Ronald E. Dahl

Ronald E. Dahl is the Director of the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as Professor in the School of Public Health and the Joint Medical Program. He is a pediatrician and developmental scientist with long-standing research interests in the development of sleep/arousal regulation, affect regulation and the development of behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents. His current work focuses on adolescence as a developmental period with unique opportunities for early intervention in relation to a wide range of behavioral and emotional health problems. His research is interdisciplinary and bridges between basic developmental research (emphasizing social and affective neuroscience) and the translation of this work into clinical and social policy relevance. He has published extensively on child and adolescent development, sleep disorders, behavioral/emotional health in children, adolescent brain development, and on the policy implications of this work. He has been elected as a Fellow of several organizations including: Association for Psychological Science, American Academy of Pediatrics, New York Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is a Founding Editor of the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and is President-Elect of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Ahna Suleiman

Ahna Suleiman is a Research Scientist with the Center on the Developing Adolescent located at UC Berkeley. Ahna completed her DrPH and a post-doctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. She is currently the Coordinating Director for the Center on the Developing Adolescent. Her research focuses on how adolescent social, emotional and adolescent development affect decision-making and the unique ways they influence sexual decision-making. She is interested in how neuroscience, behavioral economics, and health psychology can be integrated into improved public health interventions. Ahna is very interested in promoting transdisciplinary dialogue that promotes the translation of research into policy and practice. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop interventions that support healthy sexual development and improved sexual health outcomes for adolescents.

Raluca Buzdugan

Raluca Buzdugan is a researcher at the post-doctoral level at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on impact evaluation and applications of gamification to health interventions, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention. Dr. Buzdugan has extensive experience coordinating complex large-scale surveys in resource-poor settings, such as the impact evaluation of Zimbabwe's National Behavioral Change Program, the impact evaluation of Zimbabwe's national program for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and research projects among hard-to-reach populations (sex workers, male migrants) in India. The underlying commonality of Dr. Buzdugan’s diverse research experience is her interest in approaches to improve health outcomes through behavior change. Her recent endeavors have focused on innovative behavior change strategies, particularly on gamification and its applications to HIV prevention programming. Dr. Buzdugan is a Co-Investigator of two projects developing interventions using gamification to improve uptake of HIV prevention and care services among young men who have sex with men in Mexico City and in California respectively.

Current & Recent Postdoctoral Fellows

Megan Cherewick

Megan Cherewick is a postdoctoral fellow who recently completed her PhD in International Health from Johns Hopkins University.  Megan's research focuses on consequences of adversity and stress, adolescent cognitive and behavioral coping strategies and effects on mental health and well-being.  Megan's current research focus is on how developmental neuroscience can inform psychosocial support and behavior change intervention strategies.  Megan's research seeks to identify key protective and promotive paths to improve mental health trajectories for adolescents.  Megan is particularly interested in the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions to improve resilience among adolescents in low-resource settings and in the context of humanitarian emergencies.

LucĂ­a Magis Weinberg

Lucía Magis Weinberg is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Human Development at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is investigating the relationship between learning and pubertal changes in early adolescence, with applied work in school settings. She originally trained as a medical doctor in her native México, at the National Autonomous University of México. Then she moved to the United Kingdom as a CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) scholar, where she completed her MSc and PhD in developmental cognitive neuroscience at University College London, where she investigated how behavior and the brain develop during adolescence. For her master’s project, she studied the impact of social influence on risk perception in children, adolescents, and adults, under the supervision of Prof. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. Her focus was on how different contexts (such as social information or rewards) can influence adolescents’ ability to reason and remember, using behavioral experiments and neuroimaging tools. During her PhD, she worked under the supervision of Dr. Iroise Dumontheil and Dr. Ruud Custers. In the educational sphere, she has extensive experience as a tutor and mentor for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, promoting access to higher education in STEM as part of diverse organizations, including: The Brilliant Club, in2scienceUK, Science Clubs Mexico, and Women in STEM, Future Leaders of the US-México Foundation. She is Executive Editor and cofounder of NeuroMéxico, one of the leading Latin American science outreach websites. You can contact her at or on Twitter @luciamawe. You can also visit her website at

Collaborators at Other Institutions

University of California, Los Angeles

  • Andrew Fuligni, Professor in Residence, Developmental Psychology, Director – Adolescence, Ethnicity and Immigration Research Program
  • Adriana Galván, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

University of California, Irvine

  • Elysia Davis, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Director – Women and Children’s Health and Wellbeing Project

Johns Hopkins University

  • Robert Blum, Professor - Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Leiden University

  • Eveline Crone, Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology

University of Pittsburgh

  • Jennifer Silk, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director – Developmental Affective Science Collective
  • Cecile Ladouceur, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Erica Forbes, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director – Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory
  • Neal Ryan, Joaquim Puig-Antich Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Professor of Clinical and Translational Science
  • Peter Franzen, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
  • Daniel Buysse, UPMC Endowed Chair in Sleep Medicine, Professor of Clinical and Translational Science
  • Daniel Shaw, Professor and Department Chair Department of Psychology

Florida International University 

  • Dana McMakin, Associate Professor of Clinical Science and Cognitive Neuroscience - Department of Psychology, Director - Remedy Research group 

National Institute of Mental Health

  • Daniel Pine, Chief Section on Development and Affective Neurosceince

University College London

  • Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Professor, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

University of Amsterdam

  • Reinout Wiers, Professor, Developmental Psycology

Emory University

  • Carol Worthman, Samuel Dandler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology

University of California, San Francisco

  • Kaja Lewinn, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

University of New Orleans

  • Elizabeth “Birdie” Shirtcliff, Associate Professor, Director – Applied Biopsychology

University of Oregon

  • Nicholas Allen, Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Jennifer Pfeifer, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

University of Texas, Austin

  • David Yeager, Assistant Professor of Psychology

University of Zurich

  • Oskar Jenni, Professor, Director – Child Development Center