Our team

Our team

Amy Salisbury, Ph.D., RN

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship & Innovation

1100 East Leigh Street
Box 980567
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567

Phone: 804-828-2095
Email: salisburya@vcu.edu


  • B.A. Psychology: Neuroscience Concentration Clark University, Worcester, MA
  • R.N., Diploma of Nursing, St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, Worcester, MA
  • M.S., Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
  • Ph.D., Biobehavioral Sciences: Developmental Psychobiology University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Child Psychiatry, Brown Medical School/Rhode Island Hospital
    • Training and research in fetal and infant behavioral development, infant mental health, and
      prenatal exposure to maternal psychiatric illness and/or substance use, 2000-2002


My research examines bio-behavioral development from before birth through early childhood. The research focuses on pathways of risk or resilience for psychopathology in children, the effects of prenatal exposures, infant mental health, preterm infant development, and sleep development. I have been examining neurobehavioral development in prospective longitudinal studies from the prenatal period through childhood using standardized protocols to measure fetal behavior and central nervous system functioning, infant neurobehavior, and sleep state. The work includes both a perinatal and infant mental health perspective to understand the developing system in the context of risk.s.


I thoroughly enjoy mentoring and have worked with over 40 interns, students, and junior faculty, most of whom have gone on to successful research and clinical careers. My teaching style is a combination of didactic and experiential methods that provide hands-on experience in clinical research. Students are given theoretical basics and then encouraged to find a problem or question that excites them for their own research project. I am delighted that as a mentor I continually learn and grow from those experiences. I have also had the opportunity to train numerous colleagues throughout the world on a standardized neurobehavioral assessment of infants for clinical and research purposes. cancer.


I have served on numerous NIH grant review committees and served as a standing member of the NIH Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section, Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Integrated Review Group from 2015-2019. Other recent service includes Co-Chair of the NIH HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (HBCD): Non-Imaging Assessments Workgroup; Fetal Assessment Section. Consensus Panel for the Standards and Competencies of Developmental Family-Centered Integrative Care for Newborns and Families in the Intensive Care Unit that published standards in 2020. I have served on the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Subcommittee Workgroup Membership and am an ECHO NOWS Rhode Island State Substance Exposed Newborn Taskforce Member.


  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, 2021
  • Advance-CTR Mentoring Training Program, May 2018
  • NASPOG Young Investigator Award, The North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 2003.
  • First Place Research Award for Post-Doctoral Fellows, Brown Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, March 2001 
  • Rhode Island Nurse of the Year, Bradley Hospital, 1993


  • 3/1/20-2/28/22, Principal Investigator, Pilot Funding from NIGMS COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research and Excellence) on Opioids and Overdose | Rhode Island Hospital, P20GM125507- 01; PI Josiah Rich Monitoring newborn sleep to improve treatment and outcomes from opioid exposure.
  • 8/1/2018 - 7/30/2023 R01 DA045492 Multi Principal Investigator (Stroud, Salisbury) NIDA : Electronic Cigarettes During Pregnancy: Impact on Fetal Development
  • 9/1/2017 - 8/31/2022 R01 DA044504 Co-Investgiator (Stroud) NIDA: Prenatal Marijuana: Impact on Infant Neurobehavior, Stress, & Epigenetic Mechanisms
  • 2/1/2008-1/31/2019 R01 MH078033 Principal Investigator, NIMH: Fetal and Neonatal Neurobehavior and Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure: The Child
  • 8/1/2014 - 7/31/2019 R01 NR014540 Multi Principal Investigator (Battle, Salisbury) NINR: RCT of a tailored walking program to reduce stress among pregnant women
  • 8/1/2013- 4/30/2019 R01DA036999 Co-Investigator (PI: Stroud, L.) Co-Investigator, NIDAFetal behavior, brain, & stress response: Ultrasound markers of maternal smoking
  • 9/11/2011-8/31/2016, R01DA03118, Co-I, (Stroud), NIDA, Maternal Smoking: HPA and Epigenetic Pathways to Infant Neurobehavioral Deficits
  • 12/1/2014-12/30/2016, Co-I (Deoni), Bill & Melinda Gates, Imaging Healthy Infant Brain Myelination
  • 3/1/2014-3/28/2017 R03DA0358 Co-I (Stroud) NIDA Imaging the Developing Fetal Brain: Novel Markers of Risk for Maternal Smoking
  • 8/1/2013 - 4/30/2019 R01 DA03699 - 5 Co-I ( Stroud) NIDA Fetal behavior, brain, & stress response: Ultrasound markers of maternal smoking
  • 2/1/2013 - 7/31/2019 R01 MH78033- - 10 PI (Salisbury) NIMH Fetal and Neonatal Neurobehavior and Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure: The Child
  • 6/1/2002 - 8/31/2007 K23 MH06547 - 5 PI (Salisbury) NIMH Maternal Antidepressant Use and Fetal Neurobehavior
  • 7/1/2007 - 6/30/2010 R03 MH08221 - 2 Co-I (Sheinkiopf) NIMH Pre- and Postnatal Neurobehavioral Profiles in Infants at Risk for Autism
  • 7/1/2007 - 12/30/2010 Non- - 3 Co-I (Stroud) Flight Attendant Medical Maternal Smoking: Fetuses in Withdrawal?
  • 8/13/2007 - 6/30/2011 R34 MH07910 - 3 Co-I (Battle) NIMH Treatment Decision-Making among Depressed Pregnant Women
  • 7/28/2010 - 7/27/2011 S10 RR02642 - 1 PI (Salisbury) NIH National Center for 2D-4D Capable Ultrasound Machine
  • 7/1/2005 - 11/30/2011 R01 DA01955 - 5 Co-I (Stroud) NIDA Prenatal Smoking, fetal behavior, and infant withdrawal
  • 10/22/2005 - 12/30/2011 R01 DA01577 - 5 Co-I (Lester) NIDA Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research Direct $1,593,125 Indirect $384,940
  • 2/1/2008 - 1/31/2013 MH78033- - 5 PI (Salisbury) Fetal and Neonatal Neurobehavior and Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure
  • 2/15/2012 - 1/31/2014 R03 MH96036 - 2 PI (Salisbury) NIMH Sleep and biological rhythms after fetal exposure to antidepressants
  • 9/1/2007 - 6/30/2014 R01 MH79153 - 5 Co-I (Stroud) NIMH Maternal Depression, placental HPA regulation, & fetal-neonatal stress response


  • Werchan, DM, Hendrix, C., Ablow, J., Amstadter, A., Austin, A., Babineau, V., Bogat , GA, Cioffredi, L., Conradt, E., Crowell, S., Dumitriu, D., Fifer, W., Firestein, Gao, MW, Gotlib, I., Graham, Gregory, Gustafsson, Havens, Brittany R Howell, Kate Humphreys, Christine Johnson, Lucy King, Kinser, P.A., Krans, Leninger, Alytia A. Levendosky, Joseph S. Lonstein, Rachel Marcus, Catherine Monk, Sara Moyer, Maria Muzik, Amy K. Nuttall, Potter 7 , Salisbury, A.L., Smith, B., Smith, L., Sullivan, Zhou, Thomason, M & Brito, Scientific Reports, Accepted for Publication, December 16, 2021
  • Anderson, M. R., Salisbury, A. L., Uebelacker, L. A., Abrantes, A. M., & Battle, C. L. (2021). Stress, coping and silver linings: How depressed perinatal women experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of affective disorders, 298, 329-336. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.10.116, PMID: 34715180; PMCID: PMC8548890
  • Bakhireva, LN., Sparks, A., Herman, M, Hund, L., Malia, A. and Salisbury, A.L. Severity of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome with Prenatal Exposure to Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Pediatr Res. 2021 Sep 29. doi: 10.1038/s41390-021-01756-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34588611.
  • Devlin, LA, Young,LW, Kraft,WK, Wachman, EM, Czynski, A, Merhar,S, Winhusen, T, Jones, HE, Poindexter, L, Wakschlag, L, Salisbury,AL, Matthews,A, Davis, JM. Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome: Toward the Use of Buprenorphine in Infants, J Perinatol. 2021 Sep 23:1–7. doi: 10.1038/s41372-021-01206-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34556799; PMCID: PMC8459143.
  • Cay G, Ravichandran V, Saikia MJ, Hoffman L, Laptook A, Padbury J, Salisbury AL, Gitelson-Kahn A, Venkatasubramanian K, Shahriari Y, Mankodiya K. An E-Textile Respiration Sensing System for NICU Monitoring: Design and Validation. J Signal Process Syst. 2021 Jul 17:1-15. doi: 10.1007/s11265-021-01669-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34306304; PMCID: PMC8286045.
  • Kinser, P., Jallo, N., Amstadter, A., Thacker, L.R., Jones, E., Moyer, S., Rider, A., Karjane, L., & Salisbury, AL, Depression, Anxiety, Resilience, and Coping: The Experience of Pregnant and New Mothers during the First Few Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Journal of Women’s Health, 2021, April 12, DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8866, PMID: 33844945

  • Bigsby, R., Salisbury A.L., 2020. Infant Family-Centered Developmental Care (IFCDC)-Recommendations for Best Practice to Support Sleep and Arousal, In Developmental Care Standards for Infants in Intensive Care: Report of the First Consensus Conference on Standards, Competencies and Best Practices for Infant and Family-Centered Developmental Care in the Intensive Care Unit, URL: https://nicudesign.nd.edu/nicu-care-standards/ifcdc--recommendations-for-best-practice-to-support-sleep-and-arousal/
  • Stroud, LR, Rodriguez, D., Bublitz, M., Crespo, F., Lester, B, & Salisbury, A.L. Maternal smoking effects on fetal neurobehavior and newborn state: A real-time ultrasound study, Neurotoxicology, and Teratology, Accepted for publication, May 2020.
  • Stroud, R., Papandonatos, G.D., Jao, N.C., Vergara-Lopez, C, Huestis, M., & Salisbury, A.L. Prenatal tobacco and marijuana co-use: Sex specific influences on infant cortisol stress response, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 79, May, 2020. PMID: 32289444, PMCID:PMC7231630
  • Salisbury, A.L., Brennan, P. Prenatal Antidepressant Exposures and Gastrointestinal Complaints in Childhood: A Gut-Brain Axis Connection? Developmental Psychobiology, In press, March 2020. PMID: 32167584
  • Browne, J., Jaeger, C., Kenner, C., Arvedson, J.C., Bigsby, R., Buus-Frank, M., Cicco, R., Cross, J., Hatfield, B., Hynan, M.T., Johnson, B.H., Kolberg, K.J.S., McElroy, J., McGrath, J., Phillips, R., Ross, E., Salisbury, A.L., Smith, K., Sweeney, J.K., Zayack, D. Executive Summary: Standards, Competencies and Recommended Best Practices for Infant and Family-Centered Developmental Care in the Intensive Care Unit, Journal of Perinatology, In Press, 2020.
  • Stroud, L.R., Papandonatos, G.D., McCallum, M., Kehoe, T., Salisbury, A.L., & Huestis, M. Prenatal tobacco and marijuana co-use: Impact on newborn neurobehavior, Neurotoxicology, and Teratology, 2018, 70:28-39. PMID: 30266574 PMCID: PMC6239899 DOI: 10.1016/j.ntt.2018.09.003.
  • Stroud, L.R., McCallum, M., & Salisbury, A.L. Impact of maternal prenatal smoking on fetal to infant neurobehavioral development. Developmental origins of psychopathology: Mechanisms, processes, and pathways linking the prenatal environment to postnatal outcomes, Development and Psychopathology, 2018, 30: 1087-1105. PMID: 30068428
  • Karol Kaltenbach, K., O; Grady, K.E., Heif, S.H, Salisbury, A.L., Coyle, M.G., Fischer, G., Martin, P.R., Stine, S., Jones, H.E., Prenatal Exposure to Methadone or Buprenorphine: Early Childhood Developmental Outcomes, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2018 Apr 1;185:40-49, PMID: 29413437
  • Stone, K.C., Salisbury, A.L., Miller-Loncar, C.L., Mattera, J.M., Battle, Ph.D., Johnsen, D. O’Grady, K.E., Pregnancy and Postpartum Antidepressant Use Moderates the Effects of Sleep on Depression, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 2017, Oct;20(5):621-632, PMID: 28488099.
  • Aubuchon-Endsley1, N., Morales, M., Giudice, C., Bublitz, PM.H., Salisbury, A.L., Stroud, L.R., Maternal Pre-pregnancy Obesity and Gestational Weight Gain Influence Neonatal Neurobehavior, Maternal & Child Nutrition, 2017 Apr;13(2), PMID: 27161802
  • Stroud, L.R., Papandonatos, G.D., Parade, S.H., Salisbury, A.L., Phipps, M.G., Lester, B.M.,Padbury, J.F., and Marsit, C.J. Prenatal major depressive disorder, placenta glucocorticoid and serotonergic signaling, and infant cortisol response. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2016, Nov/Dec;78(9):979-990., PMID 27763986 PMCID: PMC6541396
  • Lester, B.M., Salisbury, A.L., Hawes, K. Dansereau, L., Bigsby, R., Laptook, A., Taub, M, Lagasse, L.L., Vohr, B.R., and Padbury, J.F.,18-Month Follow-up of Infants Cared for in a Single-Family Room NICU, Journal of Pediatrics, 2016, Oct;177:84-9, PMID: 27470693
  • Partridge, M-C., Salisbury, A.L., Lagasse, L. Fine Motor Differences and prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure, Journal of Pediatrics, 2016, Aug; 175:144-149 PMID:27215778; PMCID:PMC4981505
  • Stroud, L.R., Papandonatos, G., Salisbury, A.L., Phipps, M., Huestis, M., Niaura, R., Padbury, J., Marsit, C., Lester, B.M., Epigenetic Regulation of Placental NR3C1: Mechanism underlying Prenatal Programming of Infant Neurobehavior by Maternal Smoking? Child Development, 2016, Jan;87(1):49-60. PMID:26822442, PMCID: PMC4808519
  • Salisbury, A.L., O’Grady, K., Battle, C., Wisner, KL, Anderson, G., Stroud, L., Miller-Loncar. CL, Young, ME, and Lester, B. The roles of maternal depression, serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment, and concomitant benzodiazepine use on infant neurobehavioral functioning over the first postnatal month, American Journal of Psychiatry, 2016, 173(2):147- 57. PMID: 26514656; PMCID: PMC4742381
  • Massey, S.H., Bublitz, M.H., Magee, S.R., Salisbury,A.L. Niaura,R.S., Wakschlag, L., Stroud, L.R., Maternal-Fetal Attachment Differentiates Patterns of Prenatal Smoking and Exposure, Addictive Behaviors, 2015, 45, 51-6. PMID: 25644587, PMCID:PMC4374036
  • Lester, B.M., Hawes, K., Abar, B., Sullivan, M., Miller, R., Bigsby, R., Laptook, A., Salisbury, A., Taub, M., Lagasse, L., Padbury, J.F , Single Family Room Care and Improved Neurobehavioral and Medical Outcomes in Preterm Infants, Pediatrics, 2014, 134(4):754-60, doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4252. PMID: 25246623
  • Stroud, L.R., Papandonatos, G.D., Rodriguez, D., McCallum, M., Salisbury, A.L., Phipps , M., ester, B.M., Niaura, R., Padbury, J.F., Marsit, C.J.,  Maternal smoking during pregnancy and infant stress response: test of a prenatal programming hypothesis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014, 48:29-40; PMID: 24999830, PMCID: PMC4136384
  • Magee, S.R, Bublitz, M.H., Orazine, C. Brush, B., Salisbury, A.L., Niaura, R., Stroud, The relationship between maternal-fetal attachment and cigarette smoking over pregnancy, Maternal Child Health Journal, 2014, 18(4):1017-1022, PMID: 23892790 PMCID: PMC4054687
  • Battle, C. L., Salisbury, A. L., Schofield, C.A., Ortiz-Hernandez, S. Perinatal antidepressant use: Understanding women’s preferences and concerns. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 2013, 19(6):443-453. PMID: 24241498, PMCID: PMC4277178.
  • Coyle, M., Salisbury, A.L., Lester, B., Jones, H.E., Lin, H., Graf-Rohrmeister, & Fischer, G. Neonatal Neurobehavior Effects following Buprenorphine versus Methadone Exposure, Addiction, 2012, 107(S1):63-73. PMID: 23106928, PMCID: PMC4337995
  • Karol Kaltenbach, K., Coyle, M., Heil, S., Salisbury, A., Stine, S., Martin, P., and Jones, H., Predicting Treatment for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Infants Born to Women Maintained on Agonist Medication, Addiction, 2012, 107(S1): 45-52. PMID: 23106926, PMCID:PMC4268864
  • Salisbury, A.L., Coyle, M., O; Grady, K.E., Heil, S., Martin, P.R., Stine, S.M., Kaltenbach, K., Weninger, M., & Jones, H.E. Fetal Well-Being Before and After Methadone or Buprenorphine Dosing, Addiction, 2012, 107(S1):36-44. PMID: 23106925 , PMCID:PMC4277183
  • Salisbury, A.L., High, P., Twomey, J., Dickstein, S., Chapman, H. and Lester, B.M., A Randomized Control Trial to Evaluate a Family Based Biopsychosocial Intervention for the Treatment of Infant Colic, Infant Mental Health Journal, 2012, 33(2):110-122.
  • Grant-Beuttler, M., Glynn, L.M., Salisbury, A.L., Davis, E.P., Sandman, C., Development of Fetal Movement between 26 and 36 Weeks’ Gestation in Response to Vibro-acoustic Stimulation, Frontiers in Developmental Psychology,2011, 2(350): 1-7.PMID: 22207855, PMCID: PMC3245669.
  • McFarland, J.B., Salisbury, A.L., Battle, C.L., Halloran, K., Hawes, K., and Lester, B., Major Depressive Disorder during pregnancy and emotional attachment to the fetus, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 2011, 14(5):425-434, PMID: 21938509; PMCID:PMC3248759
  • Salisbury, A.L., Katherine L. Wisner, Teri Pearlstein, Cynthia Battle, Laura Stroud, and Barry Lester, Newborn neurobehavioral patterns are differentially related to prenatal maternal Major Depressive Disorder and Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor treatment, 2011, Depression and Anxiety, 28(11):1008-1019, PMID:21898709; PMCID:PMC3215845
  • Ponder, K.L., Salisbury, A.L., McGonnigal, B. Laliberte, A., Lester, B., and Padbury, J.F., Maternal Depression and Anxiety are associated with altered gene expression in the human placenta without modification by antidepressant use: Implications for fetal programming. Developmental Psychobiology, 2011,53(7):711-723.PMID:21547899, PMCID: PMC3155003, Faculty of 1000 Recommended;FFa6.
  • Lester, B.M., Miller, R.J., Hawes, K., Salisbury, A.L., Bigsby, R,M., Sullivan, M., and Padbury, J.F. Infant Neurobehavioral Development, Seminars in Perinatology, 2011, 35: 8- 19. PMID:21255702; PMCID:PMC3168949
  • Salisbury, A. L. 2010. Before Infant Assessment: Fetal neurobehavior. In B. M. Lester & J. D. Sparrow (Eds.), Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. Berry Brazelton (pp. 29-39). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons
  • Battle, C. L., & Salisbury, A. L. Treatment of antenatal depression. J Midwifery Women’s Health, 2010, 55(5), 479; author reply 479-480.PMID:20732671
  • Matook, S., Sullivan, M., Salisbury, A., Miller, R., Diurnal Sound Levels in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Network, 2010; 29(2):87-95.PMID:20211830
  • Pearlstein T, Howard M, Salisbury A, Zlotnick C. Postpartum depression. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009(4): 357-64.PMID:19318144; PMCID: PMC3918890
  • Salisbury, A.L., Ponder, K.L., Padbury, J.F. and Lester, B.M. Fetal Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. Clinics in Perinatology, 2009, 36(3):595-619. PMID:19732616; PMCID:PMC2767264
  • Stroud, L.R., Paster, R.P., Niaura, R., Amy L. Salisbury, A.L., Battle, C., Lagasse, L.L. & Lester, B.M., Maternal smoking during pregnancy and newborn neurobehavior: Effects at 10-27 days, Journal of Pediatrics 2009;154(1):10-16. PMID: 18990408; PMCID:PMC3026585
  • Battle, C. L. Zlotnick, C., Pearlstein, T., Miller, I.W., Howard, M., Salisbury, A.L. & Stroud, L. Depression and breastfeeding: Which postpartum patients take antidepressant medications?, Depression and Anxiety 2008;25(10):888-891. PMID:17431885; PMCID: PMC3918906
  • Salisbury, A.L., Lester, B.M., Seifer, R., LaGasse, L., Bauer, C., Shankaran, S., Bada, H., Wright, L., Liu, J., and Poole, K. Prenatal Cocaine Use and Maternal Depression: Effects on Infant Neurobehavior, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2007;29:331-340. PMID:17258430; PMCID:PMC1955229
  • Salisbury, A., Duncan Fallone, M., Lester, B., Neurobehavioral Assessment from Fetus to Infant: The NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale and the Fetal Neurobehavior Coding System.Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research and Reviews, 2005; 11(1): 14-20.PMID:15856444
  • Salisbury, A.L., Yanni, P., LaGasse, L., and Lester, B., 2004. Maternal-Fetal Psychobiology: A Very Early Look at Emotional Development. In Emotional Development: Recent Research Advances, J. Nadel, D. Muir, eds. Oxford University Press.
  • Salisbury, A.L (2004). Mood Disorders. In S. Loue & M. Sajatovic (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Women's Health (Vol. 1, p. 425). US: SpringerLink. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-306-48113-0_282
  • Salisbury, A.L (2004). Maternal Separation. In S. Loue & M. Sajatovic (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Women's Health (Vol. 1, p. 398). US: SpringerLink.DOI: 10.1007/978-0-306-48113-0_282
  • Salisbury, A., Law, K., LaGasse, L., Lester, B., Maternal-Fetal Attachment. JAMA 2003; 289(13):170. PMID:12672743
  • Salisbury, A., Minard, K., Hunsley, M., & Thoman, E.B. Audio Recording of Infant Crying: Comparison with Maternal Cry Logs. International Journal of Behavioral Development.,2001;25(5):458-465.
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