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Joan Luby, MD

Current Position
Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Child Psychiatry

University Roles
Director, Early Emotional Development Program
Co-PI NIMH Post doctoral training program in developmental affective neuroscience

Education and Training
A.B.: Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1981
Medical Degree: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, 1985
Residency: Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, 1988
Fellowship: Child Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, 1990

Major Awards
NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors, 2015; AACAP Irving R. Philips Award for Prevention, 2015; Washington University School of Medicine Faculty Achievement Award, 2015; Mentor and Executive Committee Member NIMH Child Intervention Prevention and Services (CHIPS) Multi-site Research Training Institute, 2014; Lifetime Achievement Award in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (University of Missouri, 2014; President- International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 2015-2017; President of Academic Women’s Network, 2011-2012; Academic Women’s Network Mentor of the Year Award, 2011; AACAP Outstanding Mentor Award, 2011; AACAP Council, 2012-2015; CHADS Coalition for Mental Health Career Award, 2010; NARSAD Gerald L. Klerman Award for Outstanding Clinical Research, 2004.

Areas of Clinical Interest
Mood disorders in preschool children: diagnosis and treatment, Developmental Psychopathology, Mental disorders in preschool children, Dyadic Play Therapy for preschool mood disorders, Infant/Preschool Psychiatry


Areas of Research Interests
- Studies of early onset depression, validators, clinical characteristics, biological markers and alterations in brain structure and function related to early onset depression
- Psychotherapeutic treatments for early onset depression focusing on emotion development
- Studies of early experience and brain development
- Effects of poverty on brain development
- Novel treatments for early onset depression focused on attention bias
- Sensitive periods in emotion development

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Luby, JL, Belden, AC, Harms, MP, Tillman, R, Barch, DM. Preschool is a sensitive period for the influence of maternal support on the trajectory of hippocampal development. PNAS. 2016.

Luby, JL, Belden, AC, Jackson, JJ, Lessov-Schlaggar, CN, Harms, MP, Tillman, R, Botteron, K, Whalen, D, Barch, DM. Early Childhood Depression and Alterations in the Trajectory of Gray Matter Maturation in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(1);31-38.   Full Article ->

Barch, DM, D Pagliaccio, D, Belden, AC, Harms, MP, Gaffrey, MS, Sylvester, B Tillman, R, Luby, JL. Hippocampal and Amygdala Connectivity Mediate The Relationship Between Preschool Poverty and School Aged Depression. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2016.   Full Article ->

Belden A, Barch DM, Oakberg TJ, April LM, Harms MP, Botteron KN, Luby JL. Anterior Insula Volume and Guilt: Neurobehavioral Markers of Recurrence after Early Childhood Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 ;72(1): 40-8.   Full Article ->

Luby JL, Gaffrey MS, Tillman R, April LM, Belden AC. Trajectories of preschool disorders to full DSM depression at school age and early adolescence: Continuity of preschool depression. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2014: 171(7):768-76  Full Article ->

Luby JL, Barch DM, Belden A, Gaffrey M, Tillman R, Babb C, Nishino T, Suzuki H, Botteron KN. Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age. Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences. 2012;109(8):2854-9.   Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
-Co-P.I. (with Deanna M. Barch Ph.D.)
Developmental Neuroscience and Child Psychopathology 1T32MH100019-01

-Principal Investigator
A Randomized Controlled Trial of PCIT-ED for Preschool Depression

-Principal Investigator (with Deanna Barch, Ph.D.)
Neuroimaging in Early Onset Depression: Longitudinal Assessment of Brain Changes