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

Our research seeks to understand the mechanisms that influence risk for mood disorders 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 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.