Kaja Lewinn, ScD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Psychiatry
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoPostdoctoral Studies, Clinical Health Services Research Training Program 2012Clinical Services Research
    University of California, San Francisco and University of California, BerkeleyPostdoctoral Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program2010Neuroscience
    Harvard UniversitySocial Epidemiology Sc.D.2007School of Public Health
    Harvard UniversitySocial Epidemiology M.S. 2003School of Public Health
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    National Institute of Mental Health2012K01 Career Development Award
    National Academy of Sciences2011Sackler Colloquia Travel Award
    UCSF/UC Berkeley2007  - 2010 Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Fellow
    Harvard University2006  - 2007Achievement Gap Initiative Fellowship Recipient

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    Collapse Overview
    Kaja LeWinn, Sc.D., is an epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Division at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. LeWinn attained her doctorate in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed fellowships through the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program and the Clinical Services Research Training Program at UCSF. Dr. LeWinn takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the influence of social context on cognitive and socioemotional development during childhood and adolescence. The overarching goal of Dr. LeWinn’s research is to integrate approaches from neuroscience, psychology, and epidemiology to generate generalizable and replicable findings about the experiences in early life that shape risk for psychopathology in pediatric populations experiencing high levels of adversity. She conducts this work at several levels of analysis, which include 1) longitudinal, epidemiological cohort studies of pediatric populations that allow for generalizable knowledge about the role of social context in shaping early cognitive and socioemotional skills, and 2) large, neuroimaging studies to better understand the neural underpinnings of socioemotional development. She plays a major leadership role in three large cohort studies focused on neurodevelopmental outcomes. She is Co-Scientific Director of a longitudinal birth cohort study of over 1,500 women and their children (the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Early Learning study- CANDLE) designed to understand the links between early life adversity and cognitive and socioemotional development in early childhood. She is an M-PI of PATHWAYS, a birth cohort study that combines the CANDLE study with two additional extant cohorts funded by the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative. PATHWAYS is focused on understanding the combined impact of chemical (e.g. phthalates, air pollution) and non-chemical (e.g. psychosocial) stressors during pregnancy on child neurodevelopment and asthma outcomes in a combined cohort of 3,500 mother-child dyads. She is Co-PI of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded cohort study in Flint, Michigan designed to assess the impact of lead exposure during the Flint water crisis on child cognitive and socioemotional outcomes.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    The Combined Impact of High Sociodemographic Risk and Lead Exposure on Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Opportunities for Intervention
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RC106969-UCSFDec 15, 2016 - Dec 14, 2019
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Role Description: Dr. LeWinn is Co-Principal Investigator, UCSF Site PI and scientific lead of the IRISE study. With Dr. Hanna-Attisha, she co-directs and guides this multi-disciplinary collaboration, and is responsible for decisions related to study design, assessments, human subjects protocols, and recruitment.
    Prenatal and Early Childhood Pathways To Health:  An Integrated Model of Chemical and Social Exposures, Biological Mechanisms, and Sex-Specific Effects on Neurodevelopment and Respiratory Outcomes
    NIH UH3OD023271Sep 21, 2016 - Aug 31, 2023
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Prenatal and Early Childhood PATHWAYS to Health: An Integrated Model of Chemical and Social Exposures, Biological Mechanisms, and Sex-specific Effects on Neurodevelopment and Respiratory Outcomes (PATHWAYS)
    NIH Director's Office UG3OD023271Sep 21, 2016 - Aug 31, 2018
    Role: Multiple-Principal Investigator
    Role Description: As Multiple-PI in this large, multi-site effort, Dr. LeWinn's explicitly defined leadership role encompasses the selection, implementation, quality control, and interpretation of all neurodevelopmental outcome data collected as part of the PATHWAYS study. This includes overseeing the scientific goals related to neurodevelopmental outcomes, serving as the expert on publications using this data, and playing a lead role in developing analysis plans for the primary PATHWAYS manuscripts related to neurodevelopmental outcomes.
    Clinical Services Research Training Program
    NIH/NIMH T32 MH018261Jul 1, 2016 - Jun 30, 2020
    Role: Associate Director
    Social engagement, emotion regulation and depressive symptoms during adolescence
    NIH/NIMH K01MH097978Jul 27, 2012 - Apr 30, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Hu Z, Tylavsky FA, Han JC, Kocak M, Fowke JH, Davis RL, Lewinn K, Bush NR, Zhao Q. Maternal metabolic factors during pregnancy predict early childhood growth trajectories and obesity risk: the CANDLE Study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2019 Jan 31. PMID: 30705389.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Anand KJS, Rigdon J, Rovnaghi CR, Qin F, Tembulkar S, Bush N, LeWinn K, Tylavsky FA, Davis R, Barr DA, Gotlib IH. Measuring socioeconomic adversity in early life. Acta Paediatr. 2019 Jan 07. PMID: 30614554.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Shin EK, LeWinn K, Bush N, Tylavsky FA, Davis RL, Shaban-Nejad A. Association of Maternal Social Relationships With Cognitive Development in Early Childhood. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Jan 04; 2(1):e186963. PMID: 30646208.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Slopen N, Roberts AL, LeWinn KZ, Bush NR, Rovnaghi CR, Tylavsky F, Anand KJS. Maternal experiences of trauma and hair cortisol in early childhood in a prospective cohort. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Dec; 98:168-176. PMID: 30170311.
      View in: PubMed
    5. LeWinn KZ, Strigo IA, Connolly CG, Ho TC, Tymofiyeva O, Sacchet MD, Weng HY, Blom EH, Simmons AN, Yang TT. An exploratory examination of reappraisal success in depressed adolescents: Preliminary evidence of functional differences in cognitive control brain regions. J Affect Disord. 2018 11; 240:155-164. PMID: 30071419.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Kersten EE, Adler NE, Gottlieb L, Jutte DP, Robinson S, Roundfield K, LeWinn KZ. Neighborhood Child Opportunity and Individual-Level Pediatric Acute Care Use and Diagnoses. Pediatrics. 2018 May; 141(5). PMID: 29626164.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Tymofiyeva O, Henje Blom E, Ho TC, Connolly CG, Lindqvist D, Wolkowitz OM, Lin J, LeWinn KZ, Sacchet MD, Han LKM, Yuan JP, Bhandari SP, Xu D, Yang TT. High levels of mitochondrial DNA are associated with adolescent brain structural hypoconnectivity and increased anxiety but not depression. J Affect Disord. 2018 05; 232:283-290. PMID: 29500956.
      View in: PubMed
    8. LeWinn KZ, Sheridan MA, Keyes KM, Hamilton A, McLaughlin KA. Sample composition alters associations between age and brain structure. Nat Commun. 2017 10 12; 8(1):874. PMID: 29026076.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Knight AK, Craig JM, Theda C, Bækvad-Hansen M, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Hansen CS, Hollegaard MV, Hougaard DM, Mortensen PB, Weinsheimer SM, Werge TM, Brennan PA, Cubells JF, Newport DJ, Stowe ZN, Cheong JL, Dalach P, Doyle LW, Loke YJ, Baccarelli AA, Just AC, Wright RO, Téllez-Rojo MM, Svensson K, Trevisi L, Kennedy EM, Binder EB, Iurato S, Czamara D, Räikkönen K, Lahti JM, Pesonen AK, Kajantie E, Villa PM, Laivuori H, Hämäläinen E, Park HJ, Bailey LB, Parets SE, Kilaru V, Menon R, Horvath S, Bush NR, LeWinn KZ, Tylavsky FA, Conneely KN, Smith AK. An epigenetic clock for gestational age at birth based on blood methylation data. Genome Biol. 2016 10 07; 17(1):206. PMID: 27717399.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Connolly CG, Ho TC, Blom EH, LeWinn KZ, Sacchet MD, Tymofiyeva O, Simmons AN, Yang TT. Resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and longitudinal changes in depression severity in adolescent depression. J Affect Disord. 2017 01 01; 207:86-94. PMID: 27716542.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Tymofiyeva O, Connolly CG, Ho TC, Sacchet MD, Henje Blom E, LeWinn KZ, Xu D, Yang TT. DTI-based connectome analysis of adolescents with major depressive disorder reveals hypoconnectivity of the right caudate. J Affect Disord. 2017 01 01; 207:18-25. PMID: 27673479.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Arons A, Bolbocean C, Bush NR, Tylavsky FA, LeWinn KZ. Participation in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children is not associated with early childhood socioemotional development: Results from a longitudinal cohort study. Prev Med Rep. 2016 Dec; 4:507-11. PMID: 27688993.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Sacchet MD, Ho TC, Connolly CG, Tymofiyeva O, Lewinn KZ, Han LK, Blom EH, Tapert SF, Max JE, Frank GK, Paulus MP, Simmons AN, Gotlib IH, Yang TT. Large-Scale Hypoconnectivity Between Resting-State Functional Networks in Unmedicated Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 11; 41(12):2951-2960. PMID: 27238621.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Henje Blom E, Ho TC, Connolly CG, LeWinn KZ, Sacchet MD, Tymofiyeva O, Weng HY, Yang TT. The neuroscience and context of adolescent depression. Acta Paediatr. 2016 Apr; 105(4):358-65. PMID: 26663379; PMCID: PMC4779656.
    15. Mu KJ, Moore SE, LeWinn KZ. Internet Use and Adolescent Binge Drinking: Findings from the Monitoring the Future Study. Addict Behav Rep. 2015 Dec 01; 2:61-66. PMID: 26807435.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Henje Blom E, Han LK, Connolly CG, Ho TC, Lin J, LeWinn KZ, Simmons AN, Sacchet MD, Mobayed N, Luna ME, Paulus M, Epel ES, Blackburn EH, Wolkowitz OM, Yang TT. Peripheral telomere length and hippocampal volume in adolescents with major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 2015 Nov 10; 5:e676. PMID: 26556285.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Hirschtritt ME, Ordóñez AE, Rico YC, LeWinn KZ. Internal resilience, peer victimization, and suicidal ideation among adolescents. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2015 Nov; 27(4):415-23. PMID: 25719294.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Henje Blom E, Connolly CG, Ho TC, LeWinn KZ, Mobayed N, Han L, Paulus MP, Wu J, Simmons AN, Yang TT. Altered insular activation and increased insular functional connectivity during sad and happy face processing in adolescent major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2015 Jun 01; 178:215-23. PMID: 25827506.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Kersten EE, LeWinn KZ, Gottlieb L, Jutte DP, Adler NE. San Francisco children living in redeveloped public housing used acute services less than children in older public housing. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014 Dec; 33(12):2230-7. PMID: 25489043.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Ho TC, Connolly CG, Henje Blom E, LeWinn KZ, Strigo IA, Paulus MP, Frank G, Max JE, Wu J, Chan M, Tapert SF, Simmons AN, Yang TT. Emotion-Dependent Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network in Adolescent Depression. Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Nov 01; 78(9):635-46. PMID: 25483399; PMCID: PMC4362932 [Available on 11/01/16].
    21. Henje Blom E, Duncan LG, Ho TC, Connolly CG, LeWinn KZ, Chesney M, Hecht FM, Yang TT. The development of an RDoC-based treatment program for adolescent depression: "Training for Awareness, Resilience, and Action" (TARA). Front Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8:630. PMID: 25191250; PMCID: PMC4137278.
    22. LeWinn KZ, Connolly CG, Wu J, Drahos M, Hoeft F, Ho TC, Simmons AN, Yang TT. White matter correlates of adolescent depression: structural evidence for frontolimbic disconnectivity. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014 Aug; 53(8):899-909, 909.e1-7. PMID: 25062597; PMCID: PMC4112055.
    23. Stroud LR, Papandonatos GD, Shenassa E, Rodriguez D, Niaura R, LeWinn KZ, Lipsitt LP, Buka SL. Prenatal glucocorticoids and maternal smoking during pregnancy independently program adult nicotine dependence in daughters: a 40-year prospective study. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Jan 01; 75(1):47-55. PMID: 24034414; PMCID: PMC3858529.
    24. Jutte DP, LeWinn KZ, Hutson MA, Dare R, Falk J. Bringing researchers and community developers together to revitalize a public housing project and improve health. Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Nov; 30(11):2072-8. PMID: 22068398; PMCID: PMC4096893.
    25. Catalano R, Margerison-Zilko CE, Saxton K, LeWinn K, Anderson E. Reconstructing dose: a commentary on McEniry. Soc Sci Med. 2011 Mar; 72(6):1016-7; discussion 1018-20. PMID: 21324412; PMCID: PMC4060893.
    26. Catalano R, Goldman-Mellor S, Saxton K, Margerison-Zilko C, Subbaraman M, LeWinn K, Anderson E. The health effects of economic decline. Annu Rev Public Health. 2011; 32:431-50. PMID: 21054175; PMCID: PMC3855327.
    27. Subbaraman MS, Goldman-Mellor SJ, Anderson ES, Lewinn KZ, Saxton KB, Shumway M, Catalano R. An exploration of secondary sex ratios among women diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Hum Reprod. 2010 Aug; 25(8):2084-91. PMID: 20570972; PMCID: PMC2907232.
    28. LeWinn KZ, Stroud LR, Molnar BE, Ware JH, Koenen KC, Buka SL. Elevated maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy are associated with reduced childhood IQ. Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec; 38(6):1700-10. PMID: 19423658; PMCID: PMC2786250.
    29. Martin LT, Kubzansky LD, LeWinn KZ, Lipsitt LP, Satz P, Buka SL. Childhood cognitive performance and risk of generalized anxiety disorder. Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Aug; 36(4):769-75. PMID: 17470490.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Stroud LR, Solomon C, Shenassa E, Papandonatos G, Niaura R, Lipsitt LP, Lewinn K, Buka SL. Long-term stability of maternal prenatal steroid hormones from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project: still valid after all these years. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2007 Feb; 32(2):140-50. PMID: 17270355; PMCID: PMC2693201.
    31. Thomson CA, LeWinn K, Newton TR, Alberts DS, Martinez ME. Nutrition and diet in the development of gastrointestinal cancer. Curr Oncol Rep. 2003 May; 5(3):192-202. PMID: 12667416.
      View in: PubMed