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Special Guest Lecture February 11, 2013, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Starzl Biomedical Science Tower, Room S100A South

Socioemotional and Neurobiological Pathways to Health Problems from Childhood through Adolescence


Marilyn Essex  Marilyn J. Essex, PhD
  Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development
  Department of Psychiatry
  University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health



Dr. Marilyn Essex is Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Psychiatry of the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Essex earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at the University of Maryland and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Mental Health Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a joint program of the Departments of Sociology and Psychiatry. After serving on the faculty of the Department of Sociology at Lawrence University, she joined the University of Wisconsin's Department of Psychiatry in 1984 as a research scientist and subsequently joined the faculty in 2004. Throughout her career, the broad focus of Dr. Essex's work has been the processes linking life stress with health and functioning across the lifespan. Since its inception in 1989, she has been Co-Director of the Wisconsin Study of Families and Work, an ongoing longitudinal research program following a community sample originally recruited during the prenatal period for a study of maternity leave and health. Since 1994, she has received numerous grants as principal investigator for interdisciplinary research to identify and examine the joint influences over time of social, psychological, and biological risk factors for the development of child and adolescent mental health problems, most recently as a project within a Conte Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Brain, Behavior & Mental Health (P50-MH084051, 2008-2013). From 1996 to 2004, Dr. Essex served as a Scientific Core Member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Psychopathology and Development. She also has consulted on a number of large-scale studies of child development; is a regular peer-reviewer of NIH grant applications; is a frequent reviewer for numerous scientific journals; and serves on the editorial board of Psychoneuroendocrinology.                        

Learning Objectives:  At the conclusion of the lecture, attendees will be able to:

  1. To better understand the critical role of early life stress in the development of a variety of health problems (mental and physical) from childhood through adolescence.
  2. To better understand the interplay of socioemotional and neurobiological risk factors that form the pathways from early life stress to the development of health problems.
  3. To better understand the implications for improved identification and treatment of children exposed to early life stress.

Continuing Education Credit: The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours. In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference.  WPIC is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  WPIC maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits.

Please contact Jeanie Knox Houtsinger at for more information regarding this lecture.  We also invite you to visit our web site at for more information on lectures and educational events sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry.