Sarah I Tarbox PhD Clin
Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry
Psychosis-Risk; Prediction; Social Development; Premorbid Adjustment; Prodrome; Family Studies; Behavior Genetics; Genetic Correlation; Early Intervention; Developmental Pathology
Extensive Research Description
Dr. Tarbox has a long-standing commitment to research and treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The broad focus of her research is 1) identification of clinical-developmental markers of liability to schizophrenia, 2) examination of the biological/genetic basis of clinical antecedents in relation to schizophrenia epidemiology and pathophysiology, and 3) optimization of risk markers to advance risk prediction and screening, facilitate early detection of illness, and inform evidence-based intervention for young people at risk for schizophrenia.
Dr. Tarbox is especially interested in social functioning and developmental pathology of schizophrenia and the relation between social development, stress sensitivity, and risk/exacerbation of schizophrenia psychosis. Of the many schizophrenia pathologies, poor social functioning is an especially sensitive predictor of familial and non-familial vulnerability, contributes unique information to prediction of psychosis, and appears to be an important correlate of schizophrenia deveopmental pathology. Furthermore, interpersonal skills and social cognition may be key targets for treatment of youth at risk for schizophrenia.
Currently, Dr. Tarbox is conducting a family study to examine genetic correlation of social deficits and psychotic-like symptoms in young people at high-risk for psychosis and their discordant siblings, and in control sibling-pairs. Additional projects include an investigation of the relation between stressful or traumatic experiences in early childhood and contribution to risk for psychosis as well as a collaborative effort to identify genetic polymorphisms associated with onset of psychosis and develop an index of polymorphic risk for psychosis.