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ECHO-PATHWAYS Post-Doctoral Fellow in Child Neurodevelopment 2019-2021

Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences

University of California, San Francisco

We are accepting applications for post-doctoral positions to work with our NIH-funded PATHWAYS ECHO study for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The chosen fellow will join our interdisciplinary team led by MPIs at the UCSF PATHWAYS site, Drs. Kaja LeWinn and Nicole Bush. The selected fellow will have a unique opportunity to learn from and collaborate with PATHWAYS scientists from across the country, representing expertise in social epidemiology, child psychology, neuroscience, chemical exposures, pediatrics, stress physiology, child mental health and neurodevelopment. The overarching goal of our work at UCSF is to integrate approaches from neuroscience, psychology, and epidemiology to generate more generalizable and replicable findings about the experiences in early life that shape brain development and risk for psychopathology in pediatric populations.

Our multisite ECHO PATHWAYS study combines three birth cohort studies --TIDES (N=717), GAPPS (N=1133), and CANDLE (N=1385) -- for a total sample size of 3235 mother-child dyads across the United States. All children in PATHWAYS have been followed since pregnancy, yielding substantial extant data across cohorts on exposures in pregnancy and early life, as well as child neurodevelopmental outcomes through age 6. Extant biospecimens collected during pregnancy have been used to assess maternal pCRH and cytokines as well as multiple chemical and nutritional exposures, such as phthalates, Vitamin D, and plasma folate. Participant address data has been geospatially linked to numerous data sources, including census data, crime databases, a national model of air pollution exposure, and the Childhood Opportunity Index. The 8-9 year PATHWAYS visit is ongoing and will be completed in the majority of CANDLE children by September 2019. This visit utilizes direct child neurodevelopmental assessments (measures of executive function, attention bias to threat) and includes several clinically relevant self-report and parent-report measures of psychopathology that will yield cut-off scores for likely diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Through the combination of detailed exposure measurement, clinically meaningful measures of child psychopathology, and direct child assessments of specific neurodevelopmental constructs, PATHWAYS data will provide unique opportunities to understand child neurodevelopment and the chemical and social exposures associated with psychopathology across the life course.

In addition to working with PATHWAYS data, fellows will also be able to propose analyses using the ECHO consortium data, which includes extant data from over 50,000 children across all the ECHO funded cohort studies. Fellows will be connected to groups of junior scientists at UCSF engaged in related research through structured seminars and events, and they will participate in regular cross-lab meetings with Drs. Bush and LeWinn, who are well-established mentors. Opportunities to establish clinical licensure hours related to the research are potentially available.

The ideal applicant will have: a focus on child neurodevelopment and mental health outcomes; an interest in team science and conducting interdisciplinary research; a demonstrated ability to work independently; strong writing skills and evidence or promise of publication productivity; a strong statistical background and facility with generating data visualizations (experience with R preferred). Individuals with training in epidemiology and/or psychology are encouraged to apply. This is a full-time, 2-year position. Start date July 1, negotiable.

If interested in this position, please send a resume and a description of your research interests to Dr. Kaja LeWinn at [email protected].


Other Opportunities

Dr. Bush occasionally has positions available on a number of research projects for volunteers. These positions are particularly well suited for students or those considering a graduate degree in Psychology or Medicine. Please email your CV to [email protected] to find out if there are any positions available. 




Research Participants

There are currently no studies enrolling participants. You may view a list of studies open to enrollment within the UCSF Psychiatry Department here