RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Distinguished scientists Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., and C. Sue Carter, Ph.D., have joined RTI International.

Their research will focus on the neural mechanisms that regulate the endocrine, immune and autonomic functions, and how these mechanisms contribute to health and social behavior.

Porges is internationally-renowned for his research in autonomic psychophysiology, novel methods for quantifying neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system, and an integrative theory linking behavior and physiology (i.e., Polyvagal Theory) that is having an impact on the treatment of trauma and autism.

In addition to his role at RTI, he is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Psychiatry, the Department of Bioengineering and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.

Previously he held faculty positions at the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and West Virginia University, and served as chairman of the Department of Human Development at the University of Maryland. While at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he served as director of the Brain-Body Center in the College of Medicine.

Porges serves on the editorial boards for Developmental Review and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. He was named Emeritus by the Association for Psychological Science in 2010. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, a consortium of societies representing approximately 20,000 bio-behavioral scientists.

Porges holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University.

Carter is an internationally-recognized expert in behavioral neuroendocrinology. She was the first person to identify the physiological mechanisms responsible for social monogamy, and her research interests focus on the neurobiological basis of behavior and the developmental and epigenetic effects of early experience.

For 11 years, she was a professor of psychiatry and the co-director of the Brain-Body Center at UIC. Prior to those positions, she was Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland and assistant through full professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her research programs have discovered important new developmental functions for oxytocin and vasopressin, and implicated these hormones in the regulation of long-lasting neural effects of early social experiences.

In 2009, Carter was awarded the Wayner-NNOXe Pharmaceutical Award for Translational Research by the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and holds fellow status in that organization. She also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Carter holds a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas.