This institutional training grant is for training in the field of behavior genetics. The goals of behavior genetics are to elucidate the genetic and environmental components that regulate individual differences for a multitude of complex normal and abnormal phenotypes. Using multidisciplinary approaches, the genetic basis of psychopathologies, personality disorders, as well as normal cognition and personality, can be investigated. The application of biometrical, statistical, and quantitative genetic techniques and the development of quantitative trait loci methods allow the mapping and identification of genes that regulate complex traits. Information from such analyses, along with neurochemical, neuropharmacological, neurophysiological, and molecular genetic studies, will provide an understanding of gene function related to behavior. The Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) at the University of Colorado has actively pursued the goals of behavior genetics for over 40 years. Its faculty is distinguished and active in research. Major research projects are now in progress in both human and animal behavior genetics, including large scale national collaborative studies amassing DNA repositories and rich phenotypic data sets for studies of mental health. Facilities are available for genotype assay, including genome-wide assays, gene function and expression studies, and behavioral, biochemical, and neurophysiological studies. Funds are requested to support 4 predoctoral and 1 postdoctoral trainee over a total period of 5 years. Predoctoral trainees receive doctorate degrees from a cooperating academic unit and certification in behavior genetics. Academic requirements in the training program include training in behavior genetics, quantitative and biometrical genetics, theoretical and computer-based statistics, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and genomics, responsible conduct of research, and courses on behavioral and clinical phenotypes. Additional requirements vary according to the degree granting academic unit. Research experience is an integral part of training. Postdoctoral trainees also pursue a formalized program that emphasizes individual research as well as competence in molecular and quantitative behavior genetics. Other activities in preparation for research careers in mental health include: supervision of students and/or technicians, hosting of seminar speakers, guest lecturing, a weekly journal club, and mandatory attendance in a course on the responsible conduct of research.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal is to train scientists who will be able to contribute significantly to our understanding of genetic contributions to mental illness. This understanding will lead to new approaches to the prevention and alleviation of mental illness.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-C (01))
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Desmond, Nancy L
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University of Colorado at Boulder
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
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Whisman, Mark A; du Pont, Alta; Rhee, Soo Hyun et al. (2018) A genetically informative analysis of the association between dyadic adjustment, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms. J Affect Disord 237:18-26
Baratta, Michael V; Leslie, Nathan R; Fallon, Isabella P et al. (2018) Behavioural and neural sequelae of stressor exposure are not modulated by controllability in females. Eur J Neurosci 47:959-967
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Hatoum, Alexander S; Rhee, Soo Hyun; Corley, Robin P et al. (2018) Do executive functions explain the covariance between internalizing and externalizing behaviors? Dev Psychopathol 30:1371-1387
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du Pont, Alta; Rhee, Soo Hyun; Corley, Robin P et al. (2018) Rumination and Psychopathology: Are Anger and Depressive Rumination Differentially Associated with Internalizing and Externalizing Psychopathology? Clin Psychol Sci 6:18-31
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Border, Richard; Keller, Matthew C (2017) Commentary: Fundamental problems with candidate gene-by-environment interaction studies - reflections on Moore and Thoemmes (2016). J Child Psychol Psychiatry 58:328-330

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