Joan Luby, MD

Professor of Psychiatry (Child Psychiatry)

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My primary research interest is in the nosology of mood disorders in preschool children. I and members of my lab (the Early Emotional Development Program; EEDP) aim to advance scientific understanding and the field developmental psychopathology through the identification and characterization of neurodevelopmental, emotional, and behavioral antecedents and outcomes associated with preschool onset Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. I have also been able to integrate my research interests in childhood depression with my long time clinical interest in parent-child interaction therapy techniques. At the EEDP we are currently conducting an emotion development focused parent-child interaction therapy, with the objective of reducing the severity and recurrence of depression in children age 3 to 6. Furthermore, we expect that our therapy will result in children’s overall behavioral and emotional functioning. In order to examine the possibility that our treatment technique effect children’s neurobiology at this age of heightened neuroplasticity we conduct also conduct pre sMRI as well as fMRI before and after the 14 session treatment.