ABOUT THE RESEARCHER

OVERVIEW

The overarching goal of Dr. David Glahn’s research is to discover genes and environmental mechanisms that predispose affective and psychotic disorders in children and adults. To achieve this goal, he develops and applies neuroanatomic, functional neuroimaging, and neurocognitive endophenotypes in large-scale family-based studies. Dr. Glahn’s research program involves four broad scientific aims: 1) To identify and characterize genes and environmental factors influencing risk for psychotic and affective disorders and their endophenotypes; 2) To specify genetic and environmental influences on normal variation of brain structure/function and cognitive ability; 3) To isolate genetic and environmental factors involved in human cognitive and brain development, particularly during adolescence; and 4) To develop novel endophenotypes for psychotic and affective disorders and markers of cognitive and brain development.

Given that psychiatric and cognitive/imaging antecedents of psychosis or affective dysregulation appear in childhood and adolescence, typically years before the formal onset of the illness, a major component of his research focuses on genetic and environmental aspects of individual differences across development. Dr. Glahn believes that recognizing antecedents of psychosis in young children could open a window of opportunity for targeted interventions to forestall disturbing symptoms and mitigate the risk of full-blown disease.

BACKGROUND

Dr. David Glahn is the Associate Chief for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Tommy Fuss Center for Neuropsychiatric Disease Research. In addition, he directs the Early Psychosis Investigation Center (EPICenter) and the Neuropsychiatric Genetics Program (NPG). Dr. Glahn received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a post-doctoral fellowship the University of California at Los Angeles. Glahn has served as Co-Director for the Division of Neurocognition, Neurocomputation, and Neurogenetics at the Yale University School of Medicine, prior to joining Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.