Zero to Thrive is delighted to welcome Dr. Angela Johnson to a new leadership role as the 

Zero to Thrive Director for Equity and Community Engagement. Learn more about the Zero to Thrive team.

Translational Network and Research

The Zero to Thrive initiative brings together faculty across multiple disciplines to find real-world solutions to the problems families face from pre-conception through early childhood (0-6). Zero to Thrive brings together providers, academics, policy makers, and, importantly, families, to establish a shared agenda and common metrics. 

This type of innovative, multi-layered research, is only possible with active collaborations with communities and multidisciplinary faculty, drawing on the strengths of a leading university with state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise. It is within this work with communities and across disciplines that dynamic and real solutions to lingering social problems can be found.

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It is our goal to work with communities across public-private spheres to significantly impact the health and well-being of families with young children (0 – 6) right from the very start.

Z2T Translational Network and Research Leadership

Maria Muzik, MD, MSc

Co-Director, Zero to Thrive


  • Perinatal Psychiatry: Depression and Anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum
  • Prevention and Therapy of Mother-Infant relationship and attachment disturbances
  • Impact of maternal/family psychiatric illness on early child development
  • Trauma, Stress & Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during childbearing years
  • Neurobiology of Stress, Depression and PTSD
  • Parent-Infant Relationships in Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorders; Infant Attachment Disorders
  • Precursors of early infant stress and emotion regulation
Katherine Rosenblum, PhD, ABPP

Co-Director, Zero to Thrive


  • Infant and early childhood mental health
  • Dyadic and relationship-focused psychotherapy
  • Trauma and loss in infancy and early childhood, including a focus on child welfare
  • Special populations including military families with young children
  • Parent mental health and intergenerational transmission of risk
  • Parenting interventions in early childhoodInfant and early childhood mental health
  • Parental representations and meaning-making systems
Alison Miller, PhD

Steering Committee Chair, Translational Network,

Zero to Thrive


  •  Risk and resilience in children and families
  • Infant and early childhood mental health
  • Child bio-behavioral regulation, family functioning, and social context
  • Basic developmental processes, including self-regulation of emotions, sleep, eating behavior, and neuroendocrine stress responses in young children
  • Children and families who are at risk for unhealthy outcomes for various reasons, including living with maternal incarceration; in poverty conditions; or in high-violence neighborhoods


Kara Zivin, PhD

Professor, Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health

Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

Research Scientist, Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System


University-Community-State Partnership to Evaluate Infant Mental Health Home Visiting

Infant mental health home visiting (IMH-HV) is the primary service delivered to at-risk parents and their young children by Medicaid-funded community mental health service providers across the state of Michigan. The University of Michigan is overseeing two major studies in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health, the Michigan Collaborative for Infant Mental Health Research, and community health service providers to determine the evidence base for the program and ensure its future success.

Study 1 – Detroit Wayne County

Study 1 was a broad, county-wide study that captured data on every family with a child from birth to child age 3 receiving IMH-HV services in Detroit–Wayne County over a two year period (more than 500 families).  IMH clinicians across Detroit-Wayne county representing seven CMH agencies administered clinically relevant assessments to infants and families on a quarterly basis. Data are currently being analyzed by the research team.

Study 2 – Michigan Community Mental Health agency based study

Study 2 provided a more in-depth evaluation of a smaller group of infants and families. Twelve CMH agencies across seven Michigan counties participated. The study enrolled 93 parents from pregnancy through child age 24 months as they began receiving IMH-HV services. Research staff measured multiple domains on a quarterly basis.  These quarterly assessments reflected key federal home visiting benchmark domains including parent and child health, parenting and early relationships, child development, and community referrals and health service utilization. Initial study findings are in press to be published in a special section of the Infant Mental Health Journal.

Thriving Together – a Randomized Controlled Trial of IMH-HV

The Thriving Together study is a randomized controlled trial based at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry designed to develop and test a standardized training protocol in the model and to evaluate the efficacy of IMH-HV on a wide array of parent, child, and family biological, psychological, social, ecological and health outcomes. While the study is closed for new recruitment, data collection continues, and analysis of preliminary data is underway.


High Touch High Tech (HT2)

Research shows that pregnant women suffering from mental health or substance use disorders frequently are not screened at prenatal visits and avoid seeking services due to attitudinal barriers, such as public, perceived, and self-stigmatizing attitudes about seeking help. Zero To Thrive faculty are partnering with Wayne State University on an initiative, High Touch High Tech (HT2), to address these barriers. HT2 uses a tablet-administered tool, the Mommy Checkup app, to screen expectant mothers for mental health and substance use needs. The Mommy Checkup app is universally and proactively administered at prenatal care visits, helping to reach a high proportion of at-risk women, rather than only reaching those who self-identify or are otherwise flagged through less systematic means. The HT2 project is currently adding the option for the woman to connect with a Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC), a Social Worker, who is either embedded in the prenatal care practice or is available by phone or text from a remote site to provide brief psychoeducation and/or referral to and coordination of services. 

Translational Network: What's Happening

Translational Network Spring 2021 Meeting

On May 5th, the Zero to Thrive Translational Network sponsored a Rapid Response Talk and

panel discussion, “Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: Community Engagement in Research and Why It Matters”. This Rapid Response Talk convened panel of community and advocacy leaders and featured community-based efforts to address race/ethnicity related inequities affecting young children and families in Michigan.

Focus on Health Equity: Mom Power Focus Groups

The goal is to strengthen the positive impact and support that Mom Power programs provide diverse populations of mothers and children it serves by soliciting and incorporating ideologically and socially diverse insight and feedback from key stakeholders (mothers and providers who serve them) on the content and potential social, cultural, as well as mental health impact of the Mom Power program on these same audiences.

Z2T Relevant Courses at UM

For those seeking coursework in this area, a file put together by MPH student, Rachel Varisco, lists Zero to Thrive relevant courses across a broad range of University of Michigan departments:

If you're interested in more information or joining the Z2T Translational Network, please contact the Zero to Thrive team: