Bridget Callaghan, PhDAssistant Professor, Department of Psychology, UCLA; Director, Brain and Body Lab, UCLA
Dr. Bridget Callaghan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA where she directs the Brain and Body Lab. Her laboratory studies the impact of early adversity on the development of the brain, body, and behavior in humans, specifically focusing on limbic system function, learning and memory, the gastrointestinal microbiome, and how each of these systems interact. Her studies have shown that early adverse caregiving experiences are associated with changes at the level of the gastrointestinal microbiome and brain, and are related to mental health outcomes (e.g., anxiety). Building from these data, Dr. Callaghan is developing a health care app which uses gastrointestinal and somatic symptoms to predict anxiety risk in children, which she hopes to eventually deploy in primary healthcare settings. Funded through the National Institutes of Mental Health, Dr. Callaghan is currently running a 3-year longitudinal study examining mechanisms of change in the microbiome following caregiving adversity, and how such change is related to functional brain development. Through her work, Dr. Callaghan has received numerous honors, including the Association for Psychological Science’s Rising Star Award, a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, fellowships from the American Australian Association, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Brain Behavior Research Foundation, and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and is an elected board member of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.