Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive, and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma. She was appointed as California’s first Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019.
Dr. Burke Harris’ career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities. After completing her residency at Stanford, she founded a clinic in one of San Francisco’s most underserved communities, Bayview-Hunters Point. It was there that Burke Harris observed that, despite the implementation of national best practices for immunizations, asthma, obesity treatment, and other preventive health measures, her patients still faced outsized risks for poor health, development, and behavioral outcomes.
Drawing in research from the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Burke Harris identified Adverse Childhood Experiences as a major risk factor affecting the health of her patients. In 2011, she founded the Center for Youth Wellness and subsequently grew the organization to be a national leader in the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress.
Dr. Bruce D. Perry
Dr. Bruce D. Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network and a professor (adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria Australia.
Over the last thirty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician, and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences holding a variety of academic positions. His work on the impact of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy across the world. Dr. Perry is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing (2021), co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
Dr. Perry has conducted both basic neuroscience and clinical research. His neuroscience research has examined the effects of prenatal drug exposure on brain development, the neurobiology of human neuropsychiatric disorders, the neurophysiology of traumatic life events, and basic mechanisms related to the development of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. His clinical research and practice has focused on high-risk children. This work has examined the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and physiological effects of neglect and trauma in children, adolescents, and adults. This work has been instrumental in describing how childhood experiences, including neglect and traumatic stress, change the biology of the brain – and, thereby, the health of the child.