The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology’s Infant Psychiatry Program at Weill Cornell Medical College was founded in 1998 as the result of a generous gift from the Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. family. This program began as a training program for child and adolescent psychiatry residents and fellows on the variation in parent-infant interactions of typically and atypically developing children and interventions for parents and mother-infant dyads. Under the leadership of Dr. Theodore Shapiro the annually appointed Sackler fellow and weekly seminars has expanded over the years to include psychology interns, fellows and faculty.
Today, the program plays a pivotal role in bridging the basic developmental research at the Sackler Institute under the leadership of Dr. BJ Casey with the clinical research and interventions at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain under Dr. Cathy Lord’s direction and within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry under the leadership of Dr. John Walkup. These collaborative ties have been the catalyst for novel research specific to personalized treatments for children with autism, anxiety and special needs to move clinical practice toward research informed practice. A basic premise of the program’s clinical training and research is how essential parent-child attunement is to the mental and physical health of the family.
In 2015 the Department of Psychiatry established the Sackler Infant Psychiatry grand rounds to honor distinguished scientists whose work exemplify the importance of parent-child interactions in mental illness and health. Dr. Nim Tottenham of Columbia University whose work has highlighted the effects of orphanage rearing on the child’s brain, behavior and emotions and on how mothers can buffer young children from anxiety and fear will give the first of these grand rounds on November 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in Belfer Building, room BB204-A/B/C at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Click here to learn about the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development Programs for Parents, Babies and Young Children.