Dr. Joel Gelernter named the Foundations’ Fund Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Joel Gelernter, the newly named Foundations’ Fund Professor of Psychiatry, focuses his research on the genetics of psychiatric illness.

The director of the Division of Human Genetics in the Department of Psychiatry, Gelernter seeks to identify genes that predispose individuals to cocaine, opioid, nicotine and alcohol dependence, as well as to panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia and related social-anxiety traits. In addition, he explores neuroimaging measures and basic issues in population genetics. His laboratory is engaged in ongoing collaborations with investigators at the Chulalongkorn Faculty of Medicine in Bangkok, Thailand, to study genetics of substance dependence, and helps train Thai investigators in substance dependence genetics at Yale. He has also conducted research in China.

Gelernter is a 1979 graduate of Yale College. He has been a full professor at the University since 2002, and is currently a professor of psychiatry, genetics and neurobiology. He also is affiliated with the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program.

The Yale physician and researcher serves as associate editor for Neuropsychopharmacology and is on the editorial boards of Biological Psychiatry, the American Journal of Medical Genetics (Part B), Psychiatric Genetics and Asian Biomedicine. He has been honored with a National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Level 1 Career Award and an NIMH Independent Scientist Career Award, among other distinctions.

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