Stephen Edward Gilman, Sc.D.

Senior Investigator

Social and Behavioral Sciences Branch


6710 Rockledge Dr. Wing B 3154


Research Topics

Developmental epidemiology of common mental disorders

We investigate the life course epidemiology of common mental disorders (mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders)--disorders that, cumulatively, account for a substantial proportion of the global burden of disease. This work addresses the problem of social inequalities in common mental disorders, and seeks answers to the question, why do social inequalities in common mental disorders emerge early in the life course, persist into adulthood, and become transmitted to the next generation? Research is investigating the mechanisms for the link between disadvantaged childhood environments and the development and subsequent recurrence of mood and substance disorders in childhood and adulthood. Discovering the mechanisms that produce social inequalities in psychopathology is integral to advancing our understanding of the developmental origins of psychiatric disorders.


Prior to joining NICHD in 2015, Dr. Gilman served on the faculty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the departments of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology. He received his bachelor's degree in social psychology from Tufts University and master's and doctoral degrees in health and social behavior from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He received postdoctoral training in behavioral medicine at Brown University Medical School.

Selected Publications

  1. Gilman SE, Hornig M, Ghassabian A, Hahn J, Cherkerzian S, Albert PS, Buka SL, Goldstein JM. Socioeconomic disadvantage, gestational immune activity, and neurodevelopment in early childhood. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(26):6728-6733.

  2. Yu J, Patel RA, Gilman SE. Childhood disadvantage, neurocognitive development and neuropsychiatric disorders: Evidence of mechanisms. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2021;34(3):306-323.

  3. Santavirta T, Santavirta N, Gilman SE. Association of the World War II Finnish Evacuation of Children With Psychiatric Hospitalization in the Next Generation. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(1):21-27.

  4. Gilman SE, Sucha E, Kingsbury M, Horton NJ, Murphy JM, Colman I. Depression and mortality in a longitudinal study: 1952-2011. CMAJ. 2017;189(42):E1304-E1310.

  5. Fairman BJ, Goldstein RB, Simons-Morton BG, Haynie DL, Liu D, Hingson RW, Gilman SE. Neighbourhood context and binge drinking from adolescence into early adulthood in a US national cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2020;49(1):103-112.

This page was last updated on June 4th, 2018