypical development of cognitive and intellectual function in infancy and early childhood. He conducts research in laboratories at the KU Edwards Campus and the KU Medical Center, as well as at the Wakarusa Research Facility in Lawrence.
His research on infant nutrition and cognitive development with Susan Carlson, University of Kansas Medical Center professor of dietetics and nutrition, contributed to the decision to add nutritional compounds present in mother’s milk to infant formula in the U.S. He is currently the co-director of a longitudinal clinical trial studying the effects of prenatal supplementation with DHA on cognitive development through childhood.He currently holds, or is a key participant in, federal grants from the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. His work has also been supported by the National Science Foundation, by foundation grants (e.g., March of Dimes) and by industry (Mead Johnson Nutrition and Martek
Students and Postdocs
I generally admit students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in my laboratory through the Developmental or Cognitive doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology. However, I also advise students in the Child Language Doctoral Program and in Clinical Child Psychology. Occasionally, postdoctoral positions are available through federal research or training grants, or through fellowships funded through the Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (F32 mechanism) at NIH.
Charter Member and Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
Member, Psychonomic Society
Editorial Board member for the following journals
- Infant Behavior and Development
- Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
- Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
A list of my publications (with many links to .pdf copies) can be obtained at my home page at ResearchGate.
The Life Span Institute (Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies), University of Kansas
Director and Principal Investigator, University of Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (KIDDRC)
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
The Life Span Institute (The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies)
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
426 Fraser Hall
1415 Jayhawk Boulevard
Wakarusa Research Laboratory
Edwards Campus Laboratory
Carlson / Colombo Laboratory, Smith Center, KU Med Center