Back to top

Marsha Gerdes PhD

Senior Psychologist

Marsha Gerdes (she/her) is senior psychologist at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with a specialty in early childhood development. She has worked at CHOP for over 20 years and serves as associate director of the Neonatal Follow-up Programs. She is also a clinical associate professor of pediatrics in the associated faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. She currently serves as a member of the Access Committee of Philadelphia’s A Running Start campaign. Previously she served as an advisory board member of the Mayor’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee, as well as co-director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Committee of the Philadelphia Compact.

Dr. Gerdes’ many interests include neurodevelopmental outcome of infants with preterm birth and congenital abnormalities, developmental and behavioral screening, and parenting support for depressed caregivers. Dr. Gerdes is co-investigator on several research projects that study developmental outcomes of babies born with various congenital anomalies, and is part of the Neonatal Research Network of the NIH. She also provides ongoing clinical support for families of young children who are at high risk for developmental disabilities and other perinatal or neonatal illnesses through The Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Follow-up Program. Additionally, Dr. Gerdes helps lead efforts at CHOP to use health information technology to enhance early identification and treatment of developmental and mental health concerns in children. Dr. Gerdes also works more broadly on interventions that target children at risk, such as through projects to assess, translate, and disseminate developmental and behavioral screening tools for immigrant children from various backgrounds. She is also part of a project to assess a peer-based social media intervention among low-income mothers to promote healthy infant growth.

Dr. Gerdes received her PH.D. in school psychology at University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Albion College in Michigan. She has been licensed since 1986.