hero image
Stacy Drury, MD - Tulane University. New Orleans, LA, US

Stacy Drury, MD Stacy Drury, MD

Remigio Gonzalez MD Endowed Professorship of Child Psychiatry, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics | Tulane University


Drury explores how early life adversity interacts with genetic and epigenetic factors to shape child health and neurodevelopmental outcomes.





Dr. Stacy Drury loading image loading image


Dr. Stacy Drury: Genetics, Neurodevelopment & Child Psychiatry Dr. Stacy Drury - Tulane Health System Dr. Stacy Drury - Trauma and Development Dr. Stacy Drury interview Dr. Stacy Drury Discusses the Impact of the Murder of Children




Dr. Drury explores the interaction of genetic and epigenetic factors with early experience and how this interaction shapes neurodevelopment and long-term outcomes in children. Her clinical and translational research focuses on improving outcomes in at-risk children by providing an enhanced understanding of the interaction between early life experiences, the stress response systems, and neurodevelopment.

Drury is the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics, the Remigio Gonzalez MD Professor of Child Psychiatry and the Associate director of the Tulane Brain Institute. Throughout her career, she has facilitated and developed a transdisciplinary research program that integrates basic, translational and clinical research to better understand the effects of life course adversity on child health and development from the cell to the neighborhood. Her transdisciplinary research centers on the early caregiving environment as both a contributor to early adversity and a powerful buffer from the lasting negative impacts, both within and across generations, on child health and neurodevelopment. Her program of research integrates trauma, epigenetics, maternal-child health, neuroscience, psychology, neurodevelopment, public health, and health disparities with current studies in Romania, Suriname, Sierre Leone in addition to studies of high risk young children in Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Early Life Trauma

Child Psychiatry

Pediatric Medicine

Health Disparities



Accomplishments (1)

2018 Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement (professional)


The award recognizes the most significant paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry by a child and adolescent psychiatrist within the last year. The academy singled out Drury’s research into how early childhood trauma can have negative health consequences that seep across generations.

Education (6)

Tulane School of Medicine: Residency, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2007

Tulane University: Residency, General Psychiatry 2005

Louisiana State University Health Science Center: M.D., Medicine 2002

Louisiana State University Health Science Center: Ph.D., Genetics and Biometry 2000

University of Michigan: M.S., Human Genetics 1996

University of Virginia: B.A., Religious Studies and Biology 1993

Media Appearances (4)

Syrian conflict enters ninth year, spawning a generation of children who've never known peace

ABC News Australia  online


Neuroscientist and child psychologist Stacy Drury added that trauma in early childhood can inhibit brain development, cognitive function, impact crisis response systems, learning ability, aging processes and immune systems for the rest of a child's life. The younger the child, the greater the impact, with children under three facing the greatest risk. "The body systems that are most rapidly developing when the experiences happen are the ones that are going to be most impacted," Dr Drury, a researcher at Tulane University in Louisiana, told the ABC.

view more

Letters: Paid family leave critical for children

The Advocate  


It’s no secret that Louisiana has often lagged far behind other states on many key health and education indicators. One way to know where we’re headed in the future, though, is to look at our babies. Unfortunately, in Louisiana, we have high infant mortality rates and high maternal death rates. One way to reduce these rates and create more resilience is by encouraging parent-child bonding early in life...

view more

Researchers find childhood trauma affects DNA

Fox 8 Live  


"We have evidence that there are changes in the actual DNA in the cells within each child. We have evidence that it changes how children's stress response systems work," said Stacy Drury, the Associate Director of the Tulane Brain Institute...

view more

Science of Trauma


Scientists, including researchers in New Orleans, have begun to understand the impact of this frequent, long-term exposure to violence. When children grow up surrounded by crime, their brains can become conditioned to perceive the world as a dangerous place, said Dr. Stacy Drury, associate director of Tulane University’s Brain Institute. As a result, the smallest provocation can trigger their “fight, flight or freeze” instinct...

view more

Articles (3)

Polymorphic variation in the SLC5A7 gene influences infant autonomic reactivity and self-regulation: A neurobiological model for ANS stress responsivity and infant temperament


Jones CW, Gray SAO, Theall KP, Drury SS

2018 To examine the impact of polymorphic variation in the solute carrier family 5 member 7 (SLC5A7) gene on autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and heart rate (HR) in infants during a dyadic stressor, as well as maternal report of infant self-regulation. Given evidence of race differences in older individuals, race was specifically examined.

view more

Caregiving Disruptions Affect Growth and Pubertal Development in Early Adolescence in Institutionalized and Fostered Romanian Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Journal of Pediatrics

Johnson DE, Tang A, Almas AN, Degnan KA, McLaughlin KA, Nelson CA, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, Drury SS

2018 To determine the effects of foster care vs institutional care, as well as disruptions in the caregiving environment on physical development through early adolescence.

view more

Shaping long-term primate development: Telomere length trajectory as an indicator of early maternal maltreatment and predictor of future physiologic regulation

Development and Psychopathology

Drury SS, Howell BR, Jones C, Esteves K, Morin E, Schlesinger R, Meyer JS, Baker K, Sanchez MM

2017 The molecular, neurobiological, and physical health impacts of child maltreatment are well established, yet mechanistic pathways remain inadequately defined. Telomere length (TL) decline is an emerging molecular indicator of stress exposure with definitive links to negative health outcomes in maltreated individuals. The multiple confounders endemic to human maltreatment research impede the identification of causal pathways...

view more