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Joel Gelernter, MD

Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience; Director, Division of Human Genetics (Psychiatry)

Contact Information

Joel Gelernter, MD

Mailing Address

  • Psychiatry

    VA CT Healthcare Center S116A2, 950 Campbell Avenue

    West Haven, CT 06516

    United States

Research Summary

The research focus of my laboratory is genetics of psychiatric illness. We study a range of behavioral phenotypes including opioid, cananbis, and alcohol dependence, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders. In addition we study a range of intermediate phenotypes, such as neuroimaging measures; pharmacogenomics; and basic issues in population and complex trait genetics.

The overall approach involves genomewide study of genetic polymorphism and sequence variation, on a molecular level, and from the perspective of population genetics. Current studies include multicenter studies with the goal of identifying genes predisposing to alcohol dependence (using genomewide association analysis and other approaches); a study of the genetics of methamphetamine dependence, in Thailand; studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and numerous substance use disorders in the US Million Veteran Program; and a VA study on the pharmacogenomics of antidepressant response. I also co-lead the Substance Use Disorders group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.

Specialized Terms: Complex trait genetics; Psychiatric genetics; Population genetics; Substance dependence; Pharmacogenomics


Research Interests

Affective Disorders, Psychotic; Alcoholism; Anxiety Disorders; China; Genetics; Genetics, Population; Israel; Polymorphism, Genetic; Psychiatry; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Thailand; Global Health; Substance-Related Disorders

Research Image

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Addictive Behaviors; Mental Health & Behavioral Research; Tobacco AddictionEffect of Flavors and Nicotine on E-Cigarette Appeal and Use in Regular Tobacco-Product Users
Diseases of the Nervous System; Genetics - Adult; Genetics - Pediatric; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchBrain Emotion Circuitry-Targeted Self-Monitoring and Regulation Therapy (BE-SMART)
COVID-19 Inpatient; COVID-19 Outpatient; Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchHave you had COVID-19?