Helen Link Egger

Helen Link Egger, MD, is a Child psychiatrist/epidemiologist/psychiatric researcher; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Child and Family Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience; Vice-Chair, Integrated Pediatric Mental Health; Director, Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Initiative (IPMH); Co-leader, Information and Child Mental Health Initiative; Associate Director, Information Initiative at Duke (iiD); Director, Duke Early Childhood Mental Health Research Program; Center for Developmental Epidemiology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Egger is a Board Member of ZERO TO THREE.

Helen Link Egger

Director, Duke Early Childhood Mental Health Research Program

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Egger’s research program focuses on psychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety disorders in preschool children ages 2 through 5 years old. She has been a leader in the development of measures for assessing psychiatric symptoms and disorders in young children. Dr. Egger is lead author of the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA), the first comprehensive structured parent interview for assessing psychiatric symptoms and disorders in preschool children.

Affiliations

  • American Association of Directors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Association of Women Psychiatrists
  • World Association of Infant Mental Health
  • American Psychopathological Association
  • International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Current Research

Dr. Egger is currently co-conducting a number of NIMH-funded studies including a large, community study of preschool anxiety disorders, a longitudinal study of children diagnosed with psychiatric disorders as preschoolers, and an fMRI/eye tracking study of children diagnosed with anxiety disorders as preschoolers. My program of research focuses on the developmental epidemiology and developmental neuroscience of psychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety disorders, in preschool children. As a child psychiatrist, infant/preschool specialist, and epidemiologist, she brings both a clinical and basic science perspective to research on early childhood mental health. In the Duke Preschool Program at the Center for Developmental Epidemiology, she helps conduct prospective, longitudinal community studies of children starting at age 2 to examine the presentation, neurobiology, and course of early childhood mental health disorders. They conduct functional neuroimaging studies starting at age 5. Recently, her program of research has expanded with co-founding and co-leading the Duke Initiative on Information and Child Mental Health with a colleague from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke. The Initiative’s goal is to create innovative tools to gather, analyze, and interpret information about a child’s behaviors, emotions, and development and then, in real time, translate this information into specific evidence-based actionable guidance. The team of child psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, engineers, computer scientists, and neuroscientists has the expertise to create tools that are accessible, affordable, efficient, and scalable and based on extensive clinical, epidemiological, and neuroscience knowledge about child mental health.

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

  • Gerald L. Klerman Award for outstanding clinical research by a NARSAD Young Investigator, 2004
  • Marian Butterfield Early Career Award, Association of Women Psychiatrists, 2009
  • Selected as 1 of 25 Duke University Medical Center faculty members to participate in the 2011 Chancellor’s Clinical Leadership in Academic
  • Medicine Program (CCHAMP)
  • Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Fellow, 2014
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, Duke University, 2015-2016
  • Winner of Duke’s Blue Ribbon Teamwork Award for outstanding achievement, 2015