Conceptions of Biology and Health

The goal of this group will be to identify factors that hinder or help children's (and their parents') acquisition of basic health concepts, particularly of genetics, evolution, and biology, and to use this framework to develop targeted learning experiences (1) that advance children's and their parents' grasp of the relationship between biology and health (2) that provide health-care givers with tools that would help them convey health concepts to their clients, and (3) to use this information to improve health-related decision making in the US public.

Developmental Methodology

This initiative focuses on creating new research methodologies related to problems in child development and supports CHGD-related researcher.  The term “research methods” is broadly defined and is not limited to statistical techniques though they will make up a major concentration.  Methodological research topics include:
• New developments in latent growth curve and latent class analysis

Early Insults and Interventions

Our group is particularly interested in identifying and articulating the genetic/biological basis and longer term consequences of a variety of insults during early development. The broader aim of this effort is to understand what targeted interventions to use and how they work to improve biologic and behavioral outcomes.

Global Health

With increasing globalization in almost all aspects of life, health is no longer a local issue. Yet most global health efforts in the US neglect the important role of human development processes in understanding, prevention and treatment of health issues.

Interventions in Clinical-Community Settings

The Center for Human Growth and Development has a long history of studying children in diverse cultural, familial, and social contexts. The goal of our group, “Interventions in Clinical-Community Settings”, is to apply current cutting-edge science to craft interventions that are responsive to identified community needs. We seek to translate principles of developmental science and to make these interventions accessible to communities of practice. Our focus includes promotion of child wellbeing for both typically and atypically developing children.

Language and Literacy Development

Our faculty is also fundamentally invested in developing multiple methods (cutting across levels of analysis from “cells” to societies and approaches from computational modeling to dense observations, neuroimaging, and large-scale questionnaires) to integrate basic science questions with translational and applied issues of importance to education and public health outcomes Please visit our


Effective prevention and intervention approaches to the childhood obesity epidemic are needed. We study how social influences on eating behavior and children's cognitions around food may alter dietary composition and obesity risk, particularly in preschool-aged children and younger.

Pediatric Multimodal Imaging

This group is focused on the creation of a shared Multi-Modal Pediatric Neuroimaging facility at the University of Michigan, to be located at the Center for Human Growth and Development with shared access and investment from 4 departments at UM Medical School (Otorhinolaryngology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology), the Department of Biomedical Engineering (College of Engineering), the Department of Psychology (LS&A), the School of Kinesiology, the School of Dentistry, the Center for Human Growth and Development, and the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Laboratory.

Pediatric Recruitment Hub

Our group is focused on building a database (at CHGD) of potential pediatric subjects through a collaboration with UMHS pediatric clinics and clinics in the community. Specifically, we intend to work with MICHR to include a consent question to examine UMHS pediatric patient records and contact families for research. Kate is in the process of piloting this now in one clinic.

Pregnancy, Parenting and Infant Development

The Pregnancy, Parenting and Infant Development (PPID) group is an interdisciplinary group of scholars with a commitment to research on early social and emotional development in the period of infancy and early childhood. We focus on research, training, and interventions for understanding critical issues related to the development of healthy parent-infant relationships and early infant development.

Prematurity Multidisciplinary Research

The focus of the LPI Multidisciplinary research group is to identify biological and environmental risk factors contributing to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in LPI’s. This group will focus on potentially modifiable environmental risk factors that contribute to the morbidity of LPI’s, with initial developmental outcomes of interest targeted to areas of Center expertise.