Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study



The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is the largest study of its kind to date. This landmark study began in 2016 as a collaborative effort by top researchers across the United States to enroll and follow 11,000+ healthy children from age 9-10 into early adulthood. The project will measure brain maturation in the context of social, emotional and cognitive development. This study has enormous potential to inform prevention, treatment intervention, and public health strategies for mental health and substance use.

ABCD and Air Pollution

Using a team science approach, we lead efforts to leverage existing data within the ABCD study to understand how air pollution exposure may influence brain development and risk for mental health problems in developing children across the U.S.

Air Pollution is a neurotoxin

Emerging findings suggest that small air pollution particles can impact the brain. However, questions remain as to whether the adolescent brain may be especially vulnerable to harmful effects of air pollution.

ABCD Linked External Data Working Group

In the ABCD consortium, we co-lead the working group tasked with compiling residential histories and linking these data to estimate an individual’s environmental exposures.


Leveraging the ABCD study, we are investigating how air pollution may impact neurodevelopment and risk for mental health problems over time.

Impact on Policy

This work is important to ensure healthy brain development in today’s children. It is also vital for policy markers charged with regulating air quality in urban cities.

Principal Investigators

Megan Herting, PhD is co-PI of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) ABCD Study site alongside Elizabeth Sowell, PhD.

Explore Research

Evaluation of Two Tribal MAT Grants

Evaluation of Two Tribal MAT Grants

The USC team will also conduct a program evaluation to assess grantee efforts as well as successes and areas for improvement in both the NMAT and TUICDBP grants. Regarding grantee efforts, the USC team seeks to understand strengths, challenges, and key takeaways of grantee approaches to implementing community-defined best practices.

Substance Use Disorder Policy Advocacy Training Program

Substance Use Disorder Policy Advocacy Training Program

USC is delivering the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Policy Advocacy Training Program to address the need for policy advocates focused on SUD issues in California’s American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities.

Collaboration Improvement Project

Collaboration Improvement Project

Challenges around collaboration between state/local entities and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) Tribal nations and Tribal/Urban Indian organizations are common nationwide and span many areas of work. Seeking to learn more about and address some of these challenges, the USC Keck School of Medicine will carry out a project to explore and address some of these challenges as they relate to substance use disorder/opioid use disorder in California.