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Division of Developmental Translational Research (DDTR)

Overview

The Division of Developmental Translational Research (DDTR) supports programs of research and research training with the ultimate goal of preventing and curing mental disorders that originate in childhood and adolescence. Relevant disorders include mood disorders, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, conduct disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome. The division stimulates and promotes an integrated program of research across basic behavioral/psychological processes, environmental processes, brain development, genetics, developmental psychopathology and therapeutic interventions.

The mission of DDTR is to translate knowledge from basic science to discover the developmental origins of mental disorders and effect their prevention and cure. This will be accomplished through integrative, multi-disciplinary research on:

  • Neurobehavioral mechanisms responsible for the development of psychopathology;
  • Trajectories of risk/illness based on the combined and interactive influences of genetics, brain development, environment, and experience; and,
  • Design and testing of innovative and personalized preventive and treatment interventions

Areas of High Priority

DDTR places special emphasis on integrative, multi-disciplinary research approaches that cross multiple levels of analysis, utilizing both human and non-human subjects, addressing the following priorities:

  • Delineate neurobehavioral mechanisms responsible for the development of psychopathology, including critical and sensitive periods in brain development and the effects of sex, behavior, and experience on the brain.
  • Develop, test, and validate biologically based markers (e.g., genetic, proteomic, imaging) to improve diagnosis, identify risk indicators in order to preempt disorder, serve as criteria to personalize treatment, and evaluate treatment response.
  • Utilize behavioral phenotypes reflecting dimensional processes (e.g., attention, mood regulation) to maximize discovery of underlying neural systems and genes, and refine behavioral assessment tools so that they are comparable across age, species, and social experience (e.g., SES, culture).
  • Test integrative models incorporating biological, behavioral, and experiential factors in the development of psychopathology, and utilize longitudinal research to track trajectories of risk and protection based on the combined and interactive influences among these factors.
  • Based on expanded knowledge of neurobehavioral trajectories, identify early signs of risk and develop novel and targeted preventive and treatment interventions.
  • Assess the mechanisms of action of efficacious interventions in the brain.

Director

Kathleen C. Anderson, Ph.D.
Acting Director
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 7163, MSC 9617
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 443-5944, kanders1@mail.nih.gov

Deputy Director

Kathleen C. Anderson, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room. 7163, MSC 9617
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 443-5944, kanders1@mail.nih.gov