Dr. Tim Oberlander is a physician-scientist whose work bridges developmental neurosciences and community child health. As a clinician, he manages pain in children with developmental disabilities. As a researcher, his primary interest has been in studying how early life experiences shape stress/pain and related neurobehavioral outcomes during childhood.
Dr. Oberlander’s work extends from molecular/genetic studies to population epidemiological studies that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity. To this end, he has published pioneering studies on neurobehavioral outcomes in young children of depressed mothers who were treated with an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy.
This work shows that the developing brain has a remarkable capacity for plasticity and recovery. Even in the face of adversity, some children do very well. The goal of Dr. Oberlander’s work is to figure out how and why this happens. Outcome measures include studies of pain reactivity, attention, mood and executive functions across early childhood.