Rachel Lean

Instructor in Psychiatry

Education & Training


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2020
  • PhD: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 2015
  • MSc: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2012
  • BA(Hons): University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2010

Major Awards


  • Honorable Mention 2022 Gerald R. Klerman Award, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 2022
  • NIMH K01 Research Scientist Development Award, 2020
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 2019

Research Interests


Dr. Lean’s research focuses on the neurological and socioenvironmental mechanisms underlying the development of executive dysfunction and psychiatric disorders in at-risk groups of young children, including children born very preterm and children exposed to socioeconomic adversity. Dr. Lean is also interested in the identification of modifiable socioenvironmental factors that may support brain and socioemotional development in at-risk children, with a particular interest in parenting behavior and family functioning. Additionally, she has used structural and diffusion tensor imaging analyses in her research.

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Key Publications


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Funded Research Projects


NIMH K01: Investigating Links Between Dysfunctional Parenting and Infant Brain Connectivity on
Development of Effortful Control

NARSAD: Infant Brain Connectivity and the Early Development of Executive Functions: The Role of Parenting