Dr. Dina Hirshfeld-Becker is Director of High-Risk Studies and Anxiety Research in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research has focused on identifying developmental risk factors for childhood anxiety disorders and other psychopathology, and on developing preventive intervention protocols. She earned her doctorate in psychology at Boston University and completed post-doctoral training at MGH.
For over 15 years, she has studied predictors of childhood anxiety disorders as well as psychiatric outcomes of behavioral inhibition, a laboratory-measured temperamental tendency to show restraint and reticence in response to novelty. She is an investigator on a longitudinal study, in its 15th year, of offspring at risk for panic disorder and major depression. In addition, with an NIMH career development award, she developed and piloted the first manualized cognitive-behavioral intervention for young (4-7-year-old) children at risk for anxiety disorders and their parents. She has also been awarded two NIMH R01’s to examine developmental psychopathology of offspring at risk for major depression and ADHD and predictors of adverse outcome offspring at risk for bipolar disorder.
Dr. Hirshfeld-Becker regularly lectures on about childhood anxiety disorders, temperamental precursors to psychopathology, and early intervention with childhood anxiety disorders to child psychiatry fellows, clinicians, and researchers, both locally and at national meetings She co-teaches the MGH child psychiatry course on cognitive-behavioral therapy, and supervises child psychiatry fellows on clinical work with children with anxiety disorders and post-doctoral fellows on research in developmental psychopathology.