Listed in alphabetical order
Tracy L. Bale, PhD
Dr. Bale is a Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, and Director of the Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health and Brain Development in the School of Medicine. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Bale completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington and her postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute with Dr. Wylie Vale. She was previously a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years. Dr. Bale was recruited to the University of Maryland School of Medicine as a STRAP recruit and the Director of the Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health and Brain Development.
Dr. Bale’s research focuses on understanding the role of stress dysregulation in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric diseases, and the sex differences that underlie disease vulnerability. Her groundbreaking work has uncovered the molecular mechanisms by which the environment influences parental germ cell signals and placental trophoblast development, altering fetal brain development and maturation. Her lab is particularly interested in developing models of parental stress and the germ cell involvement in intergenerational epigenetic programming of neurodevelopment. Her research also has a significant translational component, focusing on identifying biomarkers of disease risk and stress experience in semen, placental tissue, microbiome samples and plasma. She serves on many advisory committees, panels, and boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board for the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, the Congressional Committee on Gulf War and Health for the National Academy of Sciences, the Strategic Planning Committee for the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the Scientific Advisory Board for The Brain Foundation. She recently served as Chair of the NNRS CSR study section and was a Reviewing Editor at the Journal of Neuroscience. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her research including the Richard E. Weitzman Memorial award by the Endocrine Society, the Medtronic Award from the Society for Women’s Health Research, the Daniel H. Efron award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the NIH Award from the International Federation of Placenta Associations, and the Joseph Erlanger Distinguished Lecturer Award from the American Physiological Society.
Lee Ann Savio Beers, MD
Dr. Beers is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Medical Director for Municipal and Regional Affairs within Children’s National’s Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health and Child Health Advocacy Institute. She is also the Founding Director of the DC Mental Health Access in Pediatrics (www.dcmap.org) program and Co-Director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network (www.ecin.org). She oversees the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care, a public-private coalition that serves as a catalyst to elevate the standard of mental health care for every young person in the city by increasing primary care provider capacity and achieving systemic policy change.
She earned her Medical Degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed a pediatric residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth VA. Prior to joining Children’s National, she was a general pediatrician at the Naval Hospital in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Dr. Beers has held numerous leadership positions in the American Academy of Pediatrics, and in 2019 was selected as one of two candidates for President-elect. She serves in a wide variety of leadership and advisory positions within the Washington DC community, including the Mayor’s State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council. Her clinical and research interests include adolescent pregnancy and parenting, the integration of mental health and pediatric primary care, the impact of adversity and stress on child well-being and advocacy education.
Matthew Biel, MD, MSc
Dr. Biel is Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He co-directs the Early Childhood Innovation Network, a large-scale mental health prevention project with families with young children in Washington, D.C. Dr. Biel’s work addresses the impact of adversity and stress upon children and families, with a focus on promoting resilience. He has additional clinical and research interests in autism spectrum disorders and mood and anxiety disorders. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters and is a national leader in psychiatric education and advocacy for children’s mental health. Dr. Biel received his B.A. from Amherst College, and completed his medical training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he also earned an M.Sc. in Community Medicine. He trained in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine.
Elisabeth Conradt, PhD
Dr. Conradt is an assistant professor in developmental psychology at the University of Utah. She received her PhD in clinical psychology in 2011 from the University of Oregon, where she studied the biobehavioral development of infants reared in poverty. She completed her clinical internship in early childhood mental health at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2014 she received an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship to examine the biological embedding of early life stress in children with prenatal substance exposure at Brown University. Dr. Conradt’s federally funded research examines the intergenerational transmission of risk for problem behavior in young children raised by stressed caregivers. Her research is interdisciplinary and she collaborates closely with colleagues in pediatrics, OB/GYN, and molecular biology. Her work has been covered in media outlets like NPR and she has received multiple national and international early career research awards.
Aimee Danielson, PhD
Dr. Danielson is the Founder and Director of the Women’s Mental Health Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology who has specialized and worked exclusively in the field of perinatal mental health since creating her own postdoctoral fellowship in this area in 2002. Over the past seventeen years, she has developed and implemented numerous clinical, academic and research programs to respond to the unmet need of perinatal women in Washington DC. In 2008, she founded the Women’s Mental Health Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in response to a critical need for specialized care at this institution and in the region. This program, which she continues to direct and participate in clinical care, provides specialized psychiatric care for pregnant and postpartum women. Across MedStar, she leads the effort to train medical providers, residents, students, and nurses on screening for perinatal mental health disorders and has successfully implemented universal maternal depression screening across various hospital-based settings including outpatient obstetrics, acute inpatient obstetrics and pediatrics.
Dr. Danielson is a founding member of the DC Metro Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative and an active member of several local maternal mental health initiatives, each of which have enabled her to grow the capacity of perinatal mental health providers across DC and serve as an advocate for both perinatal mental health awareness and increased access to quality mental health care. Over the past several years, she has led numerous efforts centrally focused on expanding perinatal mental health services in the District of Columbia. Most recently, this work has focused on the integration of mental health care into the obstetric setting at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
As an expert in the field, she speaks locally and nationally on topics related to maternal mental health and wellness in women. She has been an invited speaker on On Point with Tom Ashbrook (NPR), as well as contributing to stories in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.
C. Neill Epperson, MD
Dr. Epperson is the Robert Freedman Endowed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM). Previously, Dr Epperson was professor of psychiatry and of obstetrics and gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where she was also the founder and director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness and of Penn PROMOTES Research on Sex and Gender in Health. Dr Epperson received her medical degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her postdoctoral and research training in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, where she rose to the level of associate professor before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Epperson is internationally recognized for her unique clinical and research expertise in women’s reproductive behavioral health across the lifespan. Her work in sex differences related to early life stress and its impact on risk for affective disorders during periods of hormonal change has been funded by the NIMH and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. This body of work has led to a greater appreciation of the impact of childhood adversity on physiologic responses to hormonal changes across the female lifespan. Dr. Epperson’s research has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 2 decades. She is a productive mentor and independent investigator with more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
Melissa Fries, MD, MSEd
As a reproductive geneticist and high risk obstetrician, Dr. Fries’ has the privilege of caring for those whose road to motherhood has been difficult and uncertain. Mothers with genetic conditions, such as brittle bone disease, or problems, such as repaired congenital heart anomalies, have special risks in pregnancy. She feels her role is to provide the most compassionate and experienced care for these high risk women and their infants--comprehensive, honest, and committed care from preconception to post partum . She values the multidisciplinary and regional involvement of the adult physicians at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and the Fetal Program at Children’s National Medical Center. This inclusiveness allows women who may have doubted their chance for a healthy and successful pregnancy to realize their dreams.
Dr. Fries has spent over 30 years in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. she has trained at the Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences, and did her residency at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center and fellowship in reproductive genetics at University of California-San Francisco. After 26 years in the Air Force, she retired from the military and joined the faculty at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. She currently serves as the department Chairperson and the Director of the Special Moms/Special Babies program.
Alice Graham, PhD
Dr. Graham is a developmental neuroscientist and clinical psychologist. She currently is the Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Graham received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon, and completed her clinical internship and residency at the Child Development & Rehabilitation Center and the Department of Psychiatry at OHSU. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU as part of an NIMH funded fellowship. Her program of research focuses on understanding mechanisms through which the early environment influences mental health outcomes, and advancing prevention efforts. Her research has focused on the sensitivity of the rapidly developing nervous system during infancy and early childhood to environmental stress. This work highlights a need to increase understanding of early, foundational periods of central and peripheral nervous system development to inform prevention and intervention strategies. She has frequently employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with infants in her research to study the early development of brain systems implicated in psychiatric disorders. Her ongoing work in this area has focused on the role of prenatal conditions, and particularly maternal stress biology, in influencing offspring brain development. Dr. Graham has published several studies examining maternal immune and endocrine system functioning during pregnancy in relation to infant brain and behavioral development. She has also studied how early intervention can ameliorate effects of stress exposure on the developing nervous system. Her current work, funded by an early career award from NIMH (K99/R00), focuses on employing intervention as a means to test causal mechanisms and answer questions pertinent to developmental and clinical psychology and developmental neuroscience.
Adrienne Griffen, MPP
Adrienne Griffen is the Executive Director of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance (MMHLA.org), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the mental health of childbearing women in the United States. The MMHLA advocates for universal education, screening, referral, and treatment of postpartum depression and related maternal mental health challenges.
Adrienne is also the founder of Postpartum Support Virginia (PostpartumVA.org), which she started to fill a gap in services: when she experienced postpartum depression and anxiety in 2002, it took almost six months to find the help she needed. Under Adrienne’s leadership, PSVa grew into a statewide network of support groups and maternal mental health coalitions which have helped thousands of new mothers. For her efforts, Adrienne was selected as the Peer Specialist of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health (January 2016) and a Woman of Vision by Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women (June 2018).
Adrienne graduated from the US Naval Academy and has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her early career included military and federal government service at the White House, Pentagon, and IRS. Adrienne lives in Arlington VA with her husband and three children.
Huynh-Nhu (Mimi) Le, PhD
Dr. Le is a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University. She directs the Mothers and Babies: Mood and Health Research Center. For the past two decades, her programmatic research spans both clinical psychology and public health fields and aims to develop, evaluate, and disseminate preventive interventions that are culturally and contextually adapted to meet the needs of pregnant and postpartum women at high risk for depression. She co-developed the Mothers and Babies Course, a cognitive-behavioral group intervention designed to prevent perinatal depression in low-income women, and is a co-author of treatment manuals for major depression for low-income populations (available for free for participants and instructors in English and Spanish, http://mbp.columbian.gwu.edu/). This intervention was recently cited by the US Preventive Task Force (USPTF; 2019) as an example of an intervention with strong evidence base to prevent perinatal depression. These interventions have served ethnically diverse women in various settings, nationally and internationally.
Catherine Limperopoulos, OT, MSc, PhD
Dr. Limperopoulos is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory, the Center for the Developing Brain, Vice-Chair of Research in Radiology, and Co-Director of Research in Newborn Medicine at Children’s National Health System (CNHS). She is Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her research activities focus on studying the causes and consequences of early life brain injury in high-risk fetal, preterm, and full-term infant populations. Central to her research is the application of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to identify important biomarkers and understand the timing and evolution of brain injury, as well as the brain's adaptive response following injury. In parallel, Dr. Limperopoulos’ research also focuses on identifying modifiable risk factors (stress, nutrition) that can be used to optimize early life brain development and child outcomes in preterm and term infants. The long-term goals of her research program are to develop reliable biomarkers of risk that will guide medical and rehabilitation interventions aimed at circumventing injury and minimizing long-term developmental disability.
Dr. Limperopoulos is well known throughout the international community and highly regarded for her works in fetal and neonatal advanced MRI, early cerebellar development, and brain injury in preterm and congenital heart disease infants. Dr. Limperopoulos’ work has resulted in significant advances in our understanding of the elaborate maturational processes that take place in the healthy fetal and newborn brain, and how these critical maturational events can be derailed in the setting of brain injury as a result of preterm birth, congenital heart disease, etc. Some awards include the McGill Faculty of Medicine-Medicine Alumni Global Award of Excellence, the American Heart Association-Outstanding Research Award in Pediatric Cardiology, and the Canada Research Chair in Brain and Development. Her inter-disciplinary collaborations have led to several nationally funded networks including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States Department of Defense (DOD), Clinical Research Initiative for Regional and National Networks in Perinatal Research, the National Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research on Pain in Child Health, the Childhood Disability Network, and NeuroDevNet. Her scientific publications number well over 100 in leading pediatrics, neuroscience, and neuroimaging journals. With a personal commitment to mentoring Dr. Limperopoulos has invested her career to mentoring 60 trainees from various disciplines and at different stages of their careers.
Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH
Dr. Miller is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, and currently in the NICHD Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Program at Northwestern. Her research program centers around perinatal mental health with a focus on mechanisms that lead to perinatal depression. Current active projects include study of biomarkers of inflammation in perinatal depression and the effect of magnesium on maternal mood. In addition to these prospective studies, she has a background in epidemiology and effectiveness outcomes research. She has applied this training to multiple facets of obstetrics, including understanding the role of cervical length in preterm birth prevention, improving outcomes of cervical insufficiency, prediction and prevention of cesarean delivery, and optimizing of outcomes in women undergoing a trial of labor after cesarean.
Catherine Monk, PhD
Dr. Monk is Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Psychiatry, and Research Scientist VI at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Monk’s research brings together perinatal psychiatry, developmental psychobiology, and neuroscience to focus on the earliest influences on children’s developmental trajectories — those that happen in utero and how to intervene early to help women and prevent risk for mental health disorders in the future children. Dr. Monk earned her BA at Barnard, her PhD at the City University of New York, and completed her postdoctoral research training in the Psychobiological Sciences via a NIH T32 at Columbia University. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH since she had her first support as a ‘K’ awardee in 2001; she also has received funding from the March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Dr. Monk has been awarded key roles on the NIH-wide ECHO project, Environmental influences on Children’s Health Outcomes — a seven year, nationwide effort to study early factors, including women’s prenatal psychiatric illness and trauma histories, on children’s health outcomes across 50,000 participants. She is a PI on one ECHO project, Investigator on another, and elected by her peers to the ECHO Executive Committee. She is commencing a 5-year NIMH R01 MPI titled Intergenerational Transmission of Deficits in Self-Regulatory Control as well as continuing to direct a NICHD-funded intervention study Preventing Postpartum Depression: A Dyadic Approach Adjunctive to Obstetric Care.
Tim Oberlander, MD
Dr. Oberlander is a physician-scientist whose work bridges developmental neurosciences and community child health. As a clinician he is the medical lead for the Complex Pain Service at BC Children’s Hospital with a particular focus on managing pain in children with developmental disabilities.
As a researcher, Dr. Oberlander’s work seeks to understand how early life experiences, related to in utero exposure to antidepressants, shape stress reactivity, cognition and attention during childhood and how this contributes to the early origins of self-regulation.
His work provides strong evidence that both maternal mood and in utero selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant exposure influences infant and childhood behavior, possibly via early changes in central serotonin signaling. His research shows that the developing brain has a remarkable capacity for plasticity and recovery.
His work is driven by curiosity and the passion to know why despite adversity, some children do very well and others have more difficulty with learning, thinking and behavior. The goal of his work is to understand how and why this happens.
Loral Patchen, PhD, MSN, MA
Dr. Patchen offers over twenty years of experience in public health practice in Washington, DC in maternal child health with a specific focus on underserved populations and adolescent reproductive/sexual health. She holds several roles in the Department of Women’s and Infants’ services (WIS) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, including Vice Chair Obstetrics-Gynecology, medical director of the Section of Midwifery and the MedStar OB-GYN multispecialty practice, director of advanced practice providers in WIS, and executive director of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP) Program. In her role as Vice-Chair, she is responsible for leading practice innovation and developing evidence to support new directions in clinical practice that address issues of equity in maternal and child health successfully. She supports partnerships with community programs to improve quality and safety outcomes. In her role as medical director for midwifery, advanced practice and the MedStar OB-GYN clinic, she is responsible for strategic and operational leadership and ensuring delivery of robust educational services that include academic research and grant activities. Dr. Patchen also chairs the Steering Committee for the hospital’s Baby Friendly initiative, moving the hospital’s exclusive breastfeeding rates from below 20% to over 80% within four years. She founded and continues to direct the overall program implementation, management, and service delivery of TAPP Program that serves young mothers 21 years and under.
Dr. Patchen remains active in research and clinic practice, providing full-scope obstetric and gynecologic midwifery services. Her clinical and research focus is perinatal health disparities, with emphasis on community based participatory research methodology. She was competitively selected as a NIHMD health scholar in 2015. Dr. Patchen served as co-PI for an intervention trial sponsored by OAPP to evaluate an intensive home-based intervention to reduce teen pregnancy and improve parent-child connectedness, as well as a study of chronic stress and its role in health disparities of women and children sponsored by NICHD. She completed her doctoral work at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, focusing on social and environmental factors that mediate gestational weight gain and weight retention after delivery among first-time minority and white women.
Patricia Quinn has more than 20 years experience promoting the health and wellbeing of children, youth and families through public policy analysis, advocacy, and organizing. As Director of Policy and External Affairs at the DC Primary Care Association, Patricia works to ensure that community health centers and the patients they serve will thrive in a health care environment focused on improving outcomes and reducing costs. She leads DCPCA efforts to build accountability across all sectors of the health ecosystem in DC, with particular focus on value payment reform and the integration of social determinants of health. She has broad knowledge of safety net primary care, patient outreach and enrollment, and relevant trends and opportunities in the DC health market that impact community health centers and safety net patients.
In addition to the above, Patricia leads DCPCA’s work in addressing social determinants of health via DC PACT. DC PACT joins six community health centers, four hospitals, three behavioral health clinics, fourteen community service organizations, and seven government agencies into a care ecosystem focused on shared accountability. DC PACT’s vision is to align clinical and community services to create a seamless community of care for all DC residents.
Prior to joining DCPCA, Patricia led the only organization in Massachusetts dedicated to ensuring that state and local policies effectively address the complex issues associated with teen pregnancy. She has built a strong track record of advocacy wins at the state and city level with both legislative and administrative bodies. In the past decade, she led successful efforts for sex education policy change in two of the largest school districts in Massachusetts (Boston and Springfield). The work in Springfield Massachusetts led to development of the innovate “Youth First” project, a multi-component collective impact project that successfully engaged a large-scale coalition in reducing teen births by 42% over 5 years in Springfield and 52% in Holyoke Massachusetts. She also developed and executed an aggressive annual public policy agenda that doubled funding for evidence-based prevention and resulted in more than $30 million in annual investment in teen parent services.
David Rubinow, MD
Dr. Rubinow is the Assad Meymandi Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. Prior to joining UNC in 2006, he was the Clinical Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and founding Chief of the Behavioral Endocrinology Branch. His research interests focus on neurobehavioral effects of gonadal steroids and how genetic variation contributes to differential behavioral response to changes in steroid signaling. Research methods used include administration of hormone super agonists and receptor blockers to manipulate the menstrual cycle and identify the central effects of gonadal steroids in isolation. These studies have demonstrated that, unlike mood disorders accompanying endocrinopathies, reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders represent abnormal responses to normal hormonal signals. Current NIH funded studies include cell line-based investigations of differential hormone sensitivity, imaging studies in a hormonal model of postpartum depression, examination of estradiol effects on cardiovascular risk and mood dysregulation during the perimenopause, and assessment of biomarkers of postpartum depression. Additionally, the UNC Women’s Mood Disorders Program, which he directs, has the first and only NIH training fellowship in Women’s Mood Disorders. On the basis of his research, he was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2012. Dr. Rubinow is also the Director of the UNC Center for Innovation and Health Care System Transformation, which promotes the development of patient-centered innovations designed to address the current challenges facing our nation’s health care delivery system.
Robyn Russell, MA
Mrs. Russell serves as Senior Fellow at the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA), where she co-leads an initiative to apply human-centered design to the health challenges facing low-income women in DC. She co-authored the 2018 DCPCA report - Human-Centered Solutions to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes in DC – which includes 12 actionable and costed initiatives designed to provide policymakers and providers with a clear roadmap for action to improve the health and well-being of women and their families.
Robyn Russell also serves as the Director or Programs and Innovation for the Universal Access Project at the United Nations Foundation, a project to strengthen U.S. leadership on international women’s health and rights. In this role, Robyn leads the Private Sector Action for Women’s Health Initiative where she works with global corporations to implement workplace women’s health and empowerment programs in supply chains around the world. Robyn also leads a story collection initiative and has gathered first-person stories and documented impact of USAID, UN, and private sector development programs in countries around the global.
Before joining UNF, Robyn worked for five years on Capitol Hill, mostly recently as Legislative Director for a Congress member from Chicago who sits on the Appropriations Committee. Robyn received her M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Governmental Studies, with an emphasis on international reproductive health policy. She is certified in Human-Centered Design and is pursuing a M.S. in Population Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Pathik D. Wadhwa, MD, PhD
Dr. Wadhwa is Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and the founding director of the UC Irvine Development, Health and Disease Research Program. Dr. Wadhwa received his medical degree from the University of Poona, India, in 1985, and his doctorate in social ecology (behavioral medicine concentration) from the University of California, Irvine, in 1993. His research relates to the process of fetal/developmental programming of health and disease risk and examines the interface between biological, social and behavioral processes in human pregnancy, with an emphasis on outcomes related to fetal development, birth, and subsequent newborn, infant and child development and health. In particular, this work focuses on the interplay between maternal-placental-fetal neuroendocrine, immune, metabolic, oxidative and genetic/epigenetic processes as putative mechanisms that mediate the effects of the maternal environment (and particularly prenatal stress and stress-related processes) on early human development. Dr. Wadhwa has published over 125 peer-reviewed scientific papers and lectured extensively at scientific meetings and universities across North America, Europe and Australia. Since its inception his program has been continuously supported by several research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other agencies. Dr. Wadhwa is the recipient of numerous national honors and awards, including recognition for his contributions from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine, the Perinatal Research Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization.
Daniel R. Weinberger, MD
Dr. Weinberger is Director and CEO of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development located at the Johns Hopkins University and Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuroscience and Human Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was formally Director of the Genes, Cognition, and Psychosis Program of the Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He attended college at the Johns Hopkins University and medical school at the University of Pennsylvanian and did residencies in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and in neurology at George Washington University. He is board certified in both psychiatry and neurology.
Dr. Weinberger's research has focused on brain and genetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia. He was instrumental in focusing research on the role of abnormal brain development as a risk factor for schizophrenia. His has identified a number of specific neural and molecular mechanisms of genetic risk for schizophrenia, and genetic effects that account for variation in specific human cognitive functions and in human temperament. His recent work has focused on genetic and epigenetic regulation of expression in human brain of genes associated with developmental brain disorders. In 2003, Science magazine highlighted the genetic research of his lab as the second biggest scientific breakthrough of the year, second to the origins of the cosmos.
He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the K.J. Zulch Prize of the Max Planck Society, the NIH Directors Award, The Roche-Nature Medicine Neuroscience Award, The William K. Warren Medical Research Institute Award, the Adolf Meyer Prize of the American Psychiatric Association, , the Foundation's Fund Prize from the American Psychiatric Association, and the Lieber Prize of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. He is past president of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, past President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Martha G. Welch, MD
Dr. Welch has been a pioneer in the treatment of mother-child relational health for over 40 years. Her decades of clinical observation have led to a new paradigm employing mother-child co-regulatory vs. self-regulatory processes in establishing optimal maternal and child health and well-being. Today, as the Director of the Nurture Science Program in Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Welch leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers in testing her Family Nurture Intervention and exploring the underlying biological phenomenon she termed autonomic and emotional co-regulation. Emotional co-regulation is the key component of her Calming Cycle Theory, which posits that maternal and child symptomatic physiology and behavior can be eliminated through re-establishing and maintaining bottom-up visceral/autonomic co-regulatory processes within the family, initially between the mother and child. Dr. Welch received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons where she is Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Pediatrics and Pathology & Cell Biology. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Julia Zehr, PhD
Dr. Zehr is Branch Chief of the Developmental Mechanisms and Trajectories of Psychopathology Branch in the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. In this role, she oversees research on developmental mechanisms contributing to mental disorders and on developmental trajectories of risk and resilience. Dr. Zehr serves as the NIMH representative for the NIH Pediatric Research Consortium and contributes to a variety of trans-NIH initiatives on infant, toddler, and early childhood development. She has been a program officer at NIMH since 2008, managing research on neurodevelopment, experiential and environmental factors contributing to psychopathology, and trajectories of risk and resilience in childhood and adolescence. Before working at NIMH, Dr. Zehr worked as a review scientist for the Office of Animal Welfare at the University of Washington, working with investigators to assure vertebrate animal compliance for funding from federal, foundation, private, and intramural sources. Dr. Zehr received her Ph.D. in Psychobiology in 2002 from Emory University and completed her postdoctoral training at Michigan State University. Dr. Zehr’s past research focused on adolescent development of brain and behavior. Specifically, she examined the effects of prenatal androgens on puberty onset and social behavior in rhesus monkeys. She also studied adolescent brain development in rats and hamsters, testing whether steroid hormones modulate adolescent development of brain structure.