Abbey Alkon, PhD, MPH/MSN

Abbey Alkon, PhD, MPH/MSN
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MPH/MSN, Columbia University, New York
Professor, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF School of Nursing
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Epidemiologist

Phone: (415) 476-4695
Fax: (415) 753-2161
Email: [email protected]

UCSF Profiles

Research interests:

I am an Investigator at the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) and Director of the UCSF California Childcare Health Program. I have over 20 years of clinical and research experience in the field of pediatrics, public health, and epidemiology. My research goals are to understand how the social and physical environment affects children’s health and development. My research program is community-based and focuses on low-income, underserved populations of children with multi-level and comprehensive measures of environments, physiology, and health.

I have a national and international reputation for my methodological work assessing young children’s biologic sensitivity using cardiovascular measures of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). As a co- investigator on two NIH grants involving ANS measures (Bush – Preventing Intergenerational Transmission of Obesity and Cardiometabolic Risk and Deardorff – Early Adversity Shapes Adolescent Risk Behavior Trajectories in Mexican Americans), I collaborate regularly with multi-disciplinary research teams.

My research on low-income, minority children includes many studies on health and safety in child care environments. I am known nationally for my research on the effects of child care health consultation on the health and safety in child care and for the development of Health and Safety Checklists based on the national health and safety standards.

Professional Honors and Awards:

  • 2009 Henry K. Silver Memorial Award, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • 2009, 2013 Fulbright Specialist, Fulbright Association, Norway and Switzerland
  • 2009 Susan Aronson Child Care Advocacy Award, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • 2010 Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
  • 2013 IPM Innovators Award, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
  • 2014 UCSF School of Nursing, Overall Teaching Excellence Award

Selected Publications:

  1. Alkon, A., Goldstein, L.H., Smider, N., Essex, M., Kupfer, D., Boyce, W.T. (2003). Developmental and contextual influences on autonomic reactivity in young children. Developmental Psychobiology, 42, 64- 78.
  2. Alkon, A., Davis, N.V., Boyce, W.T., Eskenazi, B. Developmental Changes in Autonomic Nervous System Resting and Reactivity Measures in Latino Children from Six to Sixty Months of Age. (2011). Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 32, 668-677.
  3. Bush, N.R., Alkon, A., Obradovic, J., Stamperdahl, J., Boyce, W.T. (2011). Differentiating challenge reactivity from psychomotor activity in studies of children’s psychophysiology: Considerations for theory and measurement. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 110, 62-79. PMCID: PMC4160114.
  4. Bush, N.R., Caron, Z.K., Blackburn, K.S., Alkon, A. (2016). Measuring cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in toddlers - resting and developmental challenges. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). (108), e53652. PMCID: PMC26967045. .
  5. Boyce WT, Chesney M, Alkon A, Tschann J, Adams S, et al. Psychobiologic reactivity to stress and childhood respiratory illnesses: Results of two prospective studies. J Psychosomatic Medicine. 1995; 57: 411-22.
  6. Boyce WT, Essex MJ, Alkon A, Klein MH, Kalin NH, Kupfer DJ. Father involvement moderates stress reactivity on behavioral symptoms in middle childhood. Child Development. 2006, 45(12):1510-20.
  7. Treadwell M, Alkon A, Quirolo KC, Boyce WT. Stress reactivity as a moderator of family stress, physical and mental health, and functional impairment for children with sickle cell disease. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2010, 31: 491-97.
  8. Alkon A, Waters SF, Boyce WT, Johnson MM, Harley KG, Eskenazi B. Latino children’s autonomic nervous system reactivity moderates the relations between cumulative socioeconomic adversity in the first five years and externalizing behavior problems at seven years. Advances in Pediatric Research. 2016, 3:6.
  9. Alkon A, Boyce WT, Tran L, Harley, K, Eskenazi, B. Prenatal adversities predict Latino children’s autonomic nervous system reactivity trajectories from 6 to 60 months of age. PLoS ONE. 2014, 9(1): e86283. PMCID: 3897676
  10. Alkon A, Harley K, Neilands TB, Tambellini K, Lustig R, Boyce WT, and Eskenazi B. Latino children's body mass index at 2 to 3.5 years predicts sympathetic nervous system activity at 5 years. Childhood Obesity, 2014, 10(3), 214-224. PMCID: PMC4038992
  11. Waters S, Boyce WT, Eskenazi B, Alkon A. The impact of maternal depression and overcrowded housing on associations between autonomic nervous system reactivity and externalizing behavior problems in vulnerable Latino children. Psychophysiology. 2016, 53: 97-104. PMCID: PMC4685726
  12. Ward, T., Gay, C., Anders, T.F., Alkon, A., Lee, K.A. (2008). Sleep and napping patterns in 3-to 5-year old children attending full-day childcare centers. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 33(6), 666-672.
  13. Alkon, A., To, K., Mackie, J.F., Wolff, M., Bernzweig, J. Health and safety needs in early care and education programs: What do directors, child health records, and national standards tell us? (2010). Public Health Nursing. 27(1), 3-16.
  14. Kalmar, E., Ivey, S., Bradman, A., Leonard, V., Alkon A. (2014). Implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) program in child care centers: A qualitative study. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 29, 245-254.
  15. Alkon, A., Crowley, A.A., Benjamin Neelon, S.E., Hill, S., Pan, Y., Nguyen, V., Rose, R., Savage, E, Shipman, L., Kotch, J. (2014). Nutrition and physical activity intervention in child care improves knowledge, policies, and children's body mass index. BMC Public Health. 14, 215.
  16. Alkon, A., To, K., Wolff, M., Mackie, J., Bernzweig, J. (2008). Assessing health and safety in early care and education programs: Development of the CCHP Health and Safety Checklist. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 22(6), 368-377.
  17. Alkon, A., Kalmar, E., Leonard, V., Flint, M.L., Kuo, D., Davidson, N., Bradman A. (2013). Development and Evaluation of an Integrated Pest Management Toolkit for Child Care Providers, Early Childhood Research and Practice (ECRP). 14(2),
  18. Alkon, A., Rose, R., Wolff, M., Kotch, J.B., Aronson, S.S. (2016). Development of a health and safety checklist to assess key, observable national health and safety standards in early care and education programs. Maternal and Child Health Journal. Jan;20(1):114-27.