Welcome to the Stress Neurobiology and Prevention (SNAP) research laboratory. The SNAP Lab is a developmental translational research laboratory co-located at the University of Oregon and the Oregon Social Learning Center in Eugene, Oregon. Our work focuses on three inter-related areas: (1) characterizing how stressful experiences that occur in infancy and childhood—for example, child abuse and neglect, family instability, institutional rearing—impact the development of key neurobiological regulatory systems, and studying the ways in which alterations in these neural systems mediate subsequent psychosocial adjustment; (2) employing randomized clinical trials to examine the effects of preventive interventions on the plasticity of these neural systems, as a potential pathway to improving cognitive, emotional, and psychological outcomes among children who have experienced significant early adversity; and (3) impacting policy and practice towards high risk children and families by documenting the cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions, disseminating evidence-based preventive interventions in the public sector and other community settings, and advocating for empirically-informed approaches to decision making and resource allocation.

The SNAP Lab operates as part of the new Center for Translational Neuroscience (CTN) within the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon. Drs. Phil Fisher and Elliot Berkman intend to apply knowledge about basic brain structure and function to research exploring resilience and well-being in the face of early adversity. The CTN employs a team of researchers from the Department of Psychology, the College of Education, and other disciplines to empirically inform policy and practice.