Bright, Melissa

Melissa Bright -portrait for HOP. Requested by Cherrie Bell 627-9466

Assistant Scientist
Faculty, Institute for Child Health Policy

Phone: (352) 294-8436

2197 Mowry Road, 126
PO Box 100177
Gainesville, FL 32611



  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, The University of Georgia
  • M.S., Developmental Psychology, The University of Georgia
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida

Professional Biography 

Dr. Melissa Bright is an Assistant Research Scientist in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida. Her research program focuses on childhood adversity (e.g., maltreatment, household dysfunction, caregiver mental illness) and the pathways from adversity to poor health. She is particularly interested in the physiological mechanisms underlying the link between adversity and health as well as developing tools to identify, manage, and prevent adverse events through pediatric practice. Additionally, Dr. Bright is interested in child advocacy and how victims of child maltreatment are served through Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program.

Dr. Bright currently oversees the contracted evaluation for the Florida KidCare Program and conducts adversity-related research studies of children enrolled in Medicaid and SCHIP.


The goal of Dr. Bright’s research is to alter the health trajectory of children who experience early adversity with a focus on identifying, managing, and preventing this adversity through pediatric practice.

For Dr. Bright’s recent news, publications, grants, and more, click here.