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Champagne, Frances

Frances A Champagne

Department of Psychology


Office Location
SEA 4.212A

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

After completing a B.A. in Psychology at Queen’s University (Canada), I delved into the genetic and environmental risk factors in psychopathology at McGill University in the M.Sc. program in Psychiatry.  I then started a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at McGill University examining the role of mother-infant interactions in shaping the brain.  In 2004, I received a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to conduct postdoctoral research at Cambridge University (UK), examining the role of imprinted genes in development and social behavior.  From 2006-2017, I was a faculty in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and established a research group examining the epigenetic influence of early life experiences.  My interests focus on the interplay between genes and environment that shape neural and behavioral outcomes and the implications of this dynamic interplay for inheritance of traits


Research in the Champagne Lab explores the developmental plasticity that occurs in response to environmental experiences. We are particularly interested in the impact of early life experiences on behavior, the neural mechanisms associated with these environmentally mediated effects and the epigenetic variationthat allows these effects to persist within and across generations leading to the epigenetic inheritance of health and behavior.




Curley JP, Mashoodh, R, Champagne FA2017, Transgenerational Epigenetics. In Handbook of Epigenetics: The New Molecular and Medical Genetics (2nd Edition). Academic Press.

Nätt D, Barchiesi R, Murad J, Feng J, Nestler EJ, Champagne FA, Thorsell A, 2017, Perinatal Malnutrition Leads to Sexually Dimorphic Behavioral Responses with Associated Epigenetic Changes in the Mouse Brain. Sci Rep7(1):11082.


Champagne FA, 2016, Epigenetic legacy of parental experiences: Dynamic and interactive pathways to inheritance. Dev Psychopathol 28(4pt2):1219-1228.

Champagne FA & Curley JP, 2016, Plasticity of the maternal brain across the lifespan. In HJV Rutherford & LC Mayes (Eds.), Maternal brain plasticity: Preclinical and human research and implications for intervention. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 153, 9–21.

Peter CJ, Fischer LK, Kundakovic M, Garg P, Jakovcevski M, Dincer A, Amaral AC, Ginns EI, Galdzicka M, Bryce CP, Ratner C, Waber DP, Mokler D, Medford G, Champagne FA, Rosene DL, McGaughy JA, Sharp AJ, Galler JR, Akbarian S, 2016, DNA methylation signatures of early childhood malnutrition associated with impairments in attention and cognition. Biol Psychiatry 80(10):765-774.

Donaldson ZR, le Francois B, Santos TL, Almli LM, Boldrini M, Champagne FA, Arango V, Mann JJ, Stockmeier CA, Galfalvy H, Albert PR, Ressler KJ, Hen R, 2016, The functional serotonin 1a receptor promoter polymorphism, rs6295, is associated with psychiatric illness and differences in transcription.Transl Psychiatry 6:e746.

Curley JP, Champagne FA, 2016, Influence of maternal care on the developing brain: Mechanisms, temporal dynamics and sensitive periods. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 40:52-66.

Rubenstein DR, Skolnik H, Berrio A, Champagne FA, Phelps S, Solomon J, 2016, Sex-specific fitness effects of unpredictable early life conditions are associated with DNA methylation in the avian glucocorticoid receptor. Molecular Ecology 25(8):1714-28.

Monk C, Feng T, Lee S, Krupska I, Champagne FA, Tycko B, 2016, Distress during pregnancy: Epigenetic regulation of placenta glucocorticoid-related genes and fetal neurobehavior. Am J Psychiatry173(7):705-13.

Miller RL, Yana Z, Mahera C, Zhanga H, Gudsnuk K, McDonalde J, Champagne FA, 2016, Impact of prenatal polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure on behavior, cortical gene expression, and DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene. Neuroepigenetics 5: 11-18.

Stolzenberg D & Champagne FA, 2016, Non-hormonal bases of maternal behavior: The role of experience and epigenetic mechanisms. Hormones & Behavior 77:204-10.

Champagne FA & Isles AR, 2016, Editorial overview: Development and behavior. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 7:iv–vi.