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Marcelo Dietrich, PhD

Faculty Member

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior | Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity

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How infants turn into adults, how experience shapes maturation, and how this period affects their long-term health

The Dietrich lab studies how infants turn into adults, how experience shapes their maturation, and how this period of their life affects their long-term health. The lab aims to uncover the molecular, cellular, and system-level mechanisms that govern the development of physiological, emotional, and behavioral processes in infant mammals. At the heart of the research is the premise that human infants, like all mammals, rely on an emotional attachment figure for survival, a bond that profoundly impacts their future cognitive, social, and emotional development. Investigating these relationships and their underlying mechanisms offers key insights into essential developmental processes that could enhance human potential throughout life. These efforts are in harmony with the Wu Tsai Institute's mission, contributing to understanding early life processes and seeking ways to boost human potential across different life stages.




Marcelo O. Dietrich is an Associate Professor in Comparative Medicine and Neuroscience at Yale University School of Medicine, where he joined the faculty in 2014 after earning his MD and PhD from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and further training at the Cajal Institute in Madrid and under Tamas Horvath at Yale. His research focuses on uncovering the complex interplay between neurobiology, metabolism, and behavior through the study of the development of homeostatic and emotional systems. Beyond academia, Marcelo loves open water swimming, especially the chill of ice-cold waters, reflecting his adventurous spirit and deep-seated curiosity that also drives his scientific endeavors.