The Nurture Science Program at Columbia University Medical Center is a unique research program rooted in a new, evidence-based understanding of the critical role emotional connection plays in healthy child development.

Our multidisciplinary team is committed to rigorous research, and continues to develop and test nurture-based therapies that support emotional connection to help children and families address, and even avoid, emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges.


Emotional connection and autonomic
co-regulation drive behavior and development.


The power of nurture is evident from molecular biology to clinical research.


Translating research findings to evidence-based care can help children and families everywhere.

What We Hope to Achieve

Millions of children suffer from emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders that can be addressed or prevented. Current treatment strategies often are not effective. The Nurture Science Program’s work can help children and their families.

Over the past 10 years, the Nurture Science Program has amassed considerable evidence to support interventions that advance the child-family emotional connection that is critical to healthy child development. Imagine the possibilities when all children and families have this kind of support.

Collaborations: Dr. David O’Banion Leads WECS Training for Medical Residents

Dr. David O’Banion, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Emory University, talks about his collaboration with the Nurture Science Program.


Research Findings Point the Way Forward

Exciting work is happening at the Nurture Science Program. This year, the NSP will focus on the Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS), supporting NICU families, and developing tools to support preschool families.


Martha G. Welch, MD, Honored by American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Martha G. Welch, Director of the Nurture Science Program, has been named a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.


Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS) Validated in New Study

A report published in Acta Paediatrica validates this brief measure of mother/infant relational health.