Damion Grasso, PhD

Associate Professor (PI)

Department of Psychiatry


Research Interests

Dr. Grasso’s research broadly focuses on understanding biobehavioral mechanisms involved in trauma- and stress-related disorders in children and effective strategies for assessing and treating trauma-related impairment. Current and past research is summarized by four foci: (1) Biological and environmental mechanisms associated with violence- and trauma-related stress reactivity in children; (2) Cumulative patterns of exposure to adversity, trauma and associated risk of psychopathology and impairment; (3) Screening and assessment of adversity and associated symptoms; and (4) Psychosocial interventions for treating trauma-related symptoms across the lifespan. Primary research projects include a study examining physiological and epigenetic mechanisms explaining the intergenerational transmission of trauma-related risk in pregnant women and their infants offspring funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD: 1 R21 HD090379-01A1), a NARSAD award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and a Patterson Trust Fellowship Award. Dr. Grasso is also a dual principal investigator on a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; 1 U01 MH113390-01A1) to examine biological and behavioral mechanisms explaining linkages between early violence exposure, stress reactivity, and psychiatric symptoms in young children; i.e., the Adaptation and Resilience in Childhood Study (ARCS).

My research interests and achievements, as described above, directly reflect the mission of InCHIP in promoting and benefitting from rich collaborative relationships across UConn and other local and national entities and involves research that aims to generate ‘scientific knowledge’ and ‘frameworks in health behavior’ at multiple units of analysis including psychophysiology, genetics, family processes, individual differences, and social interactions. Further, my research program offers opportunities to students and early career professionals and directly supports a ‘team science’ approach to learning and discovery.


M.A., Wesleyan University, 2002
Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2011

Recent/Selected Publications

Google Scholar

Contact Information
Phone(860) 679-6708
Mailing Address263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, Connecticut, 06030