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Developmental Pathway to Psychosis



Project Description

My research is focused on the prenatal and early childhood developmental brain pathways to impaired behavior and psychiatric illnesses including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder and medical outcomes including low birth weight and premature birth. Our work focuses on identifying critical periods during which gene by environment interactions impact early brain development, the last as reflected by physiological endophenotypes, neurocognition, and behavior. A long-term goal is to use this type of approach to develop and test focused empirically-based novel primary prevention strategies. Current directions in the lab include:  1.How maternal stress, including psychosocial stress, anxiety, and infections—impact prenatal and infant development and lead to increased or decreased risk for later psychiatric illness  2.The role of candidate genes in prenatal and infant development  3.Gene by environmental interactions during pregnancy and early infancy  4.The role of ethnically-related cultural factors as a moderator of gene by environment interactions  5.New methods for the study of fetal environmental exposure, such as the ability to measure fetal cortisol levels  6.Expansion of methods to measure fetal, infant, and preschool brain development, including physiological, neurocognitive, and behavioral phenotypes  7.Assessment of interventions during pregnancy, including pharmacologic treatment and nutritional supplementation, on fetal and infant development in areas relevant to risk for later psychiatric illness  

Mentor Name

Ross, Randy

Mentor Location

Bldg 500, Rm E4303

Mentor Contact Number


Mentor Contact Email


Enter Choice #1

Preceptor Name






Funding Department/Program

Psychiatry and Developmental Neuroscience

Area of Study

Developmental Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior - Child


Adolescents; Infants; Pregnant Woman; School-age Children



Disease or Symptom

Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities

Faculty/Lab Website

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Created at 9/3/2010 9:55 AM by Vetter, Stephanie
Last modified at 7/31/2013 1:04 PM by Watts, Katie