The National Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of experts in the fields of neuroscience, communication, child psychiatry, child psychology, pediatrics, education, information science, and public health who are passionate about advancing objective, high-level, evidence-based, multi-disciplinary research on the impact of digital media on children and adolescents. Our advisors serve 2 year terms and work with Institute staff to advance the organization’s goals, provide advice on and evaluation of the Institute’s work, strategy, structure and membership, peer review grant proposals to fund, help plan national conferences, and oversee working groups of experts and researchers on specific areas of interest.


Melina Uncapher, PhD

Research Associate, Psychology; Co-Founder and CEO, Institute for Applied Neuroscience, Stanford University

About Dr. Uncapher

Dr. Uncapher is a Research Associate in Psychology at Stanford University. She received both her BS and PhD in Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine and did her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University. In 2013 she was named a Network Scholar for The MacArthur Foundations Research Network on Law and Neuroscience. She was the recipient of the NIH/NIMH: Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral National Research Service Award. She is currently an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Science and Law as well as the Co-founder and Director, CEO, of Research for the Institute for Applied Neuroscience: Science for Good.

Michael Brody, MD

Chair of the Media Committee of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Maryland

About Dr. Brody

Dr. Michael Brody is a psychiatrist in private practice. He is Chair of the Media Committee of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Celebrity Section of the Popular Culture Association. He teaches at The University of Maryland and has published widely on the impact of psychology on popular culture. He is the co-author of Messages: Self Help Through Popular Culture.

Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH

Director, Center for Child Health, Behavior & Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute; Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington

About Dr. Christakis

Dr. Christakis is director of Seattle Children's Research Institute's Center for Child Health,
Behavior and Development, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital. Dr. Christakis is a leading expert on how media affects child health and development. He has published dozens of media-related studies and co-authored a groundbreaking book, The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work for your Kids. His work has been featured on Anderson Cooper 360, the Today Show, ABC, NBC, and CBS news as well as all major national newspapers. Christakis received his undergraduate degree at Yale University and his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Carrie James, PhD

Research Director, Principal Investigator, Project Zero; Harvard Graduate School of Education

About Dr. James

Dr. James is a Research Director and Principal Investigator at Project Zero, and Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A sociologist by training, Carrie’s research explores young people's digital, moral, and civic lives. Since arriving at PZ in 2003, Carrie has worked with Howard Gardner and colleagues on The Good Project. She co-directs the Good Play Project, a research and educational initiative focused youth, ethics, and the new digital media, and the Good Participation project, a study of how youth “do civics” in the digital age. Carrie is also co-PI of the Out of Eden Learn project, an educational companion to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek's epic Out of Eden walk. Her publications include Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap (The MIT Press, Forthcoming, 2014). Carrie is a recurring faculty member for the Project Zero Classroom and the Future of Learning summer institutes. She holds an M.A.(1996) and a Ph.D.(2003) in Sociology from New York University.

Elizabeth Englander, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, Bridgewater State University

About Dr. Englander

Dr. Englander graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with Phi Beta Kappa and High Honors, and completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Southern California as an All-University Merit Fellow. She was awarded a Presidential Fellowship to found and direct the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, which delivers free anti-violence and anti-bullying programs, resources, and research to K-12 Education. She was the Special Editor for the Cyberbullying issue of the Journal of Social Sciences, and has authored about a hundred articles in academic journals and books. Dr. Englander has been named the Chair of the Cyberbullying Work Group at the Institute for Digital Media and Child Development, which is supported by the National Academy of Sciences to help define the national research agenda concerning digital technology's impact upon children's development. She is the author of Understanding Violence, and of Bullying and Cyberbullying: A Guide for Educators, recently released by Harvard Press.

Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP

Chief, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Director, Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

About Dr. Czeisler

Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP is the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine, Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Czeisler has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of basic and applied research on the physiology of the human circadian timing system and its relationship to the sleep-wake cycle. For more than a decade he served as Team Leader of the Human Performance Factors, Sleep and Chronobiology Team of NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute, which is responsible for developing sleep-wake schedule guidelines and related countermeasures for use by NASA astronauts and mission control personnel during space exploration. Dr. Czeisler has served on and consulted to a number of national and international advisory committees, including the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the Sleep Research Society, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Transport Association and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation.

Patrick W. Kelley, MD, DrPH

Distinguished Fellow of Nursing & Health Studies at Fairfield University; Boards on Global Health and African Science Academy Development at the U.S. National

About Dr. Kelley

Dr. Kelley graduated cum laude in 1976 from Fairfield with a major in biology. He joined the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies in July 2003 as the Director of the Board on Global Health. He also leads the Board on African Science Academy Development. Dr. Kelley oversees a portfolio of IOM advisory activities on subjects as wide ranging as: the evaluation of U.S. global HIV/AIDS programs, U.S. global health policy, sustainable global surveillance for zoonotic infections, and cardiovascular disease and interpersonal violence prevention in developing countries. The African Science Academy Development Initiative is a $20 million effort to strengthen the capacity of eight African academies to provide authoritative, independent, evidence-based policy advice to their governments on scientific matters. Before joining the National Academies, Dr. Kelley served in the U.S. Army as a physician, residency director, epidemiologist, and program manager. He retired as a Colonel in 2003. In his last Department of Defense (DoD) position, he founded and directed the DoD Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System. This entailed managing surveillance and capacity-building partnerships with numerous elements of the federal government and with health ministries in over 45 developing countries. He also led DoD humanitarian assistance projects in over a dozen countries and founded the DoD Accession Medical Standards Analysis and Research Activity. Dr. Kelley has lectured in over 20 countries and has published over 65 scholarly papers, book chapters, and monographs. He served as the specialty editor for the two Textbook of Military Medicine volumes on Military Preventive Medicine. Dr. Kelley obtained his MD from the University of Virginia in 1979 as well as an MPH in 1982 and a DrPH in epidemiology in 1994 from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Ellen Wartella, PhD

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Northwestern University.

About Dr. Wartella

Dr. Wartella is Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She is a leading scholar of the role of media in children’s development and serves on a variety of national and international boards and committees on children’s issues. She is co-principal investigator of the Children’s Digital Media Center project funded by the National Science Foundation (2001-2011) and was co-principle investigator on the National TV Violence Study (1995-1998). She has published widely in communication and psychology journals on children’s media issues. Dr. Wartella earned her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and completed her postdoctoral research in developmental psychology in 1981 at the University of Kansas. She was dean of the College of Communication at the University of Texas from 1993-2004 and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of California-Riverside from 2004-2009. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern in March 2010 she was Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Riverside.

Barnaby Marsh, PhD

Philanthropy Executive; former Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Managing Director, Philanthropic Leadership Network, The Templeton Foundation

About Dr. Marsh

Dr. Marsh has created or has advised the structuring and creation of hundreds of philanthropic projects. An expert in risk-taking, new ventures, and communications, he has helped philanthropists realize their philanthropic goals under a wide range of demanding conditions, worldwide. Dr. Marsh's expertise centers on creating new and original philanthropic initiatives, expanding frontiers in the sciences, and promoting new visions of human wellness and possibility. The results his ideas and work have been featured in national print and broadcast media, and projects he has created have informed the policies and practices of the US, UK, and Chinese governments, among others. He is a proponent of integrating market forces in philanthropy, and of using prizes to encourage and celebrate breakthrough solutions. Dr. Marsh is a Summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University and has a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He currently holds affiliations at Harvard University and at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Samuel Aronson, PhD

Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory and President of Brookhaven Science Associates.

About Dr. Aronson

Sam Aronson has been Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory and President of Brookhaven Science Associates since 2006. He has worked at BNL since 1978 and is a Senior Physicist. He received his AB degree in physics from Columbia College in 1964. He did his graduate work under an NSF Graduate Fellowship at Princeton University, receiving his M.S. degree in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in 1968. His research has focused on experimental particle and nuclear physics, with some forays into novel methods of particle acceleration and the search for new fundamental forces. From 1968 to 1977 Aronson held postdoctoral research and faculty positions at the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute and the University of Wisconsin Physics Department. He is a fellow of the APS and of the AAAS. He was a member of the group of particle physicists that produced the “Quantum Universe” report in 2004. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the National Laboratory Directors’ Council (NLDC) and chaired the NLDC in 2009-2010. Aronson currently serves on a number of state and regional councils and boards devoted to innovation, the commercialization of new technologies and economic development. The Federal Laboratory Consortium recently named Aronson Lab Director of the Year for work on improved mechanisms for technology transfer between national laboratories and industry.

Nancy M. Petry, PhD

Professor, Calhoun Cardiology Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine - Media Addictions specialist

About Dr. Petry

Dr. Petry joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1996, and she is presently Professor of Medicine and Director of Behavioral Cardiovascular Prevention in the Calhoun Cardiology Center. Dr. Petry conducts research on the treatment of addictive disorders, ranging from substance use disorders to pathological gambling. Her two primary lines of research involve contingency management interventions for the treatment of substance use disorders and psychotherapies for the treatment of problem and pathological gambling. Her work is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Tracy Day

Co-Founder, World Science Festival.

About Ms. Day

Tracy Day co-founded the World Science Festival in 2008 with world-renowned physicist and best-selling author, Brian Greene. She serves as CEO, and oversees the creative and programmatic offerings of the Festival. A four-time National News Emmy award-winning journalist, she has produced live and documentary programming for the nation’s preeminent television news divisions for over two decades. At ABC News she was producer for This Week with David Brinkley, editorial and field producer for Nightline and story editor for the news magazine, Day One. She produced on-location coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in South Africa, the refugee crisis in Haiti, drug cartels in Colombia, the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in Baghdad and the exodus of Iraqi Kurds into Iran in the wake of the Gulf War, and many other major international stories. Domestically, she covered the San Francisco earthquake, Oklahoma City bombing, the OJ Simpson criminal trial, the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster and numerous presidential elections. Ms. Day has produced documentaries, specials and live town meeting broadcasts for PBS, The Discovery Channel, CNN, Lifetime and CNBC. In addition to Emmy Awards, she won a Hugo Award, a 2004 Clarion Award and the CINE Golden Eagle for investigative journalism. Ms. Day is a graduate of Duke University and has been an adjunct professor in the Leadership and the Arts program at the Sanford Institute for Public Policy.

David Meyer, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory, University of Michigan.

About Dr. Meyer

Prof. David E. Meyer, Ph. D., is a faculty member of the Cognition and Perception Program in the Department of Psychology at Michigan. A mathematical psychologist and cognitive scientist, he received his Ph. D. from the University of Michigan and subsequently worked for several years as a Member of Technical Staff in the Human Information Processing Research Department at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan. Prof. Meyer is a fellow in the Society of Experimental Psychologists, American Psychological Society, American Psychological Association, and American Associ ation for The Advancement of Science. The American Psychological Association has honored him with its Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. His teaching and his research -- sponsored by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and Office of Naval Research -- have dealt with fundamental aspects of human perception, attention, learning, memory, language, movement production, reaction time, multitasking, executive mental control, human-computer interaction, personality and cognitive style, cognitive aging, cognitive neuroscience, mathematical models, and computational models. Reports of this research have appeared in various books and periodicals such as Science, the Psychological Review, Cognitive Psychology, Memory & Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Journal of Memory and Language, and volumes of the Attention and Performance symposium series, as well as other publications. After completing their doctoral degrees, Prof. Meyer's numerous graduate students have taken professional positions at major universities and research institutions throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Karen Dill Shackleford, PhD

Faculty member in the Media Psychology Doctoral Program at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA

About Dr. Dill-Shackleford

Dr. Dill-Shackleford is a social psychologist publishes research on the role of media in our everyday social lives. She is amazed that scholars have cited her dissertation on video game violence in peer-reviewed journals more than 1,500 times. She is also amazed that she has a car named after her in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV. She has testified twice before the U.S. Congress about the role of media in social life. Her recent publications have focused on using media to improve wellbeing and to promote social justice, especially as related to gender, race and other social categories. She also studies how people use the stories from our culture (e.g., film, television, books) to help us better understand relationships, values, and even the meaning in life. This research includes the social and psychological benefits of fandom. Dr. Dill-Shackleford is the chair of the research group on social representations in the media of the Institute on Digital Media and Child Development. She is the author of How Fantasy Becomes Reality (2009, 2016, Oxford), co-author of Mad Men Unzipped (2015; U of IA Press) and is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology (Oxford, 2013). She is currently at work with Cynthia Vinney on another book from Oxford University Press; the working title is Finding Truth in Fiction: The Benefits of Getting Lost in a Story.