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Andrea Lynne Roberts, Ph.D.

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My research focuses on mental and cognitive health, including causes and consequences of autism, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and cognitive decline. I also study childhood abuse and its consequences, including PTSD, depression, intimate partner violence, and health-risk behaviors. I am particularly interested in the effects of childhood abuse on health across generations.

I am currently Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded study seeking to understand why children of women exposed to childhood abuse exhibit increased risk for a wide array of neurodevelopmental deficits, including anxiety, depression, autism, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study is examining biological dysregulation during pregnancy in hormonal function and immune function. To date, the study has documented that women who experienced abuse carry somewhat higher genetic risk for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders than women who have not.

"What happens in child­hood -- like a child's footprints in wet cement -- commonly lasts throughout life. Time does not heal; time conceals."

- V. Felitti

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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.