Who We Are

We are a collaborative network of researchers, service providers, and thought leaders committed to improving health and reducing disease by advancing life course intervention research. We bring together diverse expertise and perspectives to examine the origins and development of health, and to inform meaningful and evidence-based changes in practice, systems, and policies affecting children and families. We are funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA). 

National Coordinating Center
Neal Halfon, MD, MPH in a tan suit
principal investigator

Neal Halfon, MD, MPH

Professor, Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health, Public Policy, Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dr. Neal Halfon is the founding director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities (link) and the Director of the Life Course Intervention Research Network. Dr. Halfon has a long and distinguished career in child health with expertise in health measurement, health services delivery, health policy, and community interventions. Dr. Halfon has played an instrumental role in the development of the life course health sciences, with a particular focus on theory development and translation of research findings into clinical, programmatic, and policy interventions. In 2017, he received the C. Anderson Aldrich award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for his contributions to the field of child development with specific reference to his work on life course health development.
Shirley Russ headshot

Shirley Russ, MB ChB (Hons), MPH, MD

Senior Project Scientist

Dr. Shirley Ann Russ is a Project Scientist for the HRSA-MCHB funded Life Course Intervention Research Network at UCLA Center for Children, Families and Communities.  Initially trained as a pediatrician in the UK and Australia with a special interest in child development, her main research interests have been in the implementation and evaluation of newborn hearing screening programs, improving systems of care for children with special healthcare needs, and life course health.  She has co-chaired three NICHQ learning collaboratives with a focus on hearing loss and on epilepsy, and chaired a national expert panel on vision screening recommendations.  She has an interest in co-morbidities and social determinants of health. She authored the chapter on a Life Course Approach to Hearing Health in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development and is currently working on the development of a life course intervention research agenda.

Mary Berghaus, MPH

Program Manager

Mary Berghaus MPH is the Program Manager for the Life Course Intervention Research Network (LCIRN) at the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities. She received her MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and served in the Peace Corps as a health volunteer through the Masters International program. She began her career providing and evaluating HIV prevention and testing services at a community-based organization in Portland, Oregon. Since then, she has supported and managed public health programs in Ghana, Central America, and the US, covering a variety of technical areas including HIV and TB, maternal, newborn and child health, malaria, reproductive health, infection prevention and control, health financing, and health systems strengthening. 

Steering committee

The LCIRN Steering Committee includes experts who oversee the development and function of the research nodes and provide key content expertise to the LCIRN research agenda. 

Elizabeth S. Barnert, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA (Youth Justice Node co-leader)

Nathan Blum, MD, Chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Stephen Buka, ScD, Professor of Epidemiology, Graduate Program Director, Brown University (Early Childhood Mental Health Node leader)

Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MSHS, Associate Professor in General Pediatrics and Vice-Chair of the Primary Care College, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA (School Node co-leader)

Mark Feinberg, PhD, Research Professor of Health and Human Development, Penn State College of Health and Human Development (Family/Co-Parenting Node leader)

Susan Hintz, MD, MS, Professor of Pediatrics and OB/GYN, Stanford University (Success After Prematurity Node co-leader)

Todd Jensen, PhD, MSW, Research Associate, Jordan Institute for Families, Research Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, UNC-Chapel Hill (Family Measurement Node leader)

Michael Msall, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Chicago (Success After Prematurity Node co-leader)

Emily Ozer, PhD, Professor of Community Health Sciences, UC Berkeley School of Public Health (YPAR Node co-leader)

Adam Schickedanz, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Residence, UCLA School of Medicine (Adversity Node leader)  

Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Maternal and Child Health; Clinical Associate, School of Social Work; Research Assistant, School of Medicine, OB/GYN Department, University of North Carolina, Department of Maternal and Child Health (Family and Community Engagement Core leader)

Alyssa Ware, MSW, Associate Director of Programs and Strategies, Family Voices (Family and Community Engagement Core)

Nora Wells, MS Ed, Executive Director, Family Voices

Mitchell Wong, MD, PhD, Executive Vice Chair for Research Training, Department of Medicne, Director, CTSI KL2 Program, Executive Co-Director, UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program, Co-Director, UCLA NRSA Primary Care Fellowship, UCLA (School Node co-leader)

LCIRN Advisory Committee

The LCI-RN Advisory Committee is comprised of a diverse group of content experts – including researchers, practitioners, policymakers, methodologists, and parent and family representatives – who provide subject-matter expertise to the NCC and network members as needed.

Chad Abresch, Ph.D

Lola Adedokun, MPH

Deborah Allen, ScD

Renee Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD

Tina Cheng, MD, MPH

Stacy Drury, MD, Ph.D

Anne Duggan, ScD

Vijaya Hogan, DrPH

Peter Margolis, MD, Ph.D

Cynthia Minkovitz, MD, MPP

Robert Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA

Cheri Pies, MSW, DrPH

Jennifer S. Pitonyak, PhD, OTR/L, SCFES

Michael Regalado, MD

Paul Shattuck, Ph.D

Caroline Stampfel, MPH