Members

Faculty

Joel Gelernter, MD
The research focus of my laboratory is genetics of psychiatric illness. We study a range of behavioral phenotypes including opioid, cannabis, and alcohol dependence, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders. In addition we study a range of intermediate phenotypes, such as neuroimaging measures; 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. Current studies include multicenter case/control association studies with the goal of identifying genes predisposing to opioid and alcohol dependence (using genome-wide association analysis and other approaches); a whole exome sequencing study of methamphetamine dependence, in Thailand; studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 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.

Renato Polimanti, PhD @RenatoPolimanti
Dr. Polimanti is Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine and his main scientific interests are biological psychiatry, statistical genetics, computational biology, and human evolution. He is involved in large collaborative efforts, including the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, the Million Veteran Project, and the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers. His ultimate scientific goal is to understand the biology of human phenome from multiple perspectives. Renato is a proud European, Italian, and Roman (i.e., born and raised in the caput mundi), in that order. His main non-scientific skills/characteristics include professional dog walker, qualified bookworm, and infamous food addict.

Janitza Montalvo-Ortiz @JanitzaMontalvo
Dr. Montalvo-Ortiz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Human Genetics. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University, and her B.A. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Her main research interests include the study of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in trauma-related psychiatry disorders. She is involved in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder EWAS Workgroup. Born and raised in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in Cayey, she is a native mountain/beach lover, who enjoys art, food, travel, spending time with family and friends, and being a mom of a cute baby boy.

Bao-Zhu Yang, PhD
Dr. Yang is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research interests lie in the discovery of the genetic mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, in particular, substance use and related disorders, and statistical genetics. She was born and raised in Taiwan, and she maintains international collaborations in Taiwan and in China. She enjoys music, painting, and traveling, cooking and good food. She is a regular swimmer.

Hang Zhou, PhD
Dr. Zhou is Associate Research Scientist working on genetics of substance use disorders and comorbid diseases. He received his PhD in computational biology from Partner Institute for Computational Biology (PICB), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015. After that, he joined in Dr. Gelernter’s lab to pursue research on identifying novel genetic risks and exploring the biological etiology for complex psychiatric diseases.