Poverty, Allostatic Load and the Stress Neuraxis: A Mechanism or a Bridge Too Far?

This webinar is a recording of Dr. Megan Gunnar's talk, "Poverty, Allostatic Load and the Stress Neuraxis: A Mechanism or a Bridge Too Far?" -- as part of the April 28, 2016 MN LEND Forum on "The Neurobiology of Poverty: Children living in poverty – neurodevelopmental and biological correlates."

Synopsis: Professor Gunnar reviewed theories predicting that poverty and the stressors associated with it will impact the activity of stress-mediating systems. In turn, these systems help in explaining how poverty “gets under the skin” to influence life course trajectories of health and disease. She then reviewed the evidence available supporting these theories and point to the need for a “next generation” of stress research to better understand the role of poverty in human development.

Bio: Megan R. Gunnar is a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Stanford University in 1978 and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in stress neurobiology at Stanford Medical School. In 1979 she came to the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor. Professor Gunnar has spent her career studying how stress affects human development and the processes that help children regulate stress. She is the Associate Director of Center for Neurobehavioral Development, the Director of the Institute of Child Development, and the interim Director of CEED. She is the recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association, Division 7 Developmental Psychology, the Society for Research in Child Development and the Association for Psychological Science. In addition, Professor Gunnar is involved in many activities to translate research on early development for use by policy makers, practitioners and families. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine study on early childhood development that produced Neurons to Neighborhoods and is a founding member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child that is part of the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child. She chairs the Research Advisory Council for the Minnesota Children’s Museum fostering the science of playful learning as a tool for early intervention and healthy human development, and she is a consultant on stress and development for the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

This webinar is provided by the University of Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MN LEND) Program, with support from a grant from the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Grant 2-T73MC12835-03-00, and from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration at The College of Education and Human Development. MN LEND is an interdisciplinary leadership training program spanning 16 disciplines across the University of Minnesota. More information about MN LEND can be found at http://lend.umn.edu.