Bradley Scott Peterson, MD, has been named the inaugural director of the Institute for the Developing Mind (IDM) at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, effective July 1. Peterson is currently director of the Center for Developmental Neuropsychiatry at Columbia University.

An accomplished scientist and academic researcher, his work has broadly focused on child neuropsychiatry and improving the health of children with disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. The Institute for the Developing Mind has been established to fulfill the need for expanding research efforts, development of new research technologies, and education of a new generation of interdisciplinary clinicians and scientists — all working to discover new diagnostics, identify risk factors and develop innovative biomedical, behavioral and educational treatment strategies for childhood brain disorders.

Peterson’s research interests are concerned primarily with the applications of neuroimaging to the study of serious developmental neuropsychiatric disorders, including Tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, prenatal toxin exposures and premature birth. His imaging studies integrate measures of brain structure and function with genetic, neurochemical, behavioral, neuropsychological and clinical measures to define disease processes and therapeutic responses in large samples of children and adults.

His work at Columbia’s Pediatric Brain Imaging Laboratory has aimed to identify the brain bases of childhood psychiatric disorders and to map the complex pathways between the genetic and environmental influences that can trigger the onset of cognitive disorders or adversely alter their course.

As faculty in the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families at CHLA, he will also have a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, in which he will serve as the director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

—Jennifer Jing/CHLA