Megan R. Gunnar, Ph.D.

Megan R. Gunnar, Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor, is the Director of the Institute of Child Development and the Associate Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with at Stanford University in 1978 and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychoneuroendocrinology at Stanford Medical School. In 1979 she became an Assistant Professor of developmental psychology at the University of Minnesota moving through the ranks to Full Professor in 1990. Professor Gunnar has spent her career studying the regulation of stress in infants, children and adolescents and the role of early life adversity in shaping stress reactivity and regulation. She is the recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, Division 7 (Developmental), the Society for Research in Child Development, the Association for Psychological Science, and the International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology.

From 2018 ISDP Election Platform Statement:

“I am running for president of ISDP because it is time. This organization has nurtured me since I was a postdoctoral student in Gig Levine’s lab. It is my favorite society because we bring together researchers studying psychobiology in animal models with those studying it in human children and adolescents. Over the years I have been a member, I have watched the footprint of human work increase, which is wonderful; but, at the same time I have seen number of the researchers using animal models decline. This is also happening in other societies that once allowed us to integrate animal and human work. We need to push back against this segregation. Translation and back translation between animal and human research is essential if we are to understand the psychobiological mechanisms involved in typical and atypical development. As president, I would increase our current efforts to promote integration of animal and human studies. I would also continue the society’s strong support for induction of young students, postdocs and junior faculty into the society to insure its long-term health.”

Megan R. Gunnar, President