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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



Joel Gelernter, MD, is Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and Neurobiology; and Director, Division of Human Genetics (Psychiatry), at the Yale University School of Medicine.

The research focus of his laboratory is genetics of psychiatric illness – phenotypes including cocaine, opioid, nicotine, cannabis, and alcohol dependence, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and panic and other anxiety disorders. He also studies a range of related phenotypes, including pharmacogenomics; and basic issues in population and complex trait genetics. The overall approach involves study of genetic polymorphism and sequence variation, on a molecular level and from the perspective of population genetics. Dr Gelernter’s laboratory published genomewide association studies (GWAS) for cocaine, cannabis, and opioid dependence, PTSD, alcohol dependence, nicotine dependence, and several related traits. All of these studies have resulted in the identification of novel risk loci.

Education & Training

  • Fellowship
    Psychiatric genetics, NIMH (1988)
  • MD
    SUNY Downstate Medical Center (1983)
  • BS
    Yale University, Music & Biology (1979)


  • Substance use disorder genetics
    Taipei, Taiwan 2013
    Development of Chinese SSADDA instrument; use in studies of ketamine and opioid dependence
  • Thailand, Illicit drugs
    Thailand 2010
    Thai-US Drug Dependence Genetics Research Training Grant
  • Alcohol, China
    China 2010
    Alcohol Dependence Genetics in a Large Chinese Pedigree
  • Drug dependence genetics
    Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand 2009
    Training program

Departments & Organizations