Joan Luby

Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Child Psychiatry

Additional Titles & Roles


  • Director, Early Emotional Development Program
  • Co-PI NIMH Post doctoral training program in developmental affective neuroscience

Education & Training


  • Fellowship: Child Psychiatry: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1990
  • Residency: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1988
  • MD: Wayne State University School, Detroit, MI, 1985
  • AB: Brown University, Providence, RI, 1981

Major Awards


  • Member Scientific Council/ Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, 2018
  • NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors, 2015
  • AACAP Irving R. Philips Award for Prevention, 2015
  • Washington University School of Medicine Faculty Achievement Award, 2015
  • Mentor and Executive Committee Member NIMH Child Intervention Prevention and Services (CHIPS) Multi-site Research Training Institute, 2014
  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (University of Missouri), 2014

Areas of Clinical Interest


Mood disorders in preschool children: diagnosis and treatment, Developmental Psychopathology, Neurobiological correlates of preschool depression. Early experience and neurodevelopment. Sensitive periods. Novel parent-child interaction therapy for preschool mood disorders, Infant/Preschool Psychiatry

Research Interests


– Studies of early onset depression, validators, clinical characteristics, biological markers and alterations in brain structure and function related to early onset depression and other early experiences
– Psychotherapeutic treatments for early onset depression focusing on emotion development
– Studies of early experience and brain development
– Effects of poverty on brain development
– Novel treatments for early onset depression
– Sensitive periods in emotion development and therapeutic response.

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Key Publications


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Funded Research Projects


Metcalfe Award for Investigation of the Developmental Precursors of Mental Disorders

Co-P.I. (with Deanna M. Barch Ph.D.)
Developmental Neuroscience and Child Psychopathology
1T32MH100019-01
2013-2023

P.I.
A Randomized Controlled Trial of PCIT-ED for Preschool Depression
1R01MH098454-01A1
2013-2019

P.I. (with Deanna Barch, Ph.D.)
Neuroimaging in Early Onset Depression: Longitudinal Assessment of Brain Changes
2R01MH090786-06
2015-2020

Co-I. (John Constantino, M.D. and Bradley L Schlaggar, M.D., PhD P.I’s)
Washington University Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
5 U54 HD087011-02
2015-2020

Co-P.I. (with Barbara Warner, M.D., and Christopher Smyser, M.D.)
Early Life Adversity, Biological Embedding, and Risk for Developmental Precursors of Mental Disorders
1 R01 MH113883-01
2018-2023

Co-P.I. (with Barbara Warner, M.D.)
The Gut Microbial Contribution to Systemic Inflammation and Moderating Role of Psychosocial Stress
Children’s Discovery Institute Interdisciplinary Research Initiative Grant
2018-2021

Co-P.I. (with Deanna Barch, Ph.D.)
The Developmental Psychopathology of Suicidal Ideations and Cognitions in Childhood
1R01MH117436-01A1
($2,492,028)
2019-2024