Skip to Main Content


Linda Mayes named head of Child Study Center

January 12, 2016

Linda C. Mayes, M.D., the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Child Study Center, has been appointed chair of the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine and chief of the Department of Child’s Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mayes, who also serves as Special Advisor to the Dean, has served as interim since December 2014.

Mayes, who received her medical degree from Vanderbilt, completed both her pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship also at Vanderbilt, joined the Yale center’s faculty in 1985, and established a laboratory for studying infant learning and attention. Subsequently, she developed an electrophysiology laboratory for studies of emotional regulation in children, adolescents, and adults with a special focus on the long-term impact of early adversity on social and emotional development across the lifespan. She is also involved in developing and implementing interventions for children and families in both New Haven and rural settings. She coordinates early childhood clinical and research services and has served as deputy chair for faculty affairs at the Child Study Center.

Mayes is an adult and child psychoanalyst and coordinates the Anna Freud Centre program at Yale that includes a master’s program in developmental neuroscience and psychopathology. Mayes also holds an appointment as Distinguished Visiting Professor in Psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South where, with a number of Yale colleagues, she is developing a collaborative for Southern Appalachian studies focusing on community resilience.

Her research integrates perspectives from child development, behavioral neuroscience, psychophysiology and neurobiology, developmental psychopathology, and neurobehavioral teratology. She has published widely on developmental psychology, pediatrics, and child psychiatry. Her work focuses on stress-response and regulatory mechanisms in young children at both biological and psychosocial risk with special attention to addictive behaviors and processes within a neurodevelopmental framework and using multi-modal imaging methods. She also examines longitudinally a two generation model of the trajectory of substance using mothers in their parenting abilities and neural circuitry related to parental care as well as the long-term outcome of their offspring in terms of stress regulatory capacities and reward sensitivity. Additionally, using longitudinal methods, she has studied the relationship between early adversity and later risk behavior including risk for substance use in adolescence and young adulthood.

She succeeds Fred Volkmar, M.D., who became director of the center in July 2006 and continued the center’s tradition as a national and international leader in the field of children’s mental health.

Submitted by John Curtis on January 13, 2016