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Identifying strategies to prevent depression and anxiety across the lifespan


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Identifying strategies to prevent depression and anxiety across the lifespan


In the Dunn Lab, we use the tools of developmental and translational epidemiology to identify strategies for reducing the burden of mental illness throughout the lifespan.

Our research seeks to understand the mechanisms that influence risk for mental illness across the lifespan, with a special emphasis on depression and anxiety among women, children, adolescents, and other vulnerable populations (e.g. racial/ethnic minorities; individuals of low socioeconomic status). 

Our long-term goal is to translate discoveries about causal mechanisms into effective preventive strategies that reduce the onset of mood disorders and eliminate disparities. 

Our primary focus is on the role of early environmental exposures, especially childhood adversity, and the social contexts where youth spend the majority of their time outside of the family (e.g., schools, neighborhoods).  

Recognizing that interdisciplinary approaches can lead to breakthrough discoveries, we bring a multilevel or "genes to society" perspective to our work, including by studying gene-environment interplay (GxE).

Our work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Current Studies


Current Studies


Current work in our group focuses on two primary areas.  

The first seeks to identify sensitive periods, or the “high-risk/high-reward” stages of human development when deleterious exposures are most harmful and when enriching exposures and interventions can offer greatest benefit.  We use data from large-scale epidemiological surveys to identify these periods of heightened plasticity.  Ongoing research is studying sensitive periods corresponding to domains of cognitive (e.g., memory, attention, and other aspects of executive functioning) and social-emotional development (e.g., emotion recognition skills; social cognition).  We are also examining the extent to which timing of exposure to childhood adversity and variation in sensitive period-relevant genes predicts these “intermediate domains” and subsequent depressive and anxiety symptoms.  With collaborators in neurology, recent extensions of our work on sensitive periods have been centered on examining predictors of incident depression in the period following a stroke event.

The second area of our research focuses on disentangling the role of schools and neighborhoods on adolescent risk for mood disorders and related health concerns.  With our close collaborator Tracy Richmond at Boston Children’s Hospital, we have been applying novel statistical methods, including cross-classified multilevel modeling, to study the unique contribution of each context after controlling for the other.  The main questions that drive our work are:  
•    How different are schools from neighborhoods in the risks and protections they confer?  
•    Are schools or neighborhoods more salient for certain types of youth?  
•    What are the mental health outcomes of youth embedded in disparate settings (i.e. youth who learn in a “healthy” school, but live in an “unhealthy” neighborhood)?  

Currently, our emphasis is on testing these questions using large epidemiological samples and conducting a qualitative study to develop a working theoretical model to describe the unique role of schools and neighborhoods on adolescents.

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Our team


Our team


We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers from a range of fields, including epidemiology, public health, genetics, education, neurology, psychiatry, and psychology.

 


PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR


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Erin C. Dunn is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist with expertise in genetics.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She also holds an appointment in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.  Dr. Dunn’s research is centered on using cross-disciplinary approaches to better understand the social and genetic factors that influence the etiology of mental health problems.  She focuses mainly on depression and anxiety among women, children, adolescents and other vulnerable populations (i.e., racial/ethnic minorities; individuals of low socioeconomic status).  The long-term goal of her work is to identify the causal mechanisms underlying risk for depression, develop population-based strategies for prevention, and target these strategies to periods in development when they could have greatest impact.  Dr. Dunn received a Doctor of Science in 2011 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She trained under Drs. Karestan KoenenSubu SubramanianFelton Earls, and Katherine Masyn. Dr. Dunn also completed post-doctoral research training at MGH under Drs. Jordan Smoller and Jonathan Rosand.  Dr. Dunn’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 


POST-GRADUATES


I was born and grew-up in Pistoia, Italy, where I’ve done most of my studies, including high school, where my strong interest in science began. Following my university studies, I graduated  from medical school cum laude with a thesis on the genetics of memory at the University of Florence in 2009. I started the neurology residency right after at the same University, graduating cum laude last year. I was trained in the stroke Unit and I was responsible for clinical assessment, neuroimaging and neuropsychological evaluation in a study on the risk factors of cognitive disorders in the elderly. More recently, I spent one semester at the University of Genève, Switzerland, where I dedicated myself to advanced computational neuroimaging, studying functional and structural connectivity measures in vascular cognitive impairment. Finally, I spent six months in Albuquerque (NM) where I had the opportunity to become more familiar with molecular mechanisms of the white matter injuries, commonly seen in elderly patients. Cerebrovascular disease, genetics and aging brain are definitely my main interests that I would like to explore from different point of view.

Karmel Choi

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Karmel Choi, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychiatric & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and a postdoctoral collaborator with the Dunn Lab. She is mentored by Drs. Jordan Smoller and Karestan Koenen through the T32 Training Fellowship in Psychiatric Genetics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the interplay of genetic and environmental factors that influence trauma and resilience across the life course, leveraging methods from statistical genetics, network science, and developmental epidemiology. Her clinical work focuses on treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and stress-related health conditions, particularly among women. Karmel completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Duke University and her predoctoral clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine at MGH. 


GRADUATE STUDENTS


Kristen graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and completed a M.P.H. in 2016 at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Science. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Population Health Science at Harvard University. Her research examines the impact of early life adversity and trauma on mental and physical health outcomes, focusing on understanding the processes of psychological resilience. In the Dunn Lab, her work focuses on identifying sensitive periods to early adversity on psychological outcomes later in development or in adulthood. 

 

 

Meg Min-Jung Wang

Meg graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 with a B.A. in the Biological Basis of Behavior, and received a M.Sc. in Epidemiology from Imperial College London in 2012. She is currently a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Her prior work includes research on the genetics of nicotine addiction and social risk factors on workplace mental health, which prompted her interest in both genetic and environmental risk factors and how their interplay leads to psychopathology. Meg is now using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II to determine how childhood adversity and the developmental timing of the exposure moderates the impact of genetic risk variants on mental disorders.


UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS


Kristina Jacobsson

Kristina is a Sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in History of Science with sub-field in Psychology. She is also pursuing a secondary in Spanish. Previously, she interned with The Global Bioethics Organization, where she studied and helped to educate the public on bioethics. Kristina is passionate about issues in children’s health, and particularly how these issues can impact adulthood. In the Dunn Lab, she hopes to learn more about how childhood adversity affects mental health outcomes.

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RESEARCH ASSISTANTS


Janine Cerutti

Janine joins the Dunn Lab as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She graduated from Union College in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics. Prior to joining the Dunn Lab, Janine worked as a practice development assistant at Ropes & Gray where she supported the life sciences practice group. Her research interests include childhood adversity and resilience. In the Dunn Lab, she hopes to help identify who is more susceptible to depression following adversity and why.

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Katie Davis

Katie graduated from Brown University in 2012 with a B.A. in Gender & Sexuality Studies, and received an M.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University in 2017.  Her research at Brandeis focused on the developmental sequelae of childhood abuse in a sample of male juveniles who had sexually offended.  As a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Dunn Lab, Katie hopes to continue to explore the extent to which early life adversity and genetic variation predict subsequent psychopathology.

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DATA ANALYSTS


Yiwen Zhu

Yiwen graduated from Smith College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Statistical & Data Sciences. She also received a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017. Her past research experience includes applying integrative approaches for causal mediation analyses as well as examining latent trauma subtypes on the population level. Joining the Dunn Lab as a data analyst, Yiwen is excited to apply her statistical skills and explore the underlying biological mechanisms (especially epigenetic changes) that connect early life adversity to psychopathology.

 
 
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Khalil Zlaoui

Khalil studied in France, where he received a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in applied mathematics and economics from ENSAE ParisTech, the Paris Institute of Technology. Before joining the Dunn Lab, Khalil interned at the World Bank Group in Washington D.C., where he worked as a data analyst. He then worked as a financial engineer at HSBC in Paris. As he gradually lost interest in finance, he started developing a passion for the application of statistics in health related issues. He decided to intern at the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) to further explore this field. Khalil is now a graduate student in biostatistics at Brown University. Joining the Dunn Lab as a data analyst, he will be focusing on the genomic predictors of susceptibility to depression. His research interests include statistical genetics, environmental statistics, cancer genomics, and the application of machine learning algorithms. Outside of the lab, he enjoys all types of sports and traveling to warm places.

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ALUMNI


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Publications


Publications


Under Review

Dunn, E.C., Soare, T.W., Simpkin, A.J., Suderman, M.J., Zhu, Y., Klengel, T., Smith, A.D.A.C., Ressler, K. & Relton, C.L. Sensitive periods for the effect of childhood adversity on DNA methylation: Results from a prospective, longitudinal study. bioRxiv 27112. dio: https://doi.org/10.1101/271122.

Accepted/In Press

Dunn, E.C., Crawford, K.M., Soare, T.W., Button, K.S., Raffeld, M.R., Smith, A.D.A.C., Penton- Voak, I.S., & Munafo, M.R. (e-pub). Exposure to childhood adversity and deficits in emotion recognition: Results from a large, population-based sample. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. PMID: 29512866. 

Dunn, E.C., Soare, T.W., Raffeld, M.R., Busso, D.S., Crawford, Davis, K.A., K.M., Fisher, V.A., Slopen, N., Smith, A.D.A.C., Tiemeier, H., & Susser, E.S. (e-pub). What life course theoretical models best explain the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and psychopathology symptoms: recency, accumulation, or sensitive periods? Psychological Medicine. PMID: 29478418.

Peyrot, W.J., Van der Auwera, A., Milaneschi, Y., Dolan, C.V., Madden, P.A.F., Sullivan, P.F., Strohmaier, J., Ripke, S., Rietschel, M., Nivard, M.G., Mullins, N., Montgomery, G.W., Henders, A.K., Heat, A.C., Fisher, H.L., Dunn, E.C., Byrne, E.M., Air, T.A., Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Baune, B.T., Breen, G., Levinson, D.F., Lewis, C.M., Martin, N.G., Elliot, N., Boomsma, D.I., Grabe, H.J., Wray, N.R., Penninx, B.W. (e-pub). Does childhood trauma moderate polygenic risk for depression? A meta-analysis of 5,765 subjects from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological Psychiatry. PMID: 29129318 PMCID: PMC5862738. 

2018

Milliren, C.E., Evans, C.R., Richmond, T.K., & Dunn, E.C. (2018). Does an uneven sample size distribution across settings matter in cross-classified multilevel modeling? Results of a simulation study. Health & Place, 52. 121-126.

Dunn, E.C., Nishimi, K., Gomez, S.H., Lott, A.P., & Bradley, B. (2018). Developmental timing of trauma exposure and emotion dysregulation in adulthood: Are there sensitive periods when trauma is most harmful? Journal of Affective Disorders, 227. 869-877. PMID: 29254068. PMCID: PMC5805641.

Dunn, E.C., Sofer, T., Wang, M., Soare, T.S., Gallo, L.C., Gogarten, S.M., Kerr, K. F., Chen, C., Stein, M.B., Ursano, R.J., Guo, X., Jia, Y., Yao, J., Rotter, J.I., Argos, M., Cai, J., Perreira, K., Wassertheil-Smoller, S., & Smoller, J.W. (2018) Genome-wide association study (GWAS) of depressive symptoms in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Journal of Psychiatric Research, 99. 167-176. PMID: 29505938.

Vaughn-Coaxum, R., Wang, Y., Kiely, J., Weisz, J.R., & Dunn, E.C.  (2018).  Associations between trauma type, timing, and accumulation on current coping behaviors in adolescents: Results from a large, population-based sample.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(4): 842-858. PMCID: in progress PMID: 28555292.

Wassertheil-Smoller, S., Qi, Q., Tushar, D., Mitchell, B., Jackson, R., Liu, S., Park, K., Salinas, J., Dunn, E.C., Leira, E., Smoller, J. (2018). Polygenic risk for depression increases risk of ischemic stroke: from the Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) study.  Stroke , 49(3): 543-548. PMID: 29438084.

Van der Auwera, S., Peyrot, W.J., Milaneshi, Y., Hertel, J., Baune, B.T., Breen, G., Byrne, E.M., Dunn, E.C., Fisher, H.L., Homuth, G., Levinson, D.F., Lewis, C.M., Martin, N., Millis, N., Mullins, N., Nauck, M., Pistis, G., Preisig, M., Rietschel, M., Ripke, S., Sullivan, P.F., Teumer, A., Volzke, H., Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Boomsma, D.I., Wray, N.R., Penninx, B.W.J.H., & Grabe, H.J. (2018). Genome-wide gene-environment interaction in depression: A systematic evaluation of candidate genes. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 77(1). 40-49. PMID: 29159863 PMCID: PMC5726923.

2017

Dunn, E.C., Wang, Y., Tse, J., McLaughlin, K.A., Fitzmaurice, G., Gilman, S.E., & Susser, E.S. (2017). Sensitive periods for the effect of childhood interpersonal violence on psychiatric disorder onset among adolescents. British Journal of Psychiatry, 211(6): 365–372. PMID: 29097401. PMCID: PMC5709674.

Dunn, E.C., Sofer, T., Gallo, L.C., Gogarten, S.M., Kerr, K. F., Chen, C., Stein, M.B., Ursano, R.J., Guo, X., Jia, Y., Qi, Q., Rotter, J.I., Argos, M., Cai, J., Penedo, F.J., Perreira, K., WassertheilSmoller, S., & Smoller, J.W. (2017). Genome-wide association study (GWAS) of generalized anxiety symptoms in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics. PMCID: PMC5501086. PMID: 27159506

Dunn, E.C., Nishimi, K., Lott, A.P., & Bradley, B.  (2017). Is developmental timing of trauma exposure associated with depressive and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in adulthood?  Journal of Psychiatric Research.  84, 119-127. PMCID: PMC5479490. PMID: 27728852

Gomez, S.H., Tse, J., Wang, Y., Turner, B., Millner, A., Nock, M.K., & Dunn, E.C. (2017).  Are there sensitive periods when child maltreatment substantially elevates suicide risk? Results from a nationally-representative sample of adolescents.  Depression & Anxiety. PMCID: In Progress. PMID: 28544045

Salinas, J., Ray, R., Nassir, R., Kamakshi, L., Dording, C., Smoller, J.W., Wassertheil-Smoller, S., Rosand, J., & Dunn, E.C.  (2017).  Factors associated with new-onset depression following ischemic stroke: The Women’s Health Initiative.  Journal of the American Heart Association. PMCID: PMC5523739. PMID: 28151400

Milliren, C.E., Richmond, T.K., Evans, C.R., Dunn, E.C., & Johnson, R.M.  (2017).  Contextual effects of neighborhoods and schools on adolescent and young adult marijuana use in the United States.  Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 11, 1-10.  PMCID: PMC5462815. PMID: 28615949

Bigdeli, T., Ripke, S., Bacanu, S., Abdellaoui, A., Andlauer, T., Beekman, A., Berger, K., Blackwood, D., Breen, G., Buttenschøn, H., Byrne, E., Cichon, S., Clarke, T., Couvy-Duchesne, B., Craddock, N., de Geus, E., Degenhardt, F., Dunn, E.C., Edwards, A., Frank, J., Gill, M., Gordon, S., Grabe, H.J., Hayward, C., Heath, A., Henders, A., Herms, S., Hickie, I., Hoffmann, P., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J., Ising, M., Jansen, R., Kloiber, S., Knowles, J., Lang, M., Li, Q., Lucae, S., MacIntyre, D., Madden, P., Martin, N., Nyholt, D., Mors, O., Nauck, M., Montgomery, G., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nöthen, M., McIntosh, A., Medland, S., McGuffin, P., Mehta, D., Middeldorp, C., Milaneschi, Y., McGrath, P., Owen, M., Perlis, R., Pergadia, M., Rivera, M., Peyrot, W., Rice, J., Porteous, D., Potash, J., Rietschel, M., Schoevers, R., Shi, J., Schulze, T., Shyn, S., Smit, J., Smoller, J., Streit, F., Strohmaier, J., Teumer, A., Treutlein, J., Van der Auwera, S., Peterson, R., Webb, B., van Hemert, A., van Grootheest, G., Weissman, M., Witt, S., Willemsen, G., Boomsma, D., Lewis, C., Wray, N., Fanous, A., Flint, J., Sullivan, P., Kendler, K., Levinson, D., Forstner, A., Hamilton, S., Riley, B., Völzke, H., Wellmann, J., Penninx, B., Mott, R., Hardiman, O. Genetic effects influencing risk for major depressive disorder in China and Europe. (2017) Translational Psychiatry. PMCID: PMC5404611. PMID: 28350396

 

2016

Direk, N., Williams, S., Smith, J.A., Ripke, S., Amin, N., Bennett, D.A., Blackwood, D.H.R., Boomsma, D., Breen, G., Buttenschøn, H.N., Bryne, E.M., Børglum, A.D., Castelao, E., Cichon, S., Clarke, T., Cornelis, M.C., De Jager, P.L., Demirkan, A., van Duijin, C.M., Dunn, E.C., Eriksson, J.G., Faul, J.D., Ferrucci, L., Fornage, M., de Geus, E., Gill, M., Gordon, S.D., Jörgen Grabe, H., van Grootheest, G., Hamilton, S.P., Heath, A.C., Hek, K., Hofman, A., Homuth, G., Jan Hottenga, J., Kardia, S.L.R., Kloiber, S., Koenen, K., Kutalik, Z., Ladwig, K.L., Lahti, J., Lewis, C.M., Lewis, G., Llewellyn, D.J., Lucae, S., Lunetta, K.L., MacIntyre, D.J., Madden, P., Martin, N.G., McIntosh, A.M., Milaneschi, Y., Monthgomery, G.W., Mors, O., Mosley Jr., T.H., Murabito, J.M., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nöthen, M., Nyholt, D.R., Penninx, B., Pergadia, M.R., Preisig, M., Purcell, S.M., Räikkönen, K., Rice, J.P., Rietschel, M., Rivera, M., Schulze, T.G., Shyn, S., Smit, J., Smoller, J.M., Tanaka, T., Teumer, A., Uher, R., Van der Auwera, S., Ware, E.B., Weir, D.R., Willemsen, G., Yang, J., Zhao, W., Tiemeier, H., Sullivan, P.F. An analysis of two genome-wide association meta-analyses identifies a new locus for broad depression phenotype.  (2016). Biological Psychiatry. PMCID: PMC5462867. PMID: 28049566

Richmond, T.K., Dunn, E.C., Milliren, C.E., Evans, C.R., & Subramanian, S.V.  (2016.) Disentangling overlapping influences of neighborhoods and schools on adolescent body mass index.  Obesity. PMCID: PMC5479485. PMID: 27863090

Dunn E.C., Wiste A., Radmanesh F., Almli L.M., Gogarten S.M., Sofer T., Faul J.D., Kardia S.L.R., Smith, J.A., Weir D.R., Zhao W., Mirza S.S., Hek K., Tiemier H.W., Goveas J.S., Sarto G.E., Snively B.M., Cornelis M., Koenen K.C., Kraft P., Purcell S., Kessler K.J., Rosand J., Wassertheil-Smoller S., & Smoller J.W. (2016) Genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genome-wide environment interaction study (GWEIS) of depressive symptoms in African American and Hispanic women. Depression and Anxiety, 33(4), 265-280. Supplemental Materials. PMCID: PMC4826276. PMID: 27038408

Dunn, E.C., Busso, D.S., Raffeld, M.R., Smoller, J.W., Nelson, C.A., Doyle, A.E., & Luk, G. (2016) Does developmental timing of exposure to child maltreatment predict memory performance in adulthood? Results from a large, population-based sample. Child Abuse and Neglect, 51, 181-191. PMCID: PMC4713298. PMID: 26585216

Wang, Y., Raffeld, M.R., Slopen, N., Hale, L., & Dunn, E.C. (2016). Childhood adversity and insomnia in adolescence. Sleep Medicine, 21(2016), 12-18. PMCID: PMC4964593. PMID: 27103664

Salinas, J., Ray, R.M., Nassir, R., Lakshminaraya, K., Dording, C., Smoller, J.W., WassertheilSmoller, S., Rosand, J., Dunn, E.C. (in press). Factors associated with new-onset depression after stroke. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. PMCID: PMC5474200. PMID: 27056020

Pabayo, R., Dunn, E.C., Gilman, S.E., Kawachi, I., Molnar, B.E. (in press). Income inequality within urban settings and depressive symptoms among adolescents. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. PMCID: PMC5473150. PMID: 27103664

Carliner, H., Keyes, K.M., McLaughlin, K.A., Meyers, J.L., Dunn, E.C., & Martins, S.S.  (in press).  Childhood trauma and illicit drug use in adolescence: A population-based National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement Study.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. PMCID: PMC4964281. PMID: 27453084

2015

Dunn, E.C., Masyn, K.E., Jones, S.M., Subramanian, S.V., & Koenen, K.C.  (2015).  Measuring psychosocial climates using individual responses: An application of multilevel factor analysis to examining students in schools.  Prevention Science. PMCID: PMC4444407. PMID: 25421872.

Dunn, E.C., Masyn, K.E., Johnston, W.R., & Subramanian, S.V. (2015). Modeling contextual effects using individual-level data and without aggregation: An illustration of multilevel factor analysis (MLFA) with collective efficacy. Population Health Metrics. PMCID: PMC4445268. PMID: 26019691.

Dunn, E.C., Brown, R.C., Dai, Y., Rosand, J., Nugent, N.R., Amstadter, A.B., & Smoller, J.W.  (2015).  Genetic determinants of depression: Recent findings and future directions.  Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 23 (1), 1-18. PMCID: PMC4309382. PMID: 25563565.
 
Dunn, E.C., Milliren, C.E., Evans, C.R., Subramanian, S.V., & Richmond, T.K.  (2015).  Disentangling the relative influence of schools and neighborhoods on adolescents' risk for depressive symptoms.  American Journal of Public Health, 105 (4), 732-40. PMCID: PMC4358201. PMID: 25713969.

Dunn, E.C., Richmond, T.K., Milliren, C.E., & Subramanian, S.V. (2015). Using cross-classified multilevel models to disentangle school and neighborhood effects: An example focusing on smoking behaviors among adolescents in the United States. Health & Place, 31, 224-232. PMCID: PMC4443928. PMID: 25579227.
 
Gilman, S.E., Ni, M.Y., Dunn, E.C., Breslau, J., McLaughlin, K.A., Smoller, J.W., & Perlis, R.  (2015).  Contributions of the social environment to first-onset and recurrent maniaMolecular Psychiatry, 20, 329-336. PMCID: PMC4206672. PMID: 24751965.
 
Murphy, J.M., Guzman, J., McCarthy, A., Squicciarini, A.M., George, M., Canenguez, K., Dunn, E.C., Baer, L., Simonsohn, A., Smoller, J.W., & Jellinek, M.  (2015). Mental health predicts better academic outcomes: A longitudinal study of elementary school students in Chile.  Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 46 (2), 245-256. PMCID: PMC4443903. PMID: 24771270.

Germine, L., Dunn, E.C., McLaughlin, K.A., & Smoller, J.W. (2015). Childhood adversity is associated with adult theory of mind and social affiliation, but not face processing. Plos One. PMCID: PMC4466913. PMID: 26068107

2014

Dunn, E.C., Masyn, K.E., Yudron, M., Jones, S.M., & Subramanian, S.V. (2014). Translating multilevel theory into multilevel research: Challenges and opportunities for understanding the social determinants of psychiatric disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49, 859–872. PMCID: PMC4067412. PMID: 24469555.

Dunn, E.C., Solovieff, N., Lowe, S. R., Gallagher, P. J., Chaponis, J., Rosand, J., Koenen, K.C., Waters, M., Rhodes, J., & Smoller, J. W. (2014). Interaction between genetic variants and exposure to Hurricane Katrina on post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth: A prospective analysis of low income adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 152-154, 243-249. PMCID: PMC3873605. PMID: 24161451.

Pearson-Fuhrhop, K.M., Dunn, E.C., Mortero, S., Devan, W.J., Falcone, G.J., Holmes, A.J., Hollinshead, M.O., Roffman, J.L., Smoller, J.W., Rosand, J., & Cramer, S.C. (2014). Dopamine gene score predicts depressive symptoms in healthy adults and adults with depression. Plos One, 9 (5), e93772. PMCID: PMC4023941. PMID: 24834916.

Dunn, E.C., Winning, A., & Subramanian, S.V. (2014). Does poor health predict moving, move quality, and desire to move?: A study examining neighborhood selection in US adolescents and adults. Health & Place, 30, 154-164. PMCID: PMC4467831. PMID: 25282124.

Green, J.G., Johnson, R.M., Dunn, E.C., Lindsey, M.A., Xuan, Z., & Zaslavsky, A.M. (2014). Mental health service use among high school students exposed to interpersonal violence. Journal of School Health, 84 (2), 141-149. PMCID: PMC4126199. PMID: 25099429.

2013

Dunn, E.C., McLaughlin, K.A., Slopen, N., Rosand, J., & Smoller, J.W. (2013). Developmental timing of child maltreatment and symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation in young adulthood: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Depression and Anxiety, 30, 955-964. PMCID: PMC3873604. PMID: 23592532.

Slopen, N., McLaughlin, K.A., Dunn, E.C., & Koenen, K.C. (2013). Childhood adversity and cell-mediated immunity in young adulthood: Does type and timing matter? Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 28, 63-71. PMCID: PMC4180230. PMID: 23108062.

Duncan, D.T., Piras, G., Dunn, E.C., Johnson, R.M., Melly, S.J., & Molnar, B.E. (2013). The built environment and depressive symptoms among urban youth: A spatial regression study. Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Epidemiology, 5, 11-25. PMCID: PMC3734378. PMID: 23725884

Theall, K.P., Brett, Z.H., Shirtcliff, E.A., Dunn, E.C., & Drury, S.S. (2013). Neighborhood disorder and telomeres: Connecting children’s exposure to community level stress and cellular response. Social Science and Medicine, 85, 50-58. PMCID: PMC3615150. PMID: 23540366

2012

Dunn, E.C., Gilman, S., Slopen, N.B., Willett, J.B. & Molnar, B.E. (2012). The impact of exposure to interpersonal violence on gender differences in adolescent-onset major depression. Depression and Anxiety, 29, 392-399. PMCID: PMC4136968. PMID: 22447513.

Dunn, E.C., Johnson, R.M, & Green, J. G. (2012). The modified depression scale (MDS): A brief, no-cost tool to estimate the level of depressive symptoms in students and schools. School Mental Health, 4 (1), 34-45. PMCID: PMC3359067. PMID: 22639697

Tendulkar, S.A, Koenen, K.C., Dunn, E.C., Buka, S., & Subramanian, S.V. (2012). Neighborhood influences on perceived social support among parents: Findings from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. Plos One, 9 (4), e34235. PMCID: PMC3320905. PMID: 22493683

2011

Dunn, E.C., Uddin, M., Subramanian, S.V., Smoller, J.W., Galea, S., & Koenen, K.C. (2011). Gene environment (GxE) interaction research in youth depression: A systematic review with recommendations for future research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52 (12), 1223-1238. PMCID: PMC3202044. PMID: 21954964

Johnson, R.M., Kidd, J.D., Dunn, E.C., Green, J.G., Corliss, H.L, & Bowen, D. (2011). Associations between caregiver support, bully victimization, and depressive symptomatology among sexual minority and heterosexual girls: Results from the 2008 Boston Youth Survey. Journal of School Violence, 10 (2), 185-200. PMCID: PMC3375119. PMID: 22707917

Green, J.G., Dunn, E.C., Johnson, R.M., & Molnar, B.E. (2011). A multi-level investigation of the association between school context and adolescent non-physical bully victimization. Journal of School Violence, 10 (2), 133-149. PMCID: PMC3083921. PMID: 21532943

2010

Dunn, E.C., Wewiorski, N.J., & Rogers, E.S. (2010). A qualitative investigation of individual and contextual factors associated with vocational recovery among people with serious mental illness. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80 (2), 185-194. PMID: 20553512 

McLaughlin, K.A., Kubzansky, L., Dunn, E.C., Waldinger, R., Vaillant, G., & Koenen, K.C. (2010). Developmental origins of emotional reactivity to stress and life course associations with mood and anxiety disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 1087-1094. PMID: 21132844

Tendulkar, S.A, Buka, S., Dunn, E.C., Subramanian, S.V., & Koenen, K.C. (2010). A multi-level investigation of neighborhood effects on parental warmth. Journal of Community Psychology, 38 (5), 557-573.

2009 and before

Azrael, D., Johnson, R.M., Molnar, B.E., Vriniotis, M., Dunn, E.C., Duncan, D.T., & Hemenway, D. (2009). Creating a youth violence data system for Boston, Massachusetts. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 42 (3), 406-421. 

McCorkle, B.M., Dunn, E.C., Wan, Y.M., & Gagne, C. (2009). Compeer Friends: A qualitative study of a volunteer friendship programme for people with serious mental illness. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 55 (4), 291-305. PMID: 19553360 

McCorkle, B.M., Rogers, E.S., Dunn, E.C., Wan, Y.M., & Lyass, A. (2008). Increasing social support for individuals with serious mental illness: Evaluating the Compeer model of intentional friendship.  Community Mental Health Journal, 44 (5), 359–366. PMID: 18481176

Dunn, E.C., Rogers, E.S., Hutchinson, D.S., Lyass, A., MacDonald Wilson, K.L., Wallace, L.R., & Furlong-Norman, K. (2008). Results of an innovative university-based recovery education program for adults with psychiatric disabilities. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 35 (5), 357-369. PMID: 18553131

Dunn, E.C., Wewiorski, N.J., & Rogers, E.S. (2008). The meaning and importance of employment to people in recovery from serious mental illness: Results of a qualitative study. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32 (1), 59-62. PMID: 18614451

Ellison, M.L., & Dunn, E.C. (2006). Empowering and demedicalized case management practices: Perspectives of mental health consumer leaders and professionals. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, 5 (2), 1-17.

Hutchinson, D.S., Anthony, W.A, Ashcroft, L., Johnson, E., Dunn, E.C., Lyass, A, & Rogers, E.S. (2006). The personal and vocational impact of training and employing people with psychiatric disabilities as providers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 29, (3) 205-213. PMID: 16450932

Webster, D., & Dunn, E.C. (2005). Feminist perspectives on trauma. Women and Therapy, 28 (3/4), 111-142.

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Inquiries


Inquiries


Available Positions

Immediate Opening for Research Fellow for Wet- and Dry-Lab Studies on the Use of Teeth as Markers of Stress Exposure and Risk for Mental Health Problems

The Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU), based in the Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM), and Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), is seeking highly motivated and enthusiastic candidates for an immediate post-doc opening. Working with a multidisciplinary team of investigators under the overall direction of Dr. Erin C. Dunn (www.thedunnlab.com) at MGH, applicants will contribute to a new set of projects exploring the use of shed primary teeth as novel biomarkers of exposure to stress and subsequent risk for mental health problems. The post-doc’s responsibilities may include wet-lab and dry-lab work, including: designing the workflow processes to acquire laboratory measures of tooth-based indicators, implementing or overseeing the implementation of these laboratory procedures to construct tooth-based measures, acquiring data from epidemiological cohorts with tooth-based measures, running quantitative analyses, and disseminating findings through presentation and publication manuscripts. Candidates with backgrounds in multiple disciplines, including but not limited to epidemiology, genetics, medical anthropology, anthropological archeology, dentistry, biology, and/or public health are encouraged to apply. Our team is highly collaborative and includes epidemiologists, dentists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, pediatricians, and biologists. This is a highly unique opportunity for someone seeking an interdisciplinary experience to identify novel biomarkers, work across several cutting-edge projects, and receive outstanding team-based mentorship.

To apply, send a CV/resume and brief email introduction, indicating skills, training, and interests to: Dr. Erin C. Dunn, Assistant Professor, Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital: edunn2@mgh.harvard.edu

Other

We are always open to inquiries from individuals wishing to join the lab. In general, we are looking for people who have strong statistical skills and capacity to work with large epidemiological datasets. We are also open to working with those who have a good quantitative background, are highly motivated, and able to quickly learn new statistical techniques. Most importantly, we are looking for team players who are curious, interested in interdisciplinary approaches, and deeply passionate about finding ways to prevent mental illness. 

To apply, email your CV and a brief letter of interest to Dr. Dunn