Amy Lee WagnerExecutive Director, Child Development Lab

I’ve dedicated my career to improving the lives of young children though education and early intervention since I was an undergraduate student here at the School of Human Ecology and School of Education in the late 1990s. I’m thrilled to be back at my alma mater as the Executive Director of the UW Child Development Lab!

Throughout my career and formal education, I have had the opportunity to consider the experiences of young children through a number of different perspectives: as a student teacher, head teacher, program coordinator, program assessor, researcher, graduate student, early interventionist, parent trainer, and college lecturer. I have my BS and WI teaching license in PK-3 Early Childhood Education from UW–Madison; my MAEd from Mills College in Oakland, CA; and my PhD in Human Development from the University of California-Davis. I’m a certified trainer for the Program for Infant Toddler Care and a certified Early Start Denver Model therapist for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder.

I spent seven years working at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies and was one of the primary writers of the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations of the California Department of Education Child Development Division. I spent three years as the infant-toddler program coordinator for the Early Childhood Education Center at San Francisco State University before returning to graduate school. My aim as the executive director is to help the UW Child Development Lab reach its teaching, research, and outreach missions on campus and in the larger community.


My research interests include: the effectiveness of teacher professional development on the quality of infant/toddler care, the effects of early intervention for infants and toddlers with ASD, and the use of online screening tools with at-risk populations, particularly with boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Peer Review Journal Articles:

Vismara, L.A., McCormick, C.E.B., Wagner, A.L., Monlux, M.S., Nadhan, B.S., Young, G.S.  (2018).  Telehealth parent training in the Early Start Denver Model: Results from a Randomized Controlled Study.  Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 33(2), 67-79.

McDonald, C.M., Henricson, E.K., Oskarsson, B.E., Aguilar, C., Nicorici, A., Joyce, N., Reddy, D., Wagner, A.L., deBie, E., Goude, E., Abresch, R.T., Villareal, F., Perkins, G., Hathout, Y., Dugar, S., Schreiner., G. (Submitted June 2016). Epicatechin enhances mitochondrial biogenesis, increases dystrophin and utrophin, increases follistatin while decreasing myostatin, and improves skeletal muscle exercise response in adults with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). Neuromuscular Disorders.

Rogers, S.J., Vismara, L.A., Wagner, A.L., McCormick, C., Young, G., Ozonoff, S. (2014). Autism treatment in the first year of life: A pilot study of Infant Start, a parent-implemented intervention for symptomatic infants. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 2981-95.

Vismara, L.A., McCormick, C., Wagner, A.L., Monlox, K., Nadhan, A., & Young, G.S. (2018). Telehealth parent training in the Early Start Denver Model: Results from a randomized controlled study. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 33, 67-79.

Classes Taught

  • Course number: HDFS 464: Course title: The Development of Play Across the Lifespan
  • Course number: HDFS 501: Course title: Infant/Toddler Development and Group Care
  • Course number: HDFS 501: Course title: Child Development Theory to Practice
  • Course number: ED PSYCH 320: Course title: Human Development in Infancy & Early Childhood


  • Human Development & Family Studies



  • Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate, 2021
  • PhD Human Development, University of California Davis, 2018
  • MAEd Early Childhood Education, Mills College, 2002
  • BS Early Childhood Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1998


Office: 1263 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-890-4253