Prof. Faraone studies the nature and causes of mental disorders in childhood and has ongoing research in psychiatric genetics, psychopharmacology, with a current focus on applications of data driven computational models (DDCMs) including classical machine learning and deep learning. His ongoing DDCM projects are: 1) predict neuro-developmental disorders and test hypotheses about brain differences in the disorders; 2) predict disorders from genome-wide association data and to test hypotheses about epistasis from such data; 3) predict comorbid psychiatric and somatic conditions among patients with ADHD and 4) to predict response to medications that treat ADHD. He also has a research program to create and disseminate quality measures for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults.
Stephen V. Faraone, PhD CV
Dr. Glatt is Director of the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory (PsychGENe Lab). The mission of the PsychGENe Lab is to develop and apply methods for finding the causes of mental health and mental illness. The vision of the lab is that we will discover those causes and use that information to design interventions that treat or prevent these disorders, or foster resilience to them. We are running numerous research projects aimed at finding the genes and environmental risk factors for a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and substance abuse disorders, among others. Our pipeline seeks to identify “risk genes” for these disorders by studying affected individuals and families and then to reveal how such genes alter brain biology leading to a vulnerability to mental illness.
Stephen Glatt, PhD CV
Dr. Hess' research is focused on developing and applying novel computational ‘omics methods to find risk and resilience factors for neuropsychiatric disorders.
Jonathan L. Hess CV
Dr. Licinio's work has examined the link between obesity and depression, looking into how anti-depressants can cause weight gain. Most recently, he co-led, with Dr. Ma-Li Wong, a study with a team of international researchers providing evidence of a strong link between schizophrenia and the organisms that reside in the digestive tract. The team found through genetic sequencing, vast differences of the gut microbiomes found in those with schizophrenia. These findings could transform the way schizophrenia is treated. He is also founder and current editor-in-chief of Molecular Psychiatry.
Julio Licinio , MD/PhD CV
Dr. Lin's work focuses on exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms by which experience is coupled to modifications of neural circuits that lead to long term behavioral changes, with ongoing projects in 4 areas: 1) Molecular & circuit mechanisms of learning & memory; 2) Neural circuit assembly and synapse development; 3) Molecular & circuit mechanisms of Neurological disorders; & 4) Neurogenetic tool development. Lin lab research carry out their studies using multi-disciplinary approaches, i.e. molecular and cellular biology, mouse genetics, electrophysiology, imaging, chemogenetics, optogenetics and mouse behavior.
Dr. Liu’s laboratory is studying how genetic variants impact gene expression, protein abundance and various levels of regulatory networks, ultimate influence the risks of developing major psychiatric disorders, treatment responses, as well as related psychological, behavioral traits. Funded by NIH, his current projects are about regulatory networks in genomics, epigenomics, and proteomics of postmortem brains. Multiple advanced sequencing-based technologies, cell biology and bioinformatics methods are commonly used in this lab to facilitate discovery of risk genes and pathways.
Chunyu Liu , PhD CV
Professor Satish studies the use of man-machine simulation methodologies to assess and train human factors and productivity across many fields. This methodology is used worldwide to measure decision making and critical thinking in people both in clinical and non-clinical settings. These simulations focus on higher order cognitive processes, that impact decision making and include such functions as initiation, information management, planning, strategy, problem solving and flexibility. These skills are important for adaptation and productivity in real world situations and are closely aligned with employees’ actual work functions. Her work includes understanding the impact of environmental variables on decision making; the impact of different pharmaceutical agents on thinking abilities and the impact of burden of disease on critical thinking. She is also actively involved in use of this methodology in metacognitive training of health care professionals. Her contributions to the field are considered seminal and have impacted the understanding of the interactions of the environment and metacognition in different fields.
Dr. Schulze’s research focuses on genotype-phenotype relationship in psychiatric disorders. He coordinates a German-wide center grant on longitudinal psychosis research (www.kfo241.de; www.PsyCourse.de) and spearheads an international study on the genetic basis of response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder (www.ConLiGen.org), comprising several research groups from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia.
Dr. Servatius' program of research spans rodent models of learning and coping to studies of civilians, active duty military and veterans. The primary focus is detailing learning diathesis models for mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. Another line of research is toward the development of objective signs in mild traumatic brain injury to break the reliance on self-report symptoms. Dr. Servatius has active collaborations with the Department of Defense with the Stress & Motivated Behavior Institute (SMBI) as a centerpiece of the collaborative efforts.
My research focuses on the psychosocial issues that affect patients with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes. I have developed and tested effective and practical interventions for patients with diabetes, those at risk, and their partners, to help them achieve better physical health (e.g., control of blood sugar, weight) and quality of life. I have also studied the relationship between depression/anxiety and diabetes outcomes. My current NIH-funded project follows young adults with type 2 diabetes to better understand factors that affect medication adherence and healthcare usage, to design more effective behavioral interventions for this vulnerable group.
The long-term goals of Dr. Wong's research are to develop a translational research program that spans the bench and the clinic to understand the molecular, cellular and circuit bases of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, particularly those comorbid with metabolic disorders. Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic consequences of obesity are associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and dementia. The ongoing focus on Dr. Wong's lab include: Characterization of novel biomarkers in major depression and the role of specific genes or pathways in depression, including the inflammasome signaling. Additionally, she co-led with Dr. Licinio the research that made the connection between schizophrenia and the gut microbiomes, whose findings could transform the way schizophrenia is treated in the future.
Ma-Li Wong , MD, PhD CV
The Yao Lab studies neural mechanisms underlying reward, affect, and prosocial behaviors in normal and disease conditions, with a focus in dopamine and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Combining electrophysiology, behavior, optogenetics, and chemogenetics, we investigate how intrinsic and synaptic plasticity and modulation in PFC circuits are impaired in addiction, FTD (frontotemporal dementia), and related brain disorders, leading to behavioral deficits associated with these diseases. Employing molecular and cellular approaches, we also elucidate novel molecular mechanisms that regulate synapse formation, stabilization, and pruning. We use transgenic and viral-transduced mouse models and human iPSC-derived neurons.
Wei-Dong Yao, PhD CV
Dr. Zhang-James primary research focus is etiological and mechanistic study of neuropsychiatric disorders that has a childhood onset. Her lab is one of the leading research groups on study of an ADHD and autism risk gene, SLC9A9. Her research also encompasses wide interdisciplinary fields and is part of several international consortiums and collaborative projects, including the AGGRESOTYPE consortium, the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium, and the CoCA (Comorbid Conditions of ADHD) project. She is committed to developing cutting-edge methods to advance neuropsychiatric research and to improve our understanding and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders
Clinical Research Faculty
Faculty in the Psychiatry Research Division primarily conduct research on mental health disorders however, other faculty in the Psychiatry Division listed below conduct clinical research in areas such as suicide intervention, addiction, workplace environment, and child psychiatric diagnosis & treatment.
Brian Johnson, MD,
Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, MBBS, MPH
Nayla Khoury, MD
Nevena Radonjic, MD/PhD
Zsuzsa Szombathyne Meszaros, MD, PhD
Dr. Wendy Kates, PhD
Neurodevelopment and gene-brain-behavior interactions in children with genetic and developmental disorders, primarily 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and autism