Human Development Research
At Northwestern University, we’re doing cutting-edge research to understand and improve human health from earlier and earlier moments in life. And we’re applying that research in ways that reverberate across the entire life course.
Northwestern brings disparate talents together to think in new ways about enormous social issues like health disparities, prenatal care, and support for parents and families. These researchers work in wildly divergent fields –ranging from anthropology andeconomics to psychology and education policy to medicine and communication–but they are all committed to blurring the boundaries between the social sciences and the medical sciences, creating common ground for the greater good. Our institutes and centers, including the Institute for Policy Research, Cells to Society: The Center on Social Disparities and Health, and the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Science (“DevSci”) support our researchers’ interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.
Learn more about our innovative work in human health and development —and our impact on policy —by exploring the content provided here.
Media Relations Contact
Kristin Samuelson, Media Relations Specialist & Video Producer
Bob H. Rowley, Assistant Vice President of Media Relations
Hilary Hurd Anyaso, Law and Social Sciences Editor
Meet Our Experts
View bios, quotes, and downloadable images.
- Thom McDade Biological anthropologist, focused on health and human development in relation to social and cultural contexts and processes
- Chris Kuzawa Biological anthropologist, focused on the long-term and intergenerational impacts of early life environments on adult biology and health
- Edith Chen Edith Chen is a psychologist whose research seeks to understand why poverty is associated with poor physical health outcomes in children, with a focus on the psychological and biological mechanisms driving these relationships.
- Greg Miller Greg Miller is a psychologist who studies how stress affects health, with a particular interest in stressors that occur during early life and how they might reverberate across the lifespan to influence risk of disease.
- Lindsay Chase-Lansdale P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale is a developmental psychologist and an expert on the interface between research and social policy for children and families.
- Terri Sabol Terri Sabol's research focuses on the individual and environmental factors that lead to healthy child development, with a particular emphasis on families and schools.
- Molly Losh Molly Losh is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on the nature and basis of language impairment in autism and related neurogenetic disorders.
- Matt Davis Matt Davis is a pediatrician who is interested in population-centered, timely health services and policy research within the context of community needs.
- Tom Shanley A national leader in pediatric intensive care, Tom Shanley specializes in the treatment of children afflicted with conditions such as hypoxemic respiratory failure from lung disease and septic shock triggered by infection.
- Christine Percheski Sociologist Christine Percheski is focused on family demographics, economic inequality and health policy, with a particular interest in understanding the wellbeing of American women and families.
- Sandra Waxman Sandra Waxman is a cognitive psychologist specializing in language and cognitive development in children.
- Meg Roberts Megan Roberts is a speech-language pathologist focused on family-centered early communication interventions for young children with language delays.
- Laurie Wakschlag Lauren Wakschlag is a developmental, clinical psychologist whose research seeks to identify tractable mechanisms and markers to enable earlier identification of mental health problems.