ISDP Announces 2019 Election Results

Secretary, Manon Ranger, University of British Columbia
Peter Gerhardstein
Joscelin Rocha Hidalgo
Treasurer, Kevin Bath, Columbia University Irving Medical College

The ISDP releases the list of winning candidates from the 2019 election ballot. The newly elected Secretary-Elect, Board Member, Program Director-Elect, Student Representative and Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences Representative (FABBS) Representative assumed their roles following the ISDP 2019 meeting in Chicago.

Secretary-Elect for 1-Year, Secretary for 3-Years:

Manon Ranger, PhD, RN

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Investigator at the BC Children’s Research Institute. My research is motivated by my past clinical work as a pediatric nurse specialist in acute pain and builds upon my doctoral (2012; Dr. Celeste Johnston, McGill) and post-doctoral (2012-16, Dr. Ruth E. Grunau, UBC) research on pain related-stress in developing fragile infants. The expansion of my research interest to early-stress exposure, such as maternal separation, was enabled by my recent experience as Research Scientist in the division of Developmental Neuroscience at Columbia University (2017-18; Drs. Welch and Myers, PIs).

My translational research program integrates preclinical investigations with clinical studies in preterm neonates undergoing intensive neonatal care to uncover mechanisms of vulnerability to early adversity (e.g. stress/pain, maternal separation, related treatments) in relation to brain development. I also

investigate and test methods to mitigate the adverse effects of these undesirable events. I strongly believe that using an integrated approach combining basic science models and clinical research significantly improves our understanding of the complexities associated with early-stress exposure in the context of preterm birth and extended neonatal intensive care experience. This is at the forefront of my research.

My history with ISDP is somewhat short-lived partially due to my long-standing commitment to the pain field (e.g. International Society for the Study of Pain, Pain In Child Health). However, in the past few years, my interest has expanded to early-life stressors and their impact on brain development, which has brought me to the ISDP community. I believe that my unique background and valuable combined set of skills and knowledge complements and enriches the outstanding ISDP community of researchers, scholars, clinician scientists, and trainees. As Secretary-elect and junior faculty member of ISDP, I wish to attract to the Society more international members, especially trainees, from broader fields such as nursing, neurobiology, nutritional genomics and metabolomics, evolutionary biology, and experimental medicine. This will foster new cross-disciplinary collaborations and ultimately advance the field of developmental neuroscience.

Board Member, 3 Year Term

Bridget Callaghan, PhD

I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and director of the Brain and Body Lab at UCLA. My interdisciplinary research crosses the fields of biology, psychology, and neuroscience to inform how early experiences affect interactions between the brain and body, contributing to physical and mental health/illness. My research program is federally funded through the National Institutes of Mental Health. I recently received the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Kucharski Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.

Having served the last 2 years as student representative, I would like to continue my investment to the society through serving as a board member. My long standing membership in the society provides me with the knowledge and experience to make meaningful contributions in this role. For example, having judged numerous ISDP poster competitions in the past, I was aware of the significant time commitment needed to complete this task. As student representative, I reached out to other past poster judges and discovered that they shared my concerns. In response to those concerns, together with my co-representative, I made changes to the poster competition. We moved to a two tier ranking system, where only the top 20% of posters (judged during abstract submission) were entered into the poster competition, and introduced a new award ‘People’s Choice’ which was open to all posters and judged by all poster session attendees. This halved the time investment needed from each poster judge and the feedback we received was extremely positive. Second, after speaking with several students about the wants for the ‘trainee evening’, we moved to an off-site Happy Hour, which allowed for a more relaxed interaction between trainees, and nulled the cost of the event (as we no longer had to pay for a conference hotel room). In other words, my connections with society members, and investment in the experience of all conference attendees motivates me to make meaningful changes that positively impact the society. As a board member, I will continue that investment by (1) providing better integration of social media to enhance student engagement, (2) build out greater opportunities for ‘early career’ (postdoc and assistant professor) researchers to connect, collaborate, and support one another, (3) engage with the international members to find better ways for the society to support their unique needs.

Program Director-elect, 1 Year, Program Director, 3 Year Term

Peter Gerhardstein, PhD

Peter Gerhardstein, Professor of Psychology at Binghamton University-SUNY and a member of ISDP for over 25 years, conducts research on visual development in infants and children. His work is focused on early visual perception as well as mid-vision processing, and includes a collaborative effort to investigate the impact of digital and screen media on learning, transfer, and visual perception.

Student Member Representative, 2 Year Term

Joscelin Rocha Hidalgo, Doctoral Student

Joscelin Rocha Hidalgo is a third-year doctoral student at the Psychology department at Georgetown University (Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience concentration). In 2016, Joscelin graduated from Berea College, Kentucky, where she earned a BA in Psychology and Child & Family Studies with a minor in French. She currently works under the mentorship of Dr. Rachel Barr examining how language exposure influences cognitive and memory flexibility from infancy and early childhood. 

Joscelin is originally from Santa Cruz Bolivia. As an international student, Latina, and LGBTQI member, she recognizes the power of diversity representation in academia and the scientific arena. Joscelin currently volunteers in outreach programs such as the “Skype a Scientist” organization and the Mentorship program by the Association for Psychological Science. She hopes to inspire individuals (especially first-generation students and those from minority groups) to pursue a higher degree and spark their curiosity for science. She is also committed to multidisciplinary efforts currently working as a Treasurer for the Methods Lab—student-led organization at Georgetown University— which aims to expose students to multiple interdisciplinary methods in the conjunction of human psychological and brain science research. 

Her goals for this position are: to foster interdisciplinary networks for students and to facilitate research and professional development opportunities, taking into account the current needs of students.

Twitter: @JoscelinRocha

Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences Representative (FABBS) Representative, 3 Year Term

Kevin Bath, PhD

Kevin received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and then carried out postdoctoral training at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Department of Psychiatry. He joined the faculty of Brown University in 2011 and founded the Brown Rodent Behavioral Phenotyping Facility, a state of the art center for translational study of animal models of human pathology. Dr. Bath’s program of research focuses on the impact of early life stress on trajectories of neural and behavioral development in mouse models, with a focus on cognitive and affective outcomes. Using this approach, Dr. Bath is able to manipulate both genetic and environmental risk factors of pathology to identify potential substrates underlying both risk and resilience. Through collaborative endeavors, he work hopes to generate and test predictions about possible factors contributing to pathological outcomes in human populations. Dr. Bath work has been funded by the NIMH, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and has been a member of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology for the past 10 years.