Lauren M. Ellman, Ph.D.
Interests: Pre- and perinatal influences in neurodevelopment and in risk for major mental disorders, such as schizophrenia; risk factors in adolescence for schizophrenia (e.g., the prodrome of schizophrenia); multimodal imaging; psychoneuroimmunology; stress; childhood trauma; psychiatric epidemiology.
Lauren M. Ellman, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Clinical area of the Psychology department at Temple University. Generally, Dr. Ellman’s research focuses on two vulnerable periods of development in the prediction of schizophrenia and related disorders, the prenatal period and adolescence/young adulthood. This research is aimed at determining risk factors for serious mental disorders in order to ultimately identify those who are vulnerable to developing these disorders and intervene at early stages to prevent the onset and/or improve outcomes.
Dr. Ellman has multiple ongoing studies examining pre- and perinatal contributions to schizophrenia and related disorders, such as depression, using birth cohorts in the United States and Finland, with access to biosamples from pre- and perinatal periods. Using these cohorts, Dr. Ellman has focused on a variety of obstetric insults, such as psychosocial and neuroendocrine indicators of stress, maternal infection and maternal immune responses to infection during pregnancy, and biological indicators of hypoxia (decreased oxygen to the fetus). In these studies, Dr. Ellman explores how obstetric risk factors influence the neurodevelopmental course of schizophrenia and related disorders, including premorbid functioning (e.g. motor, cognitive, and social) and functional outcomes after the onset of the disorders (e.g. neuropsychological, brain abnormalities, and symptom severity).
Dr. Ellman also has ongoing studies investigating risk factors for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders among adolescents and young adults using clinical, psychosocial, biobehavioral, and neuroimaging techniques. These studies are designed to identify individuals at risk for psychotic disorders prior to disorder onset, as well as to develop tools in order to improve access and ease of diagnosing and connecting those in need with treatment resources. In all of Dr. Ellman’s studies, she takes a life-span approach to psychopathology, investigating how risk factors influence the course of the disorder at different developmental stages and interact with existing vulnerabilities within the individual.
Dr. Ellman received her B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Tulane University. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) with a health psychology minor. As a doctoral student, Dr. Ellman received training in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) through UCLA’s Cousin’s center in PNI and she was a NIMH-funded predoctoral fellow through the health psychology program at UCLA. She completed her APA-accredited internship at the Sepulveda VA Ambulatory Care Center in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Ellman also completed a NIMH-funded National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in the schizophrenia research fellowship program. In addition, Dr. Ellman has garnered numerous pre- and postdoctoral awards and has reviewed for many prestigious journals. She currently is on the editorial board for Schizophrenia Bulletin and an editorial board reviewer for the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science.
Dr. Ellman is a member of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and the Society of Biological Psychiatry.