Our Innovative Approach | Overview
Promoting healthy brain development through research excellence & innovation that reduces the burden of emotional & physical illnesses for children & their families
Research has long been a core part of the mission and work of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Members of the department have engaged in research for more than 60 years. There are currently more than 50 researchers and research support staff that are engaged in scientific investigations. The department’s research spans a diverse set of fields, involving psychiatry, psychology, and social work researchers primarily within the department and in the Collaborative Psychiatry Services. The majority of research projects reflect successful collaborations with other hospital departments as well as national and international affiliated institutions.
Program for Behavioral Science — supporting research and innovation
All department research falls under the management of the Program for Behavioral Science, which works to promote, support, and enhance the department’s research efforts by:
- identifying and promoting innovative research
- developing and supporting individual researchers
- facilitating research collaborations outside the department
- overseeing the pursuit and management of research funding
- overseeing department research cores in administration support, biostatistics, scientific review/quality, behavior science, and faculty support/development.
Areas and centers of research excellence — understanding the brain
The department’s areas of inter-related research include:
- developmental neuroscience
- health psychology/consultation-liaison psychiatry
- community psychology
- developmental psychopathology.
Two centers of research excellence have emerged — one in developmental psychopathology and a second in community psychology.
- The Tommy Fuss Center for Neuropsychiatric Disease Research is a multifaceted program that integrates psychiatry, neuroscience, genetics, stem cell science, bioinformatics, and brain imaging. Our aim is to unlock the genetics and biology of psychiatric disease, with a focus on early detection, prevention, and intervention to protect and treat the most vulnerable community of children and young adults. The center aims to understand what causes developmental pathways to diverge into pathological or healthy outcomes and screening drugs for new therapies to change the course of disease.
- The Trauma and Community Resilience Center is dedicated to understanding and promoting the healthy adjustment of refugee children and adolescents who have resettled in the United States. In partnership with refugee communities and agencies, it builds prevention and intervention programs, conducts research, and develops resources to assist refugee families and service providers.
Collaborations — working together in discovery
A hallmark of department research is the breadth of collaborative work. The majority of research projects involve partnerships with other departments in the hospital, community groups, and national and international institutions. Our projects are enhanced through consultation from colleagues within the department through the sharing of work ideas and provision of mentoring support. Our psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers work with peers across Boston Children’s, including Cardiology, Neurology, Developmental Medicine, Radiology, Newborn Medicine, Otolaryngology, Emergency Medicine, and Anesthesia.
Tight partnerships exist with institutions within the greater Boston medical and academic communities (including HMS, HU, Broad Institute, Wyss Institute, BUSM, DFCI, MGH, MIT) as well as government and private institutions (including such diverse organizations as: MA DPH and DMH, Refugee & Immigrant Assistance Center, and the Boston Public School system). Researchers also collaborate with institutions across the U.S. and various international organizations.
For addition information visit Boston Children’s Research + Innovation