School of Medicine
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Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Principal Investigator
Infrastructure to facilitate discovery of autism genes
The purpose of this project is to facilitate the discovery of the genes that contribute autism by maintaining an infrastructure which research groups studying the genetics of autism can work collaboratively. This will be
accomplished through workshops, a Virtual Private Network, and access to a database that includes phenotype and genotype data from all participating groups.
A California Population-Based Twin Study of Autism
This will address several fundamental questions: (1) What is the heritability of autism (2) What is the contribution of genetic factors to variation in symptom dimensions? (3) Is there a continuum between the quantitative neurocognitive traits and clinical disorder? (4) What proportion of the variance in the neurocognitive traits is accounted for by genetic and non-genetic factors?
Center for Integrating Ethics in Genetics Research(Cho)
The goal of this project is to serve as a center of excellence in neurogenetics research, to develop a national model for bench, to bedside research ethics consultation, and to provide training opportunity in biomedical ethics.
Gene, Brain and Behavior in Turner Syndrome(Reiss)
The primary objective of this project is to use advanced, multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, analyses of X chromosome parent-of-origin and cognitive-behavioral assessment to elucidate the effects of monosomy and X-linked imprinting on neurodevelopment and neural function in a large cohort of young girls with Turner syndrome, pre-estrogen replacement.
Project F: Genomic Analysis in narcolepsy cataplexy
The goal of the project is to locate genes outside the HLA region that influence susceptibility to narcolepsy. In order to localize these genes we will carry out a linkage and association study in the most extensive world-wide collection of DNAs from well-characterized patients with narcolepsy and their families.
Professor of Pediatrics (Adolescent Medicine) and, by courtesy, of Epidemiology and Population Health and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Research focuses on developmental, cognitive and psychosocial factors involved in adolescents’ and young adults’ health-related decision-making, perceptions of risk and vulnerability, health communication and risk behavior. My research has focused on understanding and reducing health risk behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol and marijuana use, risky driving, and risky sexual behavior.
Antonio Hardan, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly Interests The neurobiology of autism
Neuroimaging in individuals with autism
Psychopharmacological treatment of children and adults with autism and/or developmental disorders
The neurobiology and innovative interventions of several neurogenic disorders including DiGeorge Syndrome (Velocardiofacial syndrome; 22q11.2 mutations), PTEN mutations, and Phelan McDermid Syndrome (22q13 mutations).
John P. Hegarty II
Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Bio The overarching goal of my research is to identify neurobiological subgroups and develop objective biomarkers for individuals with psychiatric and neurological disorders in order to improve biologically-based diagnosis and advance the development of precision medicine for mental health. Biologically-based diagnosis and treatment are extremely limited for some psychiatric conditions, especially neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but also critically-needed to increase early identification and improve treatment outcomes. My early career training has focused on developing expertise in non-invasive neuroimaging approaches for examining participants ranging from young children to adults and my research has focused on identifying the neurobiology underlying typical and atypical neurodevelopment.
Thus far in my early research career, my primary contributions to science fall within four major categories:
1) identifying the neural correlates of different cognitive and behavioral deficits, 2) investigating the neurobiological substrates of treatment response, 3) examining the etiological factors that contribute to atypical brain development in children with autism, and 4) summarizing and increasing accessibility to autism-related research. My earliest research investigated the neurobiology associated with the cognitive deficits of alexithymia, dyslexia, and stress to further develop theories of the underlying mechanisms that contribute to differences in cognitive and behavioral processing. My subsequent dissertation research, in which I began to focus on neurodevelopmental disorders, examined the neural correlates of treatment response to beta-blockers in adults with ASD and also assessed the contribution of cerebellar circuits to autism-related symptoms, which is well-supported from postmortem studies but understudied in clinical populations. During my postdoctoral training, I have been further developing skills for working with young children with and without neurodevelopmental disorders as well as utilizing advanced neuroimaging and neurophysiological approaches to examine the biological mechanisms underlying different types of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. My most recent research has focused on examining the neural correlates of response to behavioral interventions as well as examining the etiological factors that contribute to atypical brain development in twins with autism. The independent line of research that I will continue to develop in my research lab will aim to improve our understanding of typical and atypical brain development and identify objective biomarkers for advancing precision medicine.
Kyle Hinman, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Autism, Bipolar Disorder