Melissa A Bright, PhD
Dr. Bright’s multidisciplinary research focus is on family violence and related social determinants of health and development. Dr. Bright’s educational background is in developmental psychology with an emphasis on early childhood development and health. Her research program has progressed from the examination of the development of the stress response system in infancy and toddlerhood, to identifying health and developmental outcomes associated with stress and adversity in childhood, to identifying intergenerational patterns of abuse and neglect, to working toward designing interventions for identifying and addressing maltreatment in prenatal and primary pediatric care. Her newest faculty appointments with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Pediatrics within the UF College of Medicine uniquely positions her to conduct clinical and translational research in prenatal and pediatric care. She has extensive experience building cohorts for longitudinal examination, including transient and difficult to follow participants. Dr. Bright leverages a strong and interdisciplinary network of collaborators with expertise in clinical care, working with high-risk maternal-infant dyads, and implementation science. Her end goal is to conduct rigorous research to utilize the data to support change in practice to improve outcomes for women and their young children. Her work has been supported by private foundations, a maternal and child health workgroup grant, new investigator grants from both the American Psychosomatic Society and Academy Health, a research grant from Psi Chi, and a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.