RESEARCH NETWORK ON EARLY EXPERIENCE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

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MISSION

PEOPLE

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PEOPLE

Our Network's core group of researchers is composed of a number of academics and practitioners from prestigious institutions located throughout the country:

David G. Amaral, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Center for Neuroscience and the California Regional Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. He is also Research Director for the recently established M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. Dr. Amaral's research program involves multidisciplinary approaches to understanding neural systems involved in memory and in social behavior and emotion. Studies are carried out both in animal models and in human subjects and employ neuroantomical, neuroimaging, behavioral, and electrophysiological techniques.

Judy Cameron, Ph.D. holds joint appointments as Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and Associate Scientist at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center and Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Cameron is an accomplished developmental neuroendocrinologist, neuroscientist, and primatologist.

Allison Doupe, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology in the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. A psychiatrist and a neurobiologist, Dr. Doupe studies song learning in songbirds, a model system for experience-dependent changes in the brain and behavior, with particular relevance to speech learning; she and her laboratory are also interested in how hormones shape brain and behavior in this system and in general, and in the neural basis of the innate predispositions for learning. 

Nathan A. Fox, Ph.D. is Professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Fox is a Developmental Psychologist with research interests in the development of emotion and the role of infant temperament in the development of social competence. His work includes examining the interface of central and peripheral nervous system development and temperament utilizing measures of brain electrophysiology (EEG and ERPs) as well as measures of autonomic nervous system reactivity. Dr. Fox was Associate Editor of Developmental Psychology and currently serves as Editor of Infant Behavior and Development. http://www.education.umd.edu/EDHD/faculty/Fox/

Eric Knudsen, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr Knudsen is an expert on the effects of experience on the structure and function of the central auditory system. His research focuses on cellular mechanisms that underlie adaptive behavioral changes in response to experience with changing environmental conditions during development and in adult animals.

Pat Levitt, Ph.D. is Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development and Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. His research interests include the genetic and environmental influences during pre- and postnatal development that regulate brain wiring and function, including the effects of specific gene mutations or cocaine exposure on the immature nervous system. Dr. Levitt is a senior editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Mental Health. Pat.Levitt@vanderbilt.edu

Susan McConnell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology at Stanford University. Dr. McConnell is a leader in the field of developmental neurobiology, with particular expertise in the area of fetal brain development, including how the brain produces appropriate numbers and types of neurons and delivers them into the right locations during development. 

Charles A. Nelson, Ph.D., the Richard David Scott Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research at the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children's Hospital, chairs the research network. His broad research interests are concerned with the role of experience on brain and brain development. To this end he conducts research on children who have experienced early biological adversity (e.g., prematurity) or psychosocial adversity (e.g., those living in institutions in Romania). He chaired the MacArthur Foundation research network on Early Experience and Brain Development, and currently chairs the advisory board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program on Experienced-Based Brain and Biological Development. He was a liaison to the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development for the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as past Associate Editor of the journal Child Development, and is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. He earned his BA in Psychology from McGill University, a masters degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in child and developmental psychology from the University of Kansas.
http://www.childrenshospital.org/cfapps/research/data_admin/Site2205/mainpageS2205P0.html

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D. is the Dean of the Heller Graduate School and the Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development at Brandeis University. A distinguished academic pediatrician and leader in the field of developmental disabilities and early childhood intervention, Dr. Shonkoff currently serves as Chair of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a core group member of the Foundation's Network on Successful Pathways Through Middle Childhood.

Marian Sigman, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of California - Los Angeles. Dr. Sigman is a developmental and child clinical psychologist and a leading expert on autism and the effects of perinatal complications (e.g., prematurity) on biobehavioral development. Dr. Sigman is also the co-chair of the 1999 program committee of the Society for Research in Child Development. 

Charles H. Zeanah, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics and Executive Director of the Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Zeanah studies the effects of psychological trauma on infants and young children, especially those who are exposed to family violence. Dr. Zeanah is the Chair of the Research Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.som.tulane.edu/departments/psych_neuro/zeanah.htm

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SPONSORED BY

The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation

The James S McDonnell Foundation