New investigator: Abbie Raikes, PhD

January 25, 2022

Image with caption: Abbie Raikes, PhD

Abbie Raikes, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Feb. 24 for UNMC's 2021 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

The New Investigator Award is given to outstanding UNMC scientists who, in the past two years, have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigator Award recipients also need to demonstrate scholarly activity, such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Abbie Raikes  
  • Title: Associate Professor, College of Public Health 
  • Joined UNMC: 2016 
  • Hometown: Lincoln

Research focus: Early child development, domestically and globally.

Why is research important in the world today? Getting children off to a great start leads to lifelong health, well-being and learning. Even though we have incredibly strong evidence on the importance of early childhood, as a society, we still fail to invest early, and we all pay for it later. Early inequities in health care and family support lead to long-term gaps consequences for children, families and communities. 

My research will make a difference because: To do better for kids, we have to know what’s going well and what’s not. Having data helps build better environments for young children and families around the world. My team and I are working to identify the strengths and limitations of young children’s environments including home environments, childcare and preschool, so we can identify how environments affect young children and what we can do to improve them.

The best advice I’ve ever received is: Get a dog.   

Three things you may not know about me are: 

  • For three years, I lived in Paris and worked for the United Nations.
  • I like to knit mittens and paint in watercolor.
  • My family has been living and farming in Nebraska for over 100 years.   

Helen Odo
January 28, 2022 at 2:43 AM

Congratulations Dr. Raikes!

Mary Clare Beninato
January 25, 2022 at 7:53 PM

We are all so proud of you, Abbie, and grateful for your dedication to making this a better world for our children and grandchildren. Thank you and congratulations!

Stacey Coleman
January 25, 2022 at 10:06 AM

Many congrats Dr. Raikes! PS: I'll happily accept any mittens!! :-)

January 25, 2022 at 8:08 AM

Congratulations, Abbie!

Rosie Zweiback
January 25, 2022 at 7:33 AM

Congrats Abbie!