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Intergenerational Consequences of Maternal Trauma

PhD candidate Kyle Wiley, in collaboration with Professors Helena Brentani, Guilherme Polanczyk, and Euripedes Miguel, at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of São Paulo, investigates the intergenerational consequences of maternal trauma and mental health on infant development in urban Brazil. This project focuses on the regulation of infant stress physiology, methylation, and neurodevelopment at one year of age. Specific biomarkers of interest include hair cortisol from mothers during pregnancy, waking and bedtime salivary cortisol from mother-infant dyads at 12-months, and DNA methylation of stress-regulatory genes (NR3C1- the glucocorticoid receptor, FKPB5- a regulator of glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity, and OXTR – the oxytocin receptor). Kyle’s study is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.