Veronica Del Prete Perez

Project Title: Brain-based mechanisms for risk and resilience in postpartum recovery among Hispanic/Latina Women

Hispanic/Latina women are more likely to report antenatal stress which in turn is associated with new onset affective symptoms and other perinatal mood disorders. It is well documented in the literature that stressful life events during pregnancy impact emotional and cognitive changes during the postpartum period and that Hispanic/Latina women experience higher rates of postpartum depression than their general population counterparts, but little is known about how the postpartum period impacts neurobiological variables related to brain function, emotion regulation, and adaptive changes occurring within and beyond the sixteen-week postpartum period. The purpose of Dr. Del Prete Perez’s pilot study is to conduct the formative work needed to assess the evolution of emotion processing during postpartum recovery and assess risk and resilience correlates between 3 weeks and 16 weeks postpartum among 20 healthy Hispanic/Latina participants. This pilot work will test the feasibility and precision of the tools to measure behavioral domains in Hispanic/Latina women during the postpartum period and will develop the fMRI neuroimaging methodology needed to further study emotion dysregulation during early postpartum period. The data and methodologies developed from this study will be used in future long-term studies to investigate the risk and resilience factors that impact the neural systems supporting emotional reactivity and emotion regulation in Hispanic/Latina women. This new knowledge will be used to inform and identify novel approaches and mental health strategies which promote resilience and healthy coping skills in at-risk Hispanic/Latina mothers.

Research Interests

Maternal health disparities, neurodevelopment, neuroimaging, structural and functional MRI

Postdoctoral Associate
Community-Based Research Institute

Dr. Del Prete is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Community-Based Research Institute at Florida International University (FIU). She is also affiliated with the Neuroinformatics and Brain Connectivity (NBC) Laboratory, led by Drs. Angela Laird and Matthew Sutherland). Dr. Del Prete is a foreign Medical Doctor with a specialization in Radiology. She has clinical and research expertise in the diagnosis, evolution, and follow-up of pediatric populations, and she is an active advocate for developing research methods that maintain patient-focused standards of clinical care. Dr. Del Prete aims to become an academic researcher who contributes to studying minority health and health disparities at FIU. Her goal is to develop a neuroimaging research program for maternal and pediatric health disparities. To achieve these objectives, she will use a multi-method approach, including both neuroimaging and behavioral methods.

Skip to content