Joel Gelernter, MD

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

Research Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism | Division of Human Genetics | Division of Molecular Psychiatry | Neurocognition, Neurocomputation, and Neurogenetics, Division of | Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP) | Psychotherapy Development Center | Stress & Addiction Clinical Research Program | VA Alcohol Research Center | VA-Yale Clinical Neurosciences PTSD Research Program

Global Health Studies

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

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

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, 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 genomewide 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.

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

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
Diseases of the Nervous System, Mental Health & Behavioral Research C4 Gene Dose Effects using 11C-UCB-J PET
Diseases of the Nervous System, Genetics - Adult, Genetics - Pediatric, Mental Health & Behavioral Research Brain Emotion Circuitry-Targeted Self-Monitoring and Regulation Therapy (BE-SMART)
Addictive Behaviors, Alcohol Addiction, Genetics - Adult, Mental Health & Behavioral Research Ability of Partial Inverse Agonist, Iomazenil, to Block Ethanol Effects in Humans

Activities

  • 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, Thailand (2009)

    Training program

Selected Publications

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