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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 Service Members. 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.

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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 the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying psychiatric traits. She is the co-founder and co-leader of the Latin American Genomics Consortium and co-leader of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders Epigenetics Workgroup. Born and raised in Cayey, a small town from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, she is naturally a mountain/beach lover. She enjoys art, food, travel, spending time with family and friends, and being a mom of two lovely boys.

Lab website:

Daniel F. Levey @dflevey1
Dr. Levey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Human Genetics and Research Health Scientist within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in the American Midwest, he received a Ph.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine with a major in Medical Neuroscience and a minor in Cancer Biology. He received the Larry Kays Fellowship Award for Scientific Achievement from the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute for his work at Indiana. His main research interest is in multilevel omics (with particular focus on genetics and gene expression) underlying affective and anxiety disorders and suicidal behaviors. He is a proud husband and father. In his spare time he enjoys reading, exploring new breweries, sipping whiskey, cinema, and autocross.

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.