Elisabeth D Conradt
Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

As a clinical and developmental psychologist, my mission is to promote infant and early childhood mental health. My scientific focus is to better understand the intergenerational transmission of risk for mental health problems. In the CAN lab we document how exposures the pregnant person had throughout the lifespan can impact the pregnancy, preterm birth risk, newborn neurodevelopment, and susceptibility for psychopathology. Emotion dysregulation is a transdiagnostic, early-emerging marker of risk for a wide range of psychiatric outcomes, including ADHD, mood, and bipolar disorder. We study how emotion dysregulation – a modifiable intervention target – emerges early in development to inform preventive intervention efforts that begin prenatally and in the first year of life. Pregnant people with emotion dysregulation are also susceptible to a wide range of health risk behaviors, including substance use. Another line of research involves understanding how prenatal substance exposure, in combination with associated environmental exposures, affects neurodevelopment and mental health outcomes in early childhood. The overarching goal of my research is to leverage this science to prevent intergenerational transmission of mental health problems.

I am Associate Professor in Psychiatry, and adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University. Before coming to Duke, I was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, and adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics at the University of Utah. I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Oregon and completed my clinical internship in Early Childhood Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I have been continuously funded by the NIH since 2011 when I was awarded an F32 postdoctoral fellowship to examine the biological embedding of early life stress in children with prenatal substance exposure at Brown University. My work has been covered in media outlets like NPR and I have received multiple national and international early career research awards.

Current Research Interests

Neurodevelopment in early childhood, perinatal mental health, infant mental health, early life stress, prenatal substance exposure, emotion dysregulation, epigenetics

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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