Charles A. Nelson III, Ph.D.

Charles A. Nelson III, Ph.D.
Charles A. Nelson III, Ph.D.

Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience

Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry

Professor of Education

Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research

Harvard University / Boston Children’s Hospital

2017 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research

Charles A. Nelson III is a Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Education in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds the Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is Director of Research in the Division of Developmental Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from McGill University, master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, all in psychology.

Dr. Nelson’s research centers on a variety of problems in developmental cognitive neuroscience, including the development of social perception; developmental trajectories to autism; and the effects of early adversity on brain and behavioral development. He chaired the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development, and served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panels that wrote From Neurons to Neighborhoods, and more recently, New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research.

Along with fellow 2017 Ruane Award recipients Drs. Fox and Zeanah, Dr. Nelson is a Principal Investigator on the Bucharest Early Intervention Project and a co-author of Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development and the Struggle for Recovery (Harvard University Press, 2014). Among his many honors, Dr. Nelson has received the Leon Eisenberg Award from Harvard Medical School, an honorary Doctorate from Bucharest University (Romania), has been a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy), and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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