The goal of our training program is to develop basic behavioral scientists with rigorous broad- based training in two biomedical sciences - neuroscience and genetics. To do this we developed a training program that focuses on the interface of psychology, neuroscience, and genetics. Trainees have been pre-doctoral students - 6 per year - with a strong interest in understanding human behavior from a biomedical perspective. The training program includes fairly equal participation from faculty in Washington University's Psychology, Neuroscience, and Genetics programs. The training program provides students with systematic exposure to the behavioral perspectives from psychology, integrated with biomedical perspectives from systems and computational neuroscience along with behavioral, molecular, statistical genetics, and genomics. The goal is to train young scientists who are able to apply concepts and methods from basic biomedical sciences to the study of behavioral phenomenon, such as memory, attention, decision making, and other cognitive functions, behavioral disorders, schizophrenia, alcoholism, aging, and problems with emotion regulation, and basic social phenomenon such as personality, attitudes, and social cognition. This training program provides benefits to trainees who are interested in research crossing traditional academic boundaries between psychology and two of the most important and exciting biomedical sciences - neuroscience and genetics. Educational opportunities of this kind are rare, and the unique nature of this training program makes our graduates attractive candidates for top post-doctoral or faculty positions in bio-behavioral programs at other universities. There are also benefits to the fields of neuroscience and genetics research, in which new lines of behavioral investigation are being opened (e.g., the Human Connectome Project, a large part of which is based at Washington University). Finally, through the process of recruiting and training students in research at the "interface of psychology, neuroscience, and genetics," the core faculty members of the training program also benefit because the program fosters collaborative research endeavors among the very diverse set of Washington University faculty participating in the training program. This competing renewal application requests support for another 5-year period of training, to continue pre-doctoral support at six trainees per year.

Public Health Relevance

Project Narrative Our successful IPNG training program brings together new groups of researchers and laboratories to address behavioral questions using innovative combinations of biomedical approaches. Perhaps more importantly, it trains a new generation of mainly behavioral scientists who are able to overcome major hurdles in understanding how the brain controls mental function, how genes contribute to understanding the brain, and how both relate to dysfunction due to injury, disease, developmental perturbation, or degeneration. As can be seen from the bio-sketches of the mentors, most are conducting primary research on the neural or genetic underpinnings of specific diseases (e.g., alcoholism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's), and most of the mentors from the biomedical sciences are physically located at the Washington University Medical School, so all pre-doctoral trainees have the opportunity to become involved in research directly related to human health and disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Blome, Juliana
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Washington University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Anticevic, Alan; Corlett, Philip R; Cole, Michael W et al. (2015) N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist effects on prefrontal cortical connectivity better model early than chronic schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry 77:569-80
Barch, Deanna M; Sheffield, Julia M (2014) Cognitive impairments in psychotic disorders: common mechanisms and measurement. World Psychiatry 13:224-32
Sheffield, Julia M; Gold, James M; Strauss, Milton E et al. (2014) Common and specific cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: relationships to function. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 14:161-74
Vogel, Alecia C; Church, Jessica A; Power, Jonathan D et al. (2013) Functional network architecture of reading-related regions across development. Brain Lang 125:231-43
Araujo, Gabriel C; Christ, Shawn E; Grange, Dorothy K et al. (2013) Executive response monitoring and inhibitory control in children with phenylketonuria: effects of expectancy. Dev Neuropsychol 38:139-52
Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A (2013) Age-related changes in attentional selection: quality of task set or degradation of task set across time? Psychol Aging 28:744-53
Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A; Duchek, Janet M et al. (2012) White matter integrity and reaction time intraindividual variability in healthy aging and early-stage Alzheimer disease. Neuropsychologia 50:357-66
Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A (2012) Mind-wandering in younger and older adults: converging evidence from the Sustained Attention to Response Task and reading for comprehension. Psychol Aging 27:106-19
Nikolov, Momchil A; Beltcheva, Olga; Galabova, Antoaneta et al. (2011) No evidence of association between 118A>G OPRM1 polymorphism and heroin dependence in a large Bulgarian case-control sample. Drug Alcohol Depend 117:62-5
Strand, Julia F; Sommers, Mitchell S (2011) Sizing up the competition: quantifying the influence of the mental lexicon on auditory and visual spoken word recognition. J Acoust Soc Am 130:1663-72

Showing the most recent 10 out of 15 publications