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Laura Perrone: 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Laura Perrone
Laura Perrone

Laura Perrone

Grad program: Clinical Psychology
Undergrad: BA in Psychology, Pomona College
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Advisor: Dr. Kristin Bernard

What is your research focus, and how might your research change the world?
My research focuses on the effects of early adversity on children’s development, psychobiology, and psychological well-being, as well as the role of parenting as a protective factor against negative child outcomes. More specifically, my study proposes to examine the psychobiology of prenatal stress and whether such stress increases infants’ susceptibility to their environments in predicting subsequent psychological and health outcomes. Understanding the mechanisms through which early adversity confers risk to infants will highlight areas to target in prevention efforts and will allow us to identify individuals who can benefit most from potential interventions.

How does it feel to earn this fellowship, and how will this fellowship enhance your research?
It feels fantastic! I am very honored and grateful to have received this fellowship. The fellowship will enhance my research by providing me with more time and resources to pursue my research interests, develop my skills as a scientist, and contribute to the field of psychology. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work towards empirical answers to questions that could have important implications for combating the consequences of early adversity.

What advice can you share with other students applying for the NSF GRF?
I would start thinking about it as soon as possible! Spending time brainstorming different ideas for my research proposal allowed me to come up with a research topic about which I was genuinely excited, which made writing the proposal much easier and allowed my passion to come through. I also think it is a great idea to get feedback from as many people as possible.

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