Department of Medical Genetics
Faculty of Medicine
Sarah Merrill is a neuropsychologist who is using social epigenetics to understand the effects of early environment on biology. She received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and psychology from Wellesley College, and received her masters and PhD from Cornell University in developmental psychology with Drs. Cindy Hazan, Ritch Savin-Williams, and Richard Depue. Her doctoral work focused on the timing and quality of the neurobiological changes that occur during attachment formation. Her current postdoctoral research in the Kobor Lab expands upon her knowledge of attachment and early care environment to investigate how these experiences affect DNA methylation and how these effects persist and interact with other early environmental factors. The purpose of her research is to expand our understanding of social relationships and their interconnective, long-lasting effects on behavior, development, neurobiology, and epigenetics. The hope is that this research will inform policies that affect these important early life experiences for the better.