Johanna Bick, PhD – University of Houston
Bridget Callaghan, PhD – Columbia University
Judy Cameron, PhD – University of Pittsburgh
Pamela Cole, PhD – The Pennsylvania State University
Jamie Hanson, PhD – University of Pittsburgh
Takao Hensch, PhD – Harvard University
Allison Knoll, PhD – University of South California
Autumn Kujawa, PhD – The Pennsylvania State University
Kate Mills, PhD – University of Oregon
Susan Perlman, PhD – University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer Silk, PhD – University of Pittsburgh
Eva Telzer, PhD – University of North Carolina
Brian Trainor, PhD – University of California Davis
NIMH and NICHD Program Officers:
Lisa Freund, PhD – NICHD
Eric Murphy, PhD – NIMH
Joel Sherrill, PhD – NIMH
Johanna Bick, PhD
University of Houston
Exposure to Adversity, Timing of Intervention and Long Term Effects on the Emotional Brain and Behavior: Findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project
Dr. Johanna Bick is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Houston. She received a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a developmental emphasis from the University of Delaware in 2011. She then completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bick’s research program examines how early adverse experiences, including institutional rearing, poverty, and maltreatment, shape neurodevelopment in ways that increase risk for emotional and cognitive problems. She also studies how early intervention can mitigate neural and behavioral consequences associated with early adverse exposures.
Bridget Callaghan, PhD
The Neuro-Environmental Loop of Plasticity: Parental Regulation of Developing Amygdala.
Bridget Callaghan is a cross-species translational researcher interested in the effects of early adversity on the developing brain, mind, and body. She completed her doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of New South Wales in Australia, where she investigated the role of early stress on brain development and fear behavior in rats, as well as the moderating role of the gastrointestinal microbiome. She is now completing her Post-Doctoral research at Columbia University, studying how early caregiving adversity affects threat circuitry and the microbiome in developing humans. Bridget was recently awarded a Pathway to Independence Fellowship from the National Institutes of Mental Health to continue this work, and was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in 2017.
Judy Cameron, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Biological Impact of Early Life Stress Dependent on the Timing of Stress Exposure, State of Neural Development, and Post-Stress Parental Interaction
Judy Cameron is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. For 10 years she was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development and she is currently a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the Scientific Council of the Child Mind Institute. Research areas in Dr. Cameron’s lab include the interaction between genetic factors and early life experiences on shaping behavioral development, identification of factors that lead to stress sensitivity versus stress resilience, and the interactions between physical health and mental health. Dr. Cameron’s newest research initiative is Working for Kids: Building SkillsTM , which is a novel community-based program that teaches the fundamentals of brain development to those who work with children at a community level. This initiative provides a community training program and is evaluating the effect of this intervention on child development as well as health. The program has won innovation awards in Pittsburgh, as well as from the National Science Foundation.
Pamela Cole, PhD
Pennsylvania State University
Children’s Neural Processing of Affective Prosody
Pamela Cole is Liberal Arts Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University. She earned an M.A. in general-experimental psychology at the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology at Penn State. Her work has focused on the nature and development of emotion regulation with an emphasis on early childhood and anger regulation in both typically developing and at risk children.
Jamie Hanson, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Advancing models of developmental neurobiology and learning to understand the effect of early life stress
Dr. Jamie Hanson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a Research Scientist at the Learning Research & Development Center. Dr. Hanson’s research focuses on the neural circuitry children and adolescents use to learn about different aspects of their environment, how such circuits are shaped by early life stress (such as child poverty or child maltreatment), and why neural changes due to this stress confer risks for negative outcomes. Through this work, Dr. Hanson has found that the risks for different forms of psychopathology associated with early life stress are conveyed by specific alterations in brain circuitry responsible for reward and socio-emotional information processing. Studies in his laboratory deploy a multitude of neuroscience tools, including structural, functional, and diffusion-tensor imaging. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a degree program combining the fields of child development, stress neurobiology, and social neuroscience. More recently, Hanson was a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Hanson’s primary goal is to increase knowledge about the neurobiological effects of early life stress, with that hope that such information could aid in predicting and preventing stress-related, negative outcomes in education and mental health.
Takao K. Hensch, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Sex-specific circuit impact of early life stress
Takao K. Hensch, PhD, is joint professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School at Boston Children’s Hospital, and professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard’s Center for Brain Science. He currently directs the NIMH Silvio O. Conte Center at Harvard, and conducts basic neuro-biological research on developmental critical periods and the origins of mental illness. After training with J Allan Hobson (Harvard), Masao Ito (MPH, Univ Tokyo) and Wolf Singer (Fulbright Fellow, Max-Planck Institute), Hensch received his PhD with Michael Stryker (UCSF) in 1996. He then helped to launch the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Japan) as lab head for Neuronal Circuit Development and Group Director (now special advisor). Hensch has received several honors, notably the Mortimer Sackler Prize (2016), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2007) and Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award both in the U.S. (2005) and Japan (2001). He serves on several editorial boards, including Neuron and Frontiers in Neural Circuits (chief editor).
Allison Knoll, PhD
University of Southern California
Genetic- and sex-based vulnerabilities to the biological impact of early-life stress in mice
Allison Knoll, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Research at the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Her ongoing and postdoctoral research with Dr. Pat Levitt has focused on understanding genetic factors that influence the development of complex behaviors, including affiliative sociability, emotionality, and associative learning. Using recombinant inbred mouse strains and a mouse model of early adversity, Allison’s research examines genetic- and sex-specific influences on the biological impact of early-life stress.
Autumn Kujawa, PhD
The Pennsylvania State University
Neurophysiological Markers of Social Feedback Processing in Early Adolescence: Associations with Rejection Sensitivity and Depressive Symptoms
Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and licensed clinical psychologist at Penn State College of Medicine. Her research integrates multiple methods, including event-related potentials, neuroimaging, and behavioral measures, to examine emotional processing styles that contribute to the development and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. She earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral research fellowship in the neuroscience of mental health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently received a Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation fellowship award to examine neurophysiological predictors of response to cognitive behavior therapy for adolescent depression and was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.
Kate Mills, PhD
University of Oregon
The developing social brain in adolescence: impacts on affiliative processes and strategic decision making.
Kate Mills is a Postdoc at the University of Oregon and Research Associate at the Oregon Research Institute. Her research examines the social, biological, and cognitive processes that underlie the development of skills needed to navigate the social environment.
Susan Perlman, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
The Neurodevelopment of Irritability in Early Childhood: A Multi-Modal Perspective
Dr. Susan Perlman, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, received her PHD from Duke University in Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. She has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh since 2011 where she is the director of the Laboratory for Child Brain Development. The majority of Dr. Perlman’s research focuses on temperament in the preschool period, where she uses multi-modal neuroimaging to understand the neurodevelopmental predictors of later childhood psychopathology onset.
Jennifer Silk, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Social Threat and Reward from Parents and Peers: Neural Response and Links to Adolescent Depression
Jennifer Silk, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a member of the Pitt faculty since 2005. She is also a licensed child clinical psychologist with expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. Her research focuses on the development and treatment of anxiety and depression in the pre-teen and teen years. She examines both biological factors and factors within the social environment that influence how pre-teens and teens learn to manage their emotions. She has published more than 90 articles and chapters on this topic and has led 7 NIH-funded research grants. Dr. Silk has been honored for early career contributions to mental health research by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. She developed an app to improve the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders that was recognized at the White House as a winner of the National Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge. Dr. Silk’s commitment to mentoring was also recognized when she was selected as the winner of the National Postdoctoral Association’s 2015 Mentor Award.
Cheryl Sisk, PhD
Michigan State University
Pubertal testosterone programs experience-dependent expression of ∆FosB in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to facilitate social competence in adulthood
Cheryl L. Sisk, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor, Neuroscience Program and Dept. Psychology, Michigan State University (MSU): Dr. Sisk earned the PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience at Florida State University and received postdoctoral training at Northwestern University (Neurobiology and Physiology) and the University of Texas at Austin (Reproductive Physiology) before joining the faculty at MSU in 1985. She served as Director of the MSU Neuroscience Program from 1998-2011; she is currently Program Director of the MSU NIH T32 Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences and Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the College of Natural Science. Her research program is on brain and behavioral development during puberty and adolescence, employing studies of both laboratory animal models and humans to learn how pubertal hormones organize the adolescent brain and behavior. Her research has been funded by NIH and NSF and she has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and theoretical reviews.
Eva Telzer, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The emotional brain in parent-adolescent dyads: Neural concordance and links to emotional adjustment.
Eva Telzer, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC Chapel Hill. She received her PhD from UCLA in Developmental Psychology. Her research uses multimethod tools including longitudinal assessments, fMRI, daily diaries, and diurnal cortisol to examine how social and cultural processes shape the developing brain, with a focus on adolescence as a particularly sensitive and flexible phase of brain development. Dr Telzer is the recipient of an APA Rising Star Award, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and a Jacobs Foundation Young Scholars Award. Her research is funded by several grants, including an R01 from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Dr Telzer has published extensively, with over 80 publications, 5 book chapters, and an edited book on Culture Biology Interplay.
Brain Trainor, PhD
University of California Davis
Oxytocin Receptors in Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis Promote Stress-Induced Social Avoidance and Vigilance in Females
In addition to his academic appointment in the Department of Psychology, Brian Trainor is an affiliated faculty member with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. He is also director of the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab at UC Davis. Professor Trainor is a member of several professional organizations, including the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for Biological Psychiatry. He is also an editorial board member for the journal Hormones and Behavior.