Registration open for annual Conference on Child Protection and Well-Being

Leading international researchers to share findings at fall Penn State child protection conference

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Leading international researchers such as Harvard Medical School’s Martin Teicher, McGill University’s Michael Meaney and Christine Heim of Charité University Medical School at the Humboldt and Free University of Berlin will speak at the Penn State Network on Child Protection and Well-Being’s fourth annual Conference on Child Protection and Well-Being Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 at the Nittany Lion Inn. They, along with other top scientists, will share their findings about the ways stress “gets under the skin.”

The “New Frontiers in the Biology of Stress, Maltreatment and Trauma: Opportunities for Translation and Resilience” conference will showcase recent advances in research on the biological impact of childhood maltreatment and other forms of trauma and chronic stress.

“Scientists who study stress think there may be biologic explanations as to why some individuals are more susceptible to the effects of stress than others,” said conference chair Jennie Noll, the network’s director and professor of human development and family studies. “Most important, the research discussed at this conference will help identify ways in which the negative impact of early-life adversity can be interrupted, intervened upon and even reversed.”

Three sessions will cover endocrine system/immunology, brain development and genomics. The conference will culminate in a discussion regarding models of resilience and reversibility from a multidisciplinary perspective led by Columbia University’s George Bonanno and University of Minnesota’s Ann Masten.

The conference will focus on the translation of this work to real-world and clinical applications that benefit victims and families as well as the next essential steps in this innovative science. The annual conference series advances the network’s efforts to bring awareness to a range of issues pertaining to child maltreatment. Past conferences examined best practices for child advocacy centers and the role of parenting and family processes in risk for child maltreatment.

Launched in 2012 from a recommendation by Penn State’s Presidential Task Force on Child Maltreatment, the network is the driving force of the University’s academic activities in research, education and practice aimed at combating child maltreatment. The network’s mission includes increasing awareness and evidence-based knowledge on the prevention, detection and treatment of child abuse. For more information, visit

Visit the conference website for registration information, an agenda, list of speakers and other conference details.

Last Updated May 24, 2019