Jonathan Schaefer, Ph.D.

Jonathan Schaefer

Research Assistant, Ph D Student


Jon is a Ph.D student in clinical psychology who is currently completing a doctoral internship at the main hospital of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. He joined the Moffitt & Caspi lab in 2013, after working as a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD. He holds a B.A. in Psychology awarded with Highest Honors from Swarthmore College.

Jon's primary research interest is understanding the relationship between stressful life events (SLEs) and psychopathology, using data from genetically-informed, longitudinal studies. Specifically, his research focuses on (i) testing for evidence of (non-)specificity between SLEs and psychiatric outcomes using hierarchical measures of psychopathology, (ii) determining how SLEs "get under the skin" to cause physical and psychiatric disease, and (iii) understanding why some people go on to develop psychiatric symptoms following SLEs, whereas others remain resilient. His work is multi-modal and multi-disciplinary, borrowing measures and approaches from behavioral genetics, epidemiology, and developmental science.

 When not with patients or in the lab, Jon enjoys cooking, reading, and professional eSports. 

Schaefer, Jonathan D., et al. “Early-Life Intelligence Predicts Midlife Biological Age..” The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, vol. 71, no. 6, Nov. 2016, pp. 968–77. Epmc, doi:10.1093/geronb/gbv035. Full Text

Belsky, Daniel W., et al. “Quantification of biological aging in young adults..” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 112, no. 30, July 2015, pp. E4104–10. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.1506264112. Full Text Open Access Copy

Schaefer, Jonathan, et al. “The global cognitive impairment in schizophrenia: Consistent over decades and around the world.” Schizophrenia Research, vol. 150, no. 1, Elsevier BV, Oct. 2013, pp. 42–50. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.schres.2013.07.009. Full Text