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Erin Dunn

Erin Dunn

Professor // Sociology

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Dr. Dunn is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist with expertise in genetics and epigenetics. Her research lab ( uses interdisciplinary approaches to better understand the social and biological factors that influence risk for depression among women, children, and adolescents. The goal of her work is to identify the causal mechanisms underlying risk for depression, translate that knowledge to population-based strategies for prevention, and target those strategies to “sensitive periods” in development. Sensitive periods are high-risk/high-reward stages in the course of the lifespan when experience, whether exposure to adversity on the one hand or health-promoting interventions on the other, can have lasting impacts on brain health. Through her efforts to determine when these sensitive periods occur, her goal is to design interventions that not only prevent brain disease and promote brain health across the lifespan, but are also uniquely timed to minimize the consequences of stress exposure, prevent depression before it onsets, and make the most efficient use of limited public health dollars.