Megan Gunnar
University of Minnesota
Regents Professor
Megan Gunnar

Year Elected


Membership status

Megan Gunnar is a professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She is the principal investigator for The International Adoption Project. She is also co-principal investigator of The Early Experience, Stress Neurobiology, and Prevention Science Network. Dr. Gunnar received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Stanford University in 1978. Following her graduate work she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford Medical School in Developmental Psychoneuroendocrinology. Dr. Gunnar came to the University of Minnesota in the Fall of 1979, becoming a full professor in 1988. In 1996 she was honored as a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and in 2006 was named Regents Professor, the highest distinction a University of Minnesota professor can receive. Dr. Gunnar’s main interest area is stress and coping in infants and young children. Her work documents the importance of sensitive and responsive care by adults in the modulation and buffering of stress physiology in the developing child. She has studied children living in orphanages in Romania and Russia and with her students traces the development of post-institutionalized children in the months immediately following adoption. Dr. Gunnar is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the International Society for Infant Studies, and the International Society of Developmental Psychobiology. She was also a member of the National Academy of Science’s panel to review the science of early child development. Dr. Gunnar is currently a member of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research’s program on Experienced-Based Brain Development.

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