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Members of the Division of Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are engaged in clinical and translational research in patients with mental illness and basic studies, psychiatry and behavior disorders including alcoholism, addictions, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, eating disorders, obesity, Prader-Willi, Alström and fragile X syndromes and genetic factors contributing to these disorders. The Division provides an environment for clinical and basic science investigators to engage and carry out research activities to investigate the causation of a wide-range of neuropsychiatric disorders leading to therapeutic interventions.

Our mission crosses many disciplines including translational research involving basic sciences and clinical domains within the Department and fostering close connections with other Departments at the medical center and graduate schools to provide a framework to support a variety of research areas and expertise in scientific investigations.  Major lab and clinical interests include: 1) Natural history and clinical delineation studies of alcoholism, addiction (e.g., cocaine), schizophrenia, Prader-Willi syndrome and early onset morbid obesity, 2) Epigenetics of alcoholism, obesity, autism and Prader-Willi syndrome and effects of environmental exposures, 3) Coding and non-coding RNA expression patterns and transcriptome changes in alcoholics, obesity-related syndromes and autism and use of brain and lymphoblastoid cell lines, 4) Neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI) and startle-response modulation studies in Prader-Willi syndrome compared with lean and obese subjects using food and non-food viewing paradigm  during pre-and post-meal evaluation sessions and transcranial direct current stimulation, 5)  Genotype-phenotype correlations in Prader -Willi syndrome, 6) Clinical trials to treat individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental illness, fragile X and Prader-Willi syndromes and autism, and 7) Development of pluripotent stem cells from established cell lines in individuals with obesity-related disorders.

Last modified: Nov 21, 2019