Erin Dunn, ScD, MPH, is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist with expertise in genetics. Her research lab uses a developmental lens to understand the mechanisms that influence risk for mood disorders, with an emphasis on depression among women, children and adolescents. Her primary focus is on the role of early environmental exposures, especially childhood adversity. She uses her post-doctoral training in genetics to study the role of genetic variation as well as gene-environment interplay (GxE).
Having started her career in early childhood and elementary education, she also studies the role of schools and other social contexts, such as neighborhoods, where youth spend the majority of their time outside of the family. Her work adopts a translational epidemiology perspective, seeking to bridge the “micro” with the “macro.” The long-term goal of her work is to reduce the population-burden of depression by developing population-based prevention strategies and targeting these strategies to specific life stages in development when they could have greatest impact.