A new research center will examine the long term consequences of early childhood trauma.
How do stress and trauma early in life impact our health long term? This growing field of inquiry received a strong endorsement from the NIH last fall, when it granted $11.1 million to establish the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Rhode Island. The STAR COBRE, which will be based at The Miriam Hospital, grew out of an initiative that formed in Brown’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in 2019 (see Medicine@Brown, Winter 2021). STAR researchers study how adverse childhood events like neglect, abuse, and food insecurity affect mental and physical wellbeing throughout people’s lives.
“It is a critical time for research into stress and trauma, and the pathways to resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the global burden of stress, trauma, and adversity and has exaggerated racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequalities,” says Laura Stroud, PhD, the center’s principal investigator and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior.
The five-year grant will support researchers in a variety of fields at Brown and its affiliated health systems, Lifespan and Care New England; allow The Miriam to recruit a new faculty member; and fund research initiatives that focus on health disparities. STAR investigators also will partner with state agencies and community groups to develop research questions and solutions.