Nestor Lopez-Duran

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Nestor Lopez-Duran

Assistant Professor

Office Location(s): 2253 East Hall
Phone: 734.936.5819
Michigan Psychoeuroendocrinology Affective Laboratory

  • About

    The overall goal of my research program is to advance our understanding of the role of stress regulation in childhood mood disorders. To this end, my primary line of research focuses on examining the role of a key physiological stress response system, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary- Adrenal (HPA) axis, on the onset and course of pediatric depression. Within this area, I’m specifically interested in identifying and elucidating the mechanisms, antecedents, and consequences of atypical HPA-axis functioning in depressed children and adolescents. In addition, I’m pursuing a more broad secondary line of research focused on identifying protective and risk mechanisms of stress regulation in pediatric depression. Specifically, I am currently identifying behavioral, physiological, cognitive, and affective factors that either mitigate or exacerbate the negative consequences of stressful events in at-risk and clinically depressed youth.

    Prospective Graduate Students: Please visit my laboratory website ( for information about the type of students I seek and whether I will consider applications in the upcoming application cycle.

    Manuscript under peer-review: 

    Lopez-Duran, N.L., McGinnis*, E., Kuhlman*, K.R., Geiss*, E., Mayer*, S.E. (Under Review). Evidence of atypical HPA-axis regulation to psychosocial stress in children and teens with clinical depression

    Lopez-Duran, N.L., Kuhlman*, K.R., Bylsma, L.M., George, C., Kovacs, M. (Under review). No evidence of cognitive flexibility deficits when processing affective stimuli in youth at familial risk for depression.

    McGinnis*, E., Lopez-Duran, N.L., Martinez-Torteya, C., Abelson, J., Muzik. M. (Under Review) Cortisol Awakening Response and Internalizing Symptoms Across Childhood: A Test of the Developmental Shift Hypothesis.

    Kimel*, S.Y., Lopez-Duran N.L., Kitayama S. (Under Review) Cortisol and cognitive dissonance: No evidence of a physiological stress response to post-choice dissonance.

    Vargas*, I., Diaz*, V., Lopez-Duran, N.L. (Under Review). The effect of sleep on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress reactivity in middle childhood.

    Recent Publications: *Students

    Simonsic*, T.E., Kuhlman*, K. R., Houchins*, S., Lopez-Duran, N.L. (In Press). Facebook use and depressive symptoms in college students: The role of personality factors. Computers and Human Behavior.

    Mayer*, S.E., Abelson, J.A., Lopez-Duran, N.L.  (In Press). Cognition and stress context interact in shaping neuroendocrine reactivity during childhood: Implications for stress reactivity research. Hormones & Behavior.

    Lopez-Duran, N.L., Mayer*, S.E, Abelson J.L. (2014). Modeling neuroendocrine stress reactivity in salivary cortisol: Adjusting for peak latency variability. Stress, 17(4), 285-295

    Abelson J.L., Erickson, T.M., Mayer*, S.E., Crocker, J., Briggs, H., Lopez-Duran, N.L., Liberzon, I. (2014). Brief cognitive intervention can modulate neuroendocrine stress responses to the Trier Social Stress Test: Buffering effects of a compassionate goal orientation.  Psychoneuroendocrinology, 44, 60-70

    Vargas*, I., Lopez-Duran, N.L., (2014). Dissecting the impact of sleep and stress on the cortisol awakening response in young adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 40, 10-16

    Kuhlman*, K.R., Olson, S.L., Lopez-Duran, N.L.  (2014) Predicting developmental changes in internalizing symptoms: Examining the interplay between parenting and neuroendocrine stress reactivity. Developmental Psychobiology. 56(5), 908-923.

    Lopez-Duran, N.L., Kuhlman*, K.R., George, C.J., Kovacs, M., (2013) Facial expression recognition in children at familial risk for depression: Evidence for oversensitivity to sadness in high risk boys.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 54(5), 565-574

    Kovacs, M., & Lopez-Duran, N.L. (2012). Contextual Emotion Regulation Therapy: A Developmentally-Based Intervention for Pediatric Depression. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 21(2), 327-343

    Lopez-Duran, N. L., Nusslock, R., Kovacs, M., & George, C.J (2012). Frontal EEG asymmetry moderates the effects of stressful life events on internalizing symptoms in children at familial risk for depression. Psychophysiology. 49(4), 510-521

    Feng, X., Forbes, E.E., Kovacs, M., George, C.J., Lopez-Duran, N.L., Fox, N.A., & Cohn, J.F. (2012). Children’s Depressive Symptoms in relation to EEG Frontal Asymmetry and Maternal Depression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 40(2), 265-276.

    Olino, T.M.,  Lopez-Duran, N.L.,  Kovacs, M., George, G.J., Gentzler, A.L., Shaw, D.S. (2011) Developmental trajectories of positive and negative affect in high and low familial risk for depression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.  52(7), 792-799

    Olson, S. L., Lopez-Duran, N. L., Lunkenheimer, E.S., Chang, H. & Sameroff, A.J. (2011).  Individual Differences in the Development of Early Peer Aggression: Integrating Contributions of Self-Regulation, Theory of Mind, and Parenting. Development and Psychopathology. 23(1), 253-266

    Kovacs, M. & Lopez-Duran, N.L. (2010). Prodromal symptoms and atypical affectivity as predictors of major depression in juveniles: Implications for prevention. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(4), 472-496

    Lopez-Duran  N. L., Kovacs, M. & George, C. (2009).  Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis dysregulation in depressed children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(9), 1272-1283

    Lopez-Duran, N. L., Hajal, N. J., Olson, S. L., Felt, B., & Vazquez, D. M. (2009).  Individual differences in salivary cortisol response to fear and frustration in children: A methodological examination of peak timing and stress modality. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 103(3), 285-295.

    Lopez-Duran, N. L., Vazquez, M., Felt, B., Olson, S. L. (2009).  An integrative approach to the neurophysiology of emotion regulation.  In S.L. Olson and A.J. Sameroff (Eds), Regulatory processes in the development of behavior problems: Biological, behavioral, and social interactions.  Cambridge University Press.

    Lopez-Duran, N. L., Hajal, N. J., Olson, S. L., Felt, B., & Vazquez, D. M. (2009).  Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis functioning in reactive and proactive aggression in children.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(2), 169-182.

    Baji, I., Lopez-Duran, N. L. *, Kovacs, M., George, C., László, M. L., Kapornai, k., Kiss, E., & Vetro, A., (2009).  Age, sex, somatic complaints, and the symptom presentation of childhood depression in a Hungarian clinical sample.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 70(10), 1467-72 (*Corresponding Author)

    Mayer, L., Lopez-Duran, N. L.*, Kovacs, M., George, C., Baji, I., Kapornai, k., Kiss, E., & Vetro, A. (2009).  Stressful life events in a clinical sample of depressed children in Hungary.  Journal of Affective Disorders. 115(1-2), 207-214. (*Corresponding Author)

  • Area
    • Clinical