Research Fellow — Dunn Lab

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The Dunn Lab ( in the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, has an immediate opening for a post-doctoral research fellow who will work on a diverse portfolio of research studies examining: sensitive periods in development; and, how early-life adversity is measured and addressed with the goal of improving health and life outcomes for all children.  The position is based in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston).  This work is a collaboration of the above mentioned MGH departments and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (HCDC). Fellows will be directly supervised by Dr. Erin Dunn, a social and psychiatric epidemiologist with expertise in genetics, epigenetics, and the biological embedding of early life adversity.  Fellows will have frequent and direct engagement with HCDC, opportunities for mentorship from Dr. Jack Shonkoff, HCDC Director, Dr. Elsie Taveras, Chief, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, and will be connected to a community of outstanding collaborators, including experts on sensitive periods at Harvard.

The new hire will be appointed as a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Post-Doc at the Harvard Medical School.



The Post-Doctoral Fellow responsibilities will include: investigating sensitive periods in development with a focus on when and how early life adversity affects biological systems and health outcomes; exploring current and developing measures of adversity and how these measures can be implemented and interpreted to inform better and more timely care for children; assessing pediatric care systems’ (researchers, clinicians, insurers, social service providers) ability and motivation to implement measures of childhood adversity exposure and its biological impacts; running quantitative and qualitative analyses for current supported projects; and, disseminating research findings through scholarly presentations and publications. The post doc will be instrumental in moving forward two papers currently in development related to this work: (1) a framework for defining and measuring neuroplasticity across the life course, (2) a critical review of current measurement tools used in clinical care and intervention settings to capture stress reactivity in children.  Qualitative projects investigating clinical care capacity to measure and address childhood adversity, including biological measurement adoption and implementation, are being planned.

The post-doc will function as a high-level contributor, coordinator, and team member in this work, with numerous opportunities for interactions with investigators from diverse fields globally.  This is a highly unique opportunity for someone seeking an interdisciplinary training experience to build and analyze data while receiving outstanding team-based mentorship.



Candidates with backgrounds in multiple disciplines, including but not limited to epidemiology, psychiatric genetics, child development, and/or public health are encouraged to apply.

Start time is flexible and applicants do not need to be based in Boston at the start of work. To apply, please send a single email containing your CV and a brief statement describing your qualifications for this position to Ms. Alison Hoffnagle, Program Director for the Dunn Lab, at:


  • Minimum Required:  Doctoral Degree
  • Preferred:  Doctoral Degree


  • Required: Recent PhD graduate






WORKING CONDITIONS: Remote and in office


EEO Statement 

Massachusetts General Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  By embracing diverse skills, perspectives and ideas, we choose to lead. Applications from protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged.
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