Developing Brain Institute
At the forefront of clinical research and translational efforts
We're pleased to announce that Zavi Brees-Saunders, MPH, has joined the Developing Brain Institute at Children’s National as Program Director of the Clark Parent & Child Network Prenatal-Neonatal Pillar. Zavi will lead the DC Mother-Baby Wellness Initiative. She has a Master of Public Health degree, specialized in Maternal-Child Health, from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She has over 20 years of experience developing, implementing and leading public health programs, primarily focused on women’s health and maternal and child health - both internationally and in her home state of Hawaii. Prior to joining the Developing Brain Institute, she served as Director of Health Operations at Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. Zavi brings a strong commitment to improving maternal and child health.

Children’s National Hospital on June 30, 2020, announced a $36 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to provide families with enhanced access to mental health care and community resources. The Clark Parent & Child Network pairs clinical innovation with community partnerships to support underserved pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age 3. It will bridge a gap between prenatal care and early childhood development with a focus on mental health. Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., founding director of the Developing Brain Institute, serves as Principal Investigator for the Prenatal-Neonatal Pillar; and Lee S. Beers, M.D., Medical Director of Community Health and Advocacy, serves as Principal Investigator for the Infant-Toddler Pillar, assisted by Program Director, Tininka T. Rahman, MHCA.
The Developing Brain Institute at Children’s National, directed by Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., focuses on the developing brain in utero, shortly after birth and throughout early childhood. We are developing advanced MRI techniques to examine the structure, connectivity and metabolism of the brain in ways that cannot be done with conventional MRI studies. Our long-term goal is to be able to identify babies with impaired brain growth as soon as possible, so that proper interventions and clinical planning can take place earlier.