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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, Barch D, Whalen D, Tillman R, Belden A, (2017 Dec). Association Between Early Life Adversity and Risk for Poor Emotional and Physical Health in Adolescence: A Putative Mechanistic Neurodevelopmental Pathway. JAMA Pediatr. 171(12): 1168-1175.  Full Article ->

Gaffrey MS, Barch DM, Bogdan R, Farris K, Petersen SE, Luby JL, (2018 Jan). Amygdala Reward Reactivity Mediates the Association Between Preschool Stress Response and Depression Severity. Biol. Psychiatry. 83(2): 128-136.  Full Article ->

Luby JL, Agrawal A, Belden A, Whalen D, Tillman R, Barch DM, (2018 Mar). Developmental Trajectories of the Orbitofrontal Cortex and Anhedonia in Middle Childhood and Risk for Substance Use in Adolescence in a Longitudinal Sample of Depressed and Healthy Preschoolers. Am J Psychiatry. appiajp201817070777.  Full Article ->

Barch DM, Belden AC, Tillman R, Whalen D, Luby JL, (2018 Mar). Early Childhood Adverse Experiences, Inferior Frontal Gyrus Connectivity, and the Trajectory of Externalizing Psychopathology. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 57(3): 183-190.  Full Article ->

Lopez KC, Luby JL, Belden AC, Barch DM, (2018 Apr). Emotion dysregulation and functional connectivity in children with and without a history of major depressive disorder. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 18(2): 232-248.  Full Article ->

Pagliaccio D, Pine DS, Barch DM, Luby JL, Leibenluft E, (2018 May). Irritability Trajectories, Cortical Thickness, and Clinical Outcomes in a Sample Enriched for Preschool Depression. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 57(5): 336-342.e6.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
Metcalfe Award for Investigation of the Developmental Precursors of Mental Disorders

Co-P.I. (with Deanna M. Barch Ph.D.)
Developmental Neuroscience and Child Psychopathology

A Randomized Controlled Trial of PCIT-ED for Preschool Depression

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

Co-I. (John Constantino, M.D. and Bradley L Schlaggar, M.D., PhD P.I’s)
Washington University Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
5 U54 HD087011-02

Co-P.I. (with Deanna M. Barch, PhD)
Neuroimaging in Early Onset Depression: Longitudinal Assessment of Brain Changes
Administrative supplement to investigate striatal function in ADHD

Co-P.I. (with Barbara Warner, M.D., and Christopher Smyser, M.D.)
Early Life Adversity, Biological Embedding, and Risk for Developmental Precursors of Mental Disorders
1 R01 MH113883-01

Co-P.I. (with Barbara Warner, M.D.)
The Gut Microbial Contribution to Systemic Inflammation and Moderating Role of Psychosocial Stress
Children’s Discovery Institute Interdisciplinary Research Initiative Grant