Ph.D. Neuroscience & Behavior, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 2009
M.S. Neuroscience & Behavior, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 2007
B.S. Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2001
Developmental consequences of early life experiences, including stress and maternal care; biomarkers of the emergence of socio-cognitive traits; physiological correlates of brain functioning throughout the lifespan.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH/NICHD, Bethesda, MD Present
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, Pittsburgh, PA 2009 – 2012
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH/NICHD, Bethesda, MD 2007 – 2009
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst, MA 2004 – 2007
PITTSBURGH DEVELOPMENT CENTER, Pittsburgh, PA 2001 – 2004
INFANT PRIMATE RESEARCH LABORATORY, Seattle, WA 1999 – 2001
NIH Postdoctoral Institutional Research Training Award Present
NIH Individual Postdoctoral NRSA 2011 – 2012
NIH Institutional Postdoctoral NRSA 2009 – 2011
NIH Predoctoral Institutional Research Training Award 2007 – 2009
NIH Institutional Predoctoral NRSA 2004 – 2006
University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association (UPPDA) Best Poster Travel Award 2011
National Postdoctoral Association Travel Fellowship Award 2010
American Society of Primatologists’ Annual Student Award Competition 2008
Health Emotions Research Institute Travel Fellowship Award 2006
View my up-to-date Google Scholar profile .
I am particularly interested in the identification of biomarkers for the development of later normal and abnormal processes. To this end, I am working closely with Drs. Melinda Novak and Jerrold Meyer the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to examine chronic hormones (e.g., cortisol and progesterone) in hair to determine their validity as indicators for maternal and infant health. Hormone concentrations in hair represent cumulative measures of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and gonadal activity over many months. We have found that hair cortisol is a reliable predictor of cognitive development as well as anxious behavioral responses to stress in young rhesus monkeys, and that anxious traits measured in early in infancy are heritable. In adult monkeys, we have found hair cortisol concentrations to be dependent on population density and to differ between primiparous and multiparous mothers. Another burgeoning area of my research, in collaboration with lactation expert Katie Hinde at Harvard University, examines constituents in rhesus monkey mothers' milk in the early postnatal period (first 30 days of life), and the extent to which these factors are influenced by maternal and infant characteristics as well as how these factors influence infant neurological, social, and cognitive development.