Council Members

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child‘s interdisciplinary group of distinguished members includes leading researchers and scientists representing the fields of neurobiology, immunology, molecular biology, endocrinology, psychology, economics, social policy, and pediatric medicine. They are based at private and public research universities in the United States.

Council Chair

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D.

  • Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; Research Staff, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Founding Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Full Bio

Photo of Jack P. Shonkoff by Fred Field

Council Science Co-Directors

Nathan A. Fox, Ph.D.

Nathan A. Fox is Distinguished University Professor, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Maryland College Park. He has completed research on the biological bases of social and emotional behavior, developing methods for assessing brain activity in infants and young children during tasks designed to elicit a range of emotions.

Pat Levitt, Ph.D.

Pat Levitt, Ph.D., a Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child, is also the Science Co-Director of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, an initiative of the Center. He is the Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President and Director of The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Council Members

Judy L. Cameron, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Director of Outreach, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Institutional Bio

Greg J. Duncan, Ph.D.

  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

Institutional Bio

Damien Fair, PA-C, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatry
  • Associate Scientist, Advanced Imaging Research Center, Oregon Health and Science University

Institutional Bio


Megan Gunnar PhD

Megan R. Gunnar, Ph.D.

  • Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor
  • Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Institutional Bio

Takao Hensch, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science
  • Director, Conte Center for Basic Mental Health Research at Harvard University

Institutional Bio

Photo of Takao Hensch by Fred Field

Fernando D. Martinez, M.D.

  • Regents’ Professor
  • Director of the Arizona Respiratory Center
  • Director of the BIO5 Institute
  • Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  • Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics, University of Arizona

Institutional Bio

Patricia Pelufo Silveira, Primary Investigator, Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health

Patrícia Pelufo Silveira, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
  • Scientific Director, Functional Genomics and Epigenetics Pillar, Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics & Mental Health
  • Associate Director, Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN), McGill University
  • Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada

View Institutional Bio

David Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H.

  • Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Departmental Bio

Former Council Members

The National Scientific Council has benefitted greatly from the scholarly contributions of current and former members, many of whom continue to contribute to the field through their scholarship and outreach activities. For more on the Council’s history, see this 10-year anniversary report.

W. Thomas Boyce, M.D.

  • Lisa and John Pritzker Distinguished Professor of Developmental and Behavioral Health, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Silvia A. Bunge, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Psychology & Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley

William T. Greenough, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Read a tribute to Dr. Greenough from his home institution.

Eric I. Knudsen, Ph.D.

  • Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Betsy Lozoff, M.D.

  • Professor Emerita, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Medical School, University of Michigan

Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D.

It is with profound sadness that we share the news that Dr. Bruce McEwen, a longtime member of the National Scientific Council, died in January 2020. McEwen’s ground-breaking research and wide-ranging knowledge has contributed enormously to the work of the Council and to the broader understanding of the effects of stress on lifelong development. He will be greatly missed.

Read a tribute to Dr. McEwen from his home institution, Rockefeller University.

Charles A. Nelson III, Ph.D.

  • Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research, Boston Children’s Hospital Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School
  • Professor of Education, Harvard University

Deborah A. Phillips, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University

Ross A. Thompson, Ph.D.

  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis

Former Council Contributing Members

James J. Heckman, Ph.D.

  • The Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, University of Chicago
  • Director, Center for the Economics of Human Development
  • Co-Director, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group

Arthur J. Rolnick, Ph.D.

  • Senior Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
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