Hanna E. Stevens, MD, PhD

Division Director, Child Psychiatry
Ida P. Haller Chair
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Contact Information



BS, Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University
PhD, Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MD, Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
Resident, Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
Fellow, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center

Licensure and Certifications

Diplomat in Subspecialty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Diplomat - American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Research Summary

Hanna Stevens runs the Psychiatry and Early Neurobiological Development Lab (PENDL) at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Her research seeks to understand molecular and cellular aspects of early brain development and their relevance to psychiatric disorders. Her work is particularly focused on understanding how prenatal stress, environmental exposures and genes that play a role in early development have an impact on childhood behavior and act as risk factors for multiple psychiatric disorders. Our goal is to advance mental health diagnosis and treatment of disorders across the lifespan. We particularly focus on the high risk times of pregnancy and early development.


Stevens, H. E., Vaccarino, F. M. (2015). How animal models inform child and adolescent psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(5), 352-9. PMID: 25901771.

Fine, R. S., Zhang, J. & Stevens, H. E. (2014). Prenatal stress and inhibitory neuron systems: implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Mol Psychiatry, 19(6), 641-51. PMID: 24751963.

Stevens, H. E., Su, T., Yanagawa, Y. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2013). Prenatal stress delays inhibitory neuron progenitor migration in the developing neocortex. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(4), 509-21.

Stevens, H. E., Jiang, G. Y., Schwartz, M. L. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2012). Learning and memory depend on fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 functioning in hippocampus. Biol Psychiatry, 71(12), 1090-8.

Vaccarino, F. M., Urban, A. E., Stevens, H. E., Szekely, A., Abyzov, A., Grigorenko, E., Gerstein, M. & Weissman, S. (2011). The promise of stem cell research for neuropsychiatric disorders. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 52(4), 504-16.

Stevens, H. E., Smith, K. M., Maragnoli, M. E., Fagel, D., Borok, E., Shanabrough, M., Horvath, T. L. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2010). Fgfr2 is required for the development of the medial prefrontal cortex and its connections with limbic circuits. J Neurosci, 30(16), 5590-602. PMID: 20410112.

Stevens, H. E. (2010). Meeting the Mental Health Needs of All Children through Pediatrics/Child Psychiatry Collaborations. Am J Psychiatry, 5(2), 4-6.

Stevens, H. E., Smith, K. M., Rash, B. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2010). Neural stem cell regulation, fibroblast growth factors, and the developmental origins of neuropsychiatric disorders. Front Neurosci. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2010.00059.

Vaccarino, F. M., Grigorenko, E. L., Smith, K. M. & Stevens, H. E. (2009). Regulation of cerebral cortical size and neuron number by FGF: Implications for Autism. J Autism Dev Disord, 39(3), 511-20.

Stevens, H. E., Coplan, J. D., Leckman, J. F. & Suomi, S. J. (2009). Risk, Resilience and Recovery: Early Manipulation of Macaque Social Experience Result in Persistent Behavioral and Neurophysiological Outcomes. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 48(2), 114-27. PMID: 19127170.

Stevens, H. E., Picchietti, D. L. (2008). Early manifestations of restless legs syndrome in childhood and adolescence. Sleep Med, 9(7), 770-81. PMID: 18024165.

Muller Smith, K., Fagel, D. M., Stevens, H. E., Rabenstein, R. L., Maragnoli, M. E., Ohkubo, Y., Picciotto, M. R., Schwartz, M. L. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2007). Deficiency in inhibitory cortical interneurons associates with hyperactivity in fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 mutant mice. Biol Psychiatry, 63(10), 953-62. PMID: 17988653.

Stevens, H. E. (2007). Oral Candidiasis Secondary to Adverse Anticholingeric Effects of Psychotropic Medications. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol, 17(1), 145-6. PMID: 17343565.

Stevens, H. E., Wickesberg, R. E. (2005). Auditory nerve representation of naturally-produced vowels with variable acoustics. Hear Res, 205(1-2), 21-34. PMID: 15953512.

Sporn, A. L., Bobb, A. J., Gogtay, N., Stevens, H. E., Greenstein, D. K., Clasen, L. S., Tossell, J. W., Nugent, T., Gochman, P. A., Sharp, W. S., Mattai, A., Lenane, M. C., Yanovski, J. A. & Rapoport, J. L. (2005). Hormonal Correlates of Clozapine-induced Weight Gain in Psychotic Children: an Explorative Study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 44(9), 925-33. PMID: 16113621.

Stevens, H. E., Wickesberg, R. E. (2002). Representation of whispered word-final stop consonants in the auditory nerve. Hear Res, 173, 119-33. PMID: 12372641.

Stevens, H. E., Wickesberg, R. E. (1999). Ensemble responses of the auditory nerve to normal and whispered stop consonants. Hear Res, 131(1-2), 47-62. PMID: 10355604.

Stevens, H. E., Wickesberg, R. E. (1998). Responses of auditory nerve fibers to trains of clicks. J Acoust Soc Am, 103(4), 1990-9. PMID: 9566321.

Dowell, J., Elser, B. A., Schroeder, R. E. & Stevens, H. E. (2019). Cellular stress mechanisms of prenatal maternal stress: Heat shock factors and oxidative stress. Neuroscience Letters, 709, 134368. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.134368.

Luo, Z., Ahlers-Dannen, K. E., Spicer, M. M., Yang, J., Alberico, S., Stevens, H. E., Narayanan, N. S. & Fisher, R. A. (2019). Age-dependent nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration and a-synuclein accumulation in RGS6-deficient mice. JCI Insight, 4(13). DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.126769.

Menezes, E. C., Santos, P. R., Goes, T. C., Carvalho VCB,, Teixeira-Silva, F., Stevens, H. E. & Badauê-Passos Júnior, D. J. (2019). Effects of a rat model of gestational hypothyroidism on forebrain dopaminergic, GABAergic, and serotonergic systems and related behaviors. Behavioural brain research, 366, 77-87. PMID: 30898681.

Bittle, J., Menezes, E. C., McCormick, M. L., Spitz, D. R., Dailey, M. & Stevens, H. E. (2019). The Role of Redox Dysregulation in the Effects of Prenatal Stress on Embryonic Interneuron Migration. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). PMID: 30877797.

Ear, P. H., Chadda, A., Gumusoglu, S. B., Schmidt, M. S., Vogeler, S., Malicoat, J., Kadel, J., Moore, M. M., Migaud, M. E., Stevens, H. E. & Brenner, C. (2019). Maternal Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Postpartum Weight Loss, Juvenile Offspring Development, and Neurogenesis of Adult Offspring. Cell reports, 26(4), 969-983.e4. PMID: 30673618.

Ear, P. H., Chadda, A., Schmidt, M. S., Vogeler, S., Malicoat, J., Migaud, M. E., Stevens, H. E. & Brenner, C. (2019). Maternal nicotinamide riboside enhances juvenile development and adult neurogenesis. CELL REPORTS, 26(4), 969-983. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.01.007.

Gumusoglu, S. B., Stevens, H. E. (2018). Maternal Inflammation and Neurodevelopmental Programming: A Review of Preclinical Outcomes and Implications for Translational Psychiatry. Biological psychiatry. PMID: 30318336.

Beversdorf, D. Q., Stevens, H. E. & Jones, K. L. (2018). Prenatal Stress, Maternal Immune Dysregulation, and Their Association With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Current psychiatry reports, 20(9), 76. PMID: 30094645.

Tobon, L. A., Stevens, H. E. (In Press). Chapter 8: Adolescents with SSRI-Resistant Depression: The TORDIA Trial. In V. H. Srihari , I. P. Bhalla , R. R. Tampi (Eds.) 50 Studies Every Psychiatrist Should Know. Oxford University Press.

Williams, C., Stevens, H. (In Press). Chapter 9: Treatment of Early-Onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (TEOSS) Study. In I. P. Bhalla , R. R. Tampi , V. H. Srihari (Eds.) 50 Studies Every Psychiatrist Should Know. Oxford University Press.

Abbott, P. W., Gumusoglu, S. B., Bittle, J., Beversdorf, D. Q. & Stevens, H. E. (2018). Prenatal stress and genetic risk: How prenatal stress interacts with genetics to alter risk for psychiatric illness. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 90, 9-21. PMID: 29407514.

Bittle, J., Stevens, H. E. (2018). The role of glucocorticoid, interleukin-1 beta, and antioxidants in prenatal stress effects on embryonic microglia. JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION, 15. DOI: 10.1186/s12974-018-1079-7.

Gumusoglu, S. B., Fine, R. S., Murray, S. J., Bittle, J. L. & Stevens, H. E. (2017). The role of IL-6 in neurodevelopment after prenatal stress. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 28546058.

Lussier, S., Braun, P., Potash, J., Shinozaki, G. & Stevens, H. (2017). Cross-tissue telomere length measurement to determine auxiliary marker of brain telomere length in neurosurgery patients. The FASEB Journal, 31, Ib60-Ib60.

Bittle, J. L., Gion, H., Mapuskar, K., McCormick, M., Dailey, M., Spitz, D. & Stevens, H. E. (2017). Redox dysregulation in the effects of prenatal stress on GABAergic progenitor migration in embryonic brain. (Vols. 43). Abstr Soc Neurosci.

Heinz, J., Lussier, S., Braun, P., Hing, B., Nagahama, Y., Gaul, L., McKane, M., Grossbach, A., Dlouhy, B., Howard, M., Kawasaki, H., Potash, J., Shinozaki, G. & Stevens, H. E. (2017). Telomere length relative to glucocorticoid dose within brain, saliva, and blood of epilepsy patients. Klingenstein Child Psychiatry National Medical Student Conference.

Gumusoglu, S. B., Chilukuri, A. S., Haider, S., Scroggins, S. M., Sandgren, J. A., Santillan, M. K., Santillan, D. A., Grobe, J. l. & Stevens, H. E. (2017). The impact of a vasopressin model of preeclampsia on neurodevelopment and neuroimmune outcomes in mouse offspring. (Vols. 43). Abstr Soc Neurosci.

Abbott, P., Stevens, H. E. (2017). The role of redox dysregulation in behavior and perineuronal net formation after prenatal stress. (Vols. 43). Abstr Soc Neurosci.

Londono Tobon, A., Diaz Stransky, A., Ross, D. A. & Stevens, H. E. (2016). Effects of Maternal Prenatal Stress: Mechanisms, Implications, and Novel Therapeutic Interventions. Biological psychiatry, 80(11), e85-e87. PMID: 27968727.

Lussier, S. J., Stevens, H. E. (2016). Delays in GABAergic interneuron development and behavioral inhibition after prenatal stress. Developmental neurobiology, 76(10), 1078-91. PMID: 26724783.

Salmaso, N., Stevens, H. E., McNeill, J., ElSayed, M., Ren, Q., Maragnoli, M. E., Schwartz, M. L., Tomasi, S., Sapolsky, R. M., Duman, R. & Vaccarino, F. M. (2016). Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 Modulates Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis Activity and Anxiety Behavior Through Glucocorticoid Receptors. Biological psychiatry, 80(6), 479-89. PMID: 27133954.

Momany, A., Lussier, S. L., Nikolas, M. A. & Stevens, H. E. (2016). ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER AND TELOMERE LENGTH IN YOUNG ADULTS. AACAP 2016 Annual Meeting Scientific Proceedings.

Abbott, P. W., Lussier, S. J. & Stevens, H. E. (2016). Changes in cortical GABAergic maturation after prenatal stress and the role of oxidative stress. (Vols. 42). Abstr Soc Neurosci.

Gumusoglu, S. B., Fine, R. S., Murray, S. J., Dailey, M. E. & Stevens, H. E. (2016). The distinct effects of prenatal stress on microglia morphologies in adult and embryonic brain and mediation by interleukin. (Vols. 42). 6Abstr Soc Neurosci.

Bittle, J., Lussier, S. J., Michaelson, J. & Stevens, H. E. (2016). The role of oxidative stress in the effect of prenatal stress on the fetal brain. Abstr Soc Neurosci, 42.

Hamed, A. M., Kauer, A. J. & Stevens, H. E. (2015). Why the Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Matters. Frontiers in psychiatry, 6, 168. PMID: 26635643.

Brotnow, L., Reiss, D., Stover, C. S., Ganiban, J., Leve, L. D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Shaw, D. S. & Stevens, H. E. (2015). Expectant Mothers Maximizing Opportunities: Maternal Characteristics Moderate Multifactorial Prenatal Stress in the Prediction of Birth Weight in a Sample of Children Adopted at Birth. PloS one, 10(11), e0141881. PMID: 26544958.

Momany, A. M., Lussier, S., Nikolas, M. A. & Stevens, H. Telomere Length and ADHD Symptoms in Young Adults. Journal of Attention Disorders, 108705471986577. DOI: 10.1177/1087054719865776.