The Psychiatry and Early Neurobiological Development Lab (PENDL) at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine seeks to understand molecular and cellular aspects of early brain development and their relevance to psychiatric disorders. Hanna Stevens, the PI, is particularly interested in understanding how prenatal stress, environmental exposures and genes that play a role in early development have an impact on childhood behavior and act as risk factors for multiple psychiatric disorders.
We use mostly basic science techniques including molecular, cellular, neuroanatomical and behavioral assessment of mouse models. We also examine risk factors during prenatal development in family cohorts. Our goal is to advance mental health diagnosis and treatment of disorders across the lifespan. We particularly focus on the high risk times of pregnancy and early development.