Lisa Gatzke-Kopp receives National Science Foundation CAREER award

April 09, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lisa Gatzke-Kopp, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, has been honored with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award, which provides five years of funding, is the most prestigious award given by the NSF in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching and the integration of education and research.

Gatzke-Kopp's research focuses on understanding the biological interface between the environment and brain development and its impact on the development of psychopathology in children. She is particularly interested in how children develop behavior problems such as aggression, hyperactivity and substance abuse. Research has shown that such problems likely evolve when innate vulnerability interacts with environmental stressors. By investigating the neurobiological dysfunction that contributes to this vulnerability, Gatzke-Kopp aims to identify the experiential and environmental factors that exacerbate or ameliorate risk.

"Identification of these factors positions researchers, and eventually policy makers, to implement changes in the environment that may alter these trajectories and improve developmental outcomes," she said.

Gatzke-Kopp is a member of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Society for Neuroscience, the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Research in Psychopathology. She is an author or co-author on more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in academic journals and books, and she has been a member of the editorial boards of Child Development, the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Prevention Science.

Gatzke-Kopp joined the faculty of the Penn State Department of Human Development and Family Studies as an assistant professor in 2007 and is also a member of the graduate faculty of the Penn State Neuroscience Program. She earned a bachelor's degree in biopsychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1996 and a doctoreate in psychology at the University of Southern California in 2003.

Gatzke-Kopp can be reached at

  • Lisa Gatzke-Kopp

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated January 09, 2015