The primary aims of my laboratory are (1) to identify and characterize risk genes for psychotic and affective disorders and (2) to specify genetic influences on normal variation of in-vivo measures of brain structure and cognitive function. My work involves the characterization of the multi-scale influence of genetic variation on cognitive processes, basic physiology, brain networks, and on the complex clinical features observed in affective and psychotic disorders. Interpretation of such findings is predicated on a clear understanding of the genetic control of normal neuroanatomic, neurophysiologic and cognitive variation, particularly since genes influencing normal variation are often also associated with pathology. Therefore, a major component of my research focuses on determining the genetic aspects of individual differences. Additionally, as development, aging and comorbid substance use are important factors in psychopathology, my laboratory actively searchers for genetic factors influencing these factors. My research on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and recurrent major depression, combined with methods development and a commitment to teaching, is designed to enhance our ability to identify, treat, and, potentially, prevent these debilitating disorders.
Aging; Bipolar Disorder; Child Development; Depressive Disorder, Major; Genetics; Genetics, Behavioral; Neuropsychology; Schizophrenia; Neuroimaging; Psychiatry and Psychology