Bradley S. Peterson, MD, the inaugural director of the Institute for the Developing Mind, joined Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in July 2014 after 13 years at Columbia University, where he served as the director of the Center for Developmental Neuropsychiatry. Before that, he spent 12 years at Yale University, where he served as Director of Neuroimaging at the Yale Child Study Center.
Peterson’s vast experience as a scientist, physician, teacher and mentor provides the Institute with the transformative leadership necessary to establish a comprehensive program of interdisciplinary research, education, training and clinical services for childhood neurodevelopmental problems at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. His research has used brain-imaging technologies to understand the origins of neurodevelopmental disorders, and to map the complex pathways between the genetic and environmental influences that can trigger their onset or progression. A physician in the Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families within the Department of Pediatrics at CHLA, Peterson also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), where he is director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
He has published hundreds of papers and received numerous awards for his work in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. Specific disease processes that he studies include autism, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, premature birth and the effects of environmental toxins on brain development.
Dr. Peterson earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison School of Medicine in 1987. He then completed a residency in general psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1990, a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral research fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center in 1992, and a clinical fellowship in child psychiatry at Yale in 1994.
He also trained in adult and child psychoanalysis at Yale and Columbia from 1996-2008. He stayed at the Yale Child Study Center as a faculty member until 2001, where he was awarded a named professorship in 1996 and where he served as director of Neuroimaging. In 2001, he moved to Columbia University, where he was founding director of their MRI research program.
He was appointed full professor with tenure in 2005, served as the director of the Division of Child Psychiatry from 2008 to 2012, and subsequently directed the Center for Developmental Neuropsychiatry.
National Boards in Neurology and Psychiatry, National Boards in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Goh S, Dong Z, Zhang Y, Liu J, DiMauro S, Peterson BS. Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from brain imaging. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(6):665-671, 2014. PMID:24718932
Plessen KJ, Hugdahl K, Bansal R, Hao X, Peterson BS. Sex, age, and cognitive correlates of asymmetries in thickness of the cortical mantle across the life span. J Neurosci, 34(18):6294- 6302, 2014. PMID: 24790200
Horga G, Schatz K, Abi-Dargham A, Peterson BS. Deficits in predictive coding underlie hallucinations in schizophrenia. J Neurosci, 34(24):8072-8082, 2014. PMID: 24920613
Bansal R, Staib LH, Laine AF, Houbold A, Xu D, Liu J, Weissman MM, Peterson BS. Brain images alone can diagnose chronic neuropsychiatric illnesses. PLoS ONE, 7:e50698, 2012. PMID:23236384 Posner J, Hellerstein D, Gat I, Mechling A, Klahr KW, Wang Z, McGrath P, Stewart J, Peterson BS. Antidepressants normalize the default mode network in patients with dysthymia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 6:1- 10, 2013. PMID:23389382
Margolis A, Bansal R, Hao X, Algermissen M, Erickson C, Klahr KW, Naglieri JA, Peterson BS. Using IQ discrepancy scores to examine the neural correlates of specific cognitive abilities. J Neuroscience, 33(35):14135- 45, 2013. PMID:23986248
Peterson BS, Wang Z, Horga G, Warner V, Liu J, Rutherford B, Klahr KW, Graniello B, Wickramaratne P, Garcia F, Yu S, Hao X, Adams PB, Qian M, Liu J, Gerber A, Weissman MM. Discriminating risk and resilience endophenotypes from markers of lifetime illness in familial major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry, 25:1-13, 2013. PMID: 24369340
Wang Z, Maia T, Marsh R, Colibazzi T, Gerber A, Peterson BS. The neural circuits that generate tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Am J Psychiatry, 168:1326-1337, 2011. PMID:21955933 Rauh VA, Horton M, Perera F, Whyatt R, Bansai R, Hao X, Liu J, Slotkin TA, Peterson BS. Abnormalities of brain structure in children exposed prenatally to chlorpyrifos, a common organophosphate insecticide. PNAS, 109:7871-7876, 2012. PMID:22547821
Peterson BS, Warner V, Bansal R, Zhu H, Hao X, Liu J, Durkin K, Adams PB, Wickramaratne P, Weissman MM. Cortical thinning in persons at increased familial risk for major depression. PNAS, 106:6273-6278, 2009. PMCID: PMC2669378
Sowell ER, Thompson PM, Welcome SE, Henkenius AL, Toga AW, Peterson BS. Cortical abnormalities in children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Lancet, 362:1699-1707, 2003. PMID:14643117
Blumberg HP, Kaufman J, Martin A, Whiteman R, Gore JC, Charney DS, Krystal JH, Peterson BS. Amygdala and hippocampus volumes in adolescents and adults with Bipolar Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 60:1201-1208, 2003. PMID:14662552
Peterson BS, Vohr B, Staib L, Cannistracci C, Dolberg A, Schneider K, Katz K, Westerveld M, Sparrow S, Anderson A, Duncan C, Makuch R, Gore J, Ment L. Regional brain volume abnormalities and long-term cognitive outcome in preterm infants. JAMA, 284:1939-1947, 2000. PMID:11035890
Peterson BS, Rauh VA, Bansal R, Hao X, Toth Z, Semanek D, Nati G, Walsh K, Arias F, Perera F. Effects of prenatal exposure to air pollutants on development of brain white matter, cognition, and behavior in later childhood. In press.
Dr. Peterson's research uses brain imaging technologies to understand the origins of neuropsychiatric disorders by mapping the constitutional and environmental influences that confer risk for illness or protect against it, trigger its onset or progression, compensate for its presence, or mediate effective treatments.