Health and Aging Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Dr. Christine McKibbin

University of Wyoming
Department of Psychology, Dept. 3415
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2943


The Health and Aging Lab was established at the University of Wyoming in 2007 by Dr. Christine McKibbin. She also became Director of the Wyoming Center on Aging in 2012 and has served as the Director since that time. The lab enrolled its first graduate student in 2008. Funding obtained by Dr. McKibbin supports our research, graduate assistantships, student summer salary, and graduate student travel to national meetings. Our lab has two primary foci: (1) Improving health outcomes for older adults and families (both with and without mental health disorders) (2) Intervention development and testing.


Current Projects:

Our lab is funded by over 10 grants and contracts from both Federal and State sources. Data are currently being collected on several interventions development and implementation projects. This year, two graduate students received special funding (separate from our standard departmental funding) from the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded, Wyoming Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and one graduate student received support from the IdeA Networks in Biomedical Research Excellence (and some of the research received support from the Mountain West Clinical and Translational Research – Infrastructure Network). Graduate students can become involved in any of the projects within the Wyoming Center on Aging or the Health and Aging Lab. Graduate students in the lab often receive funding and support to present at national conferences and to fund research for publication. In addition to projects in aging, we are also pleased that we have received funding to develop a new technology-based intervention for youth with serious mental illness who are served in community mental health settings in Wyoming and Colorado.

Other projects that our graduate students may choose to engage in include the examination of:

  • Remote patient monitoring: A technological tool to improve health outcomes of rural older adults
  • Project ECHO: Adaptation for rural caregivers of older adults with dementia
  • Implementation of the Medicare Chronic Care Management program: Provider perspectives on success
  • Factors influencing engagement of parents in online interventions to improve health outcomes of youth with serious mental illness

Prospective Students:

The Health and Aging Lab seeks to accept one to two graduate students in the Clinical concentration this year. Applicants at both the Bachelor's- and Master's-level will be equally considered. Prior experience in research settings (e.g., undergraduate research assistantships) and/or clinical settings (e.g., case management; volunteer positions) are competitive.

As a graduate student in the Health and Aging Lab, ample opportunity will be provided to gain experience in research (including data collection, manuscript-writing, and national conference attendance). Graduate students can expect to gain a wealth of experience in all stages of research, from conducting studies to presenting results, and can expect to accumulate many experiences working with clinical populations as well as with other health and mental health care providers. Many graduate students in our lab also maintain individual projects of their own with assistance and support from Dr. McKibbin and their fellow graduate students. 

Mentoring is very important to me. I talk individually with my students, learn about their goals, and integrate their goals with training and professional opportunities to craft a package of skills, abilities, and experiences that set them up for success. I use an Individual Development Plan that integrates all aspects of the training with your goals in mind. This plan is revisited regularly.


Lab Members:

photo of Dr. McKibbin
Christine McKibbin, Professor
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention development, rural mental health

Former Graduate Students:

Thomas Wykes, Ph.D. 2016
Research interests: SMI, behavioral medicine, diabetes, intervention development

Katherine Kitchen, Ph.D. 2015
Research interests: Aging/geropsychology, behavioral medicine, health promotion intervention, rural mental health care

Katelynn McConnell, Ph.D. 2018
Research interests: Development of health focused interventions for pediatric SMI populations; impact of psychiatric symptomatiology on intervention adherence and outcome.

Aaron Lee, Ph.D. 2016
Research interests: Health promotion and outcomes in SMI populations as well as public and self-stigma associated with SMI

Contact Us

Dr. Christine McKibbin

University of Wyoming

Department of Psychology, Dept 3415

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-2943


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