Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics

Jane Doe


Jane Doe


Jane Doe


Jane Doe


Nelson Freimer, MD (Director)

Dr. Nelson Freimer is Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics and Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and Associate Director for Research Programs of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He also directs UCLA core facilities in genomics and neuroscience (The Informatics Center for Neurogenetics and Neurogenomics, The UCLA Neuroscience Genomics Core, and The Biological Samples Processing Core). He is the founder of the NINDS-funded Training Program in Neurobehavioral Genetics, and Co-Director of UCLA Neuroscience. The research in Dr. Freimer’s laboratory aims to use large scale genomics methods to identify the genetic basis of complex traits, particularly neurobehavioral disorders including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and Tourette Syndrome. He has also conducted large-scale genomics studies of metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disorders. His research group has pioneered in whole genome sequencing studies of such disorders as well as the application of large-scale genomics to our understanding of non-human primates.

Dan Geschwind, MD, PhD (Co-Director)

Dr. Dan Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, Neurology and Psychiatry and Senior Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Precision Health at UCLA where he leads the Institute of Precision Health and Center for Autism Research and Treatment. The laboratory merges population genetics, functional genomics, stem cells based organoid and mouse models, to connect genetic risk to discover underlying neurobiological mechanisms of disease and fuel development of new treatments. Our disease focus includes autism and related neurodevelopment disorders and neurodegenerative dementias, but our methods and approaches are broadly applicable and have been applied to many brain disorders.

Carrie Bearden, PhD

Dr. Carrie Bearden’s research aims to understand genetic influences on brain structure in the development of serious mental illness, using converging methods to study intermediate neurobehavioral traits in clinical high-risk cohorts and in highly penetrant genetic subtypes (e.g, 22q11.2 microdeletions. She is also collaborating with Drs. Nelson Freimer and Loes Loohuison large-scale studies of the genetics of serious mental illness in Latin America.

Eliza Congdon, PhD

Dr. Eliza Congdon’s research interests are in the neurobiological mechanisms of depression and response to fast-acting treatment interests. She is the Project Director of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, which is a campus-wide initiative aimed at making UCLA the leading institution in a global effort to cut the worldwide burden of depression in half by 2050.

Jonathan Flint, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Flint’s laboratory investigates the causes of depression, taking as a starting point the known genetic susceptibility to the disorder. They map genetic loci in different populations (East Asian and European) and are attempting to deploy strategies to pull apart the heterogeneity of depression, using for example voice recordings combined with genetic data as a way to identify subtypes.

C.Y. Daniel Lee, PhD

Dr. C.Y. Daniel Lee is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his B.S. and M.S. degree from National Taiwan University in Taiwan. After fulfilling his military service duty, he came to the United States to pursue doctoral education at Case Western Reserve University, where he studied the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Landreth, and received his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience in 2012. He did his postdoctoral training with Dr. X. William Yang at UCLA, using human genomic mouse models to study Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and joined UCLA faculty in 2019. His current research integrates mouse genetics, systems biology and cell biology to study the role and regulation of microglial function in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. He also leads the projects of high-throughput drug screening and biomarker development for neurodegenerative diseases.

Loes Olde Loohuis, PhD

Dr. Loes Olde Loohuis’ research focuses on elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms of severe mental illness, in particular schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, by utilizing and developing computational approaches to leverage  multi-level data (including psychiatric phenotypes, health records and molecular phenotypes).

Roel Ophoff, PhD

Dr. Roel Ophoff is a professor of Psychiatry and Human Genetics at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research laboratory is located within the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics and he is member of the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. Dr. Ophoff obtained is PhD in human genetics at the Leiden University in The Netherlands studying the molecular basis of familial migraine. He completed his postdoctoral training in neurogenetics at UC San Francisco. He joined the UCLA faculty in 2002.

Christina Palmer, MS, PhD

Dr. Christina Palmer is a geneticist who specializes in genetic counseling for deafness, and for psychiatric conditions. She is actively involved in undergraduate, graduate, and medical education. Dr. Palmer is presently facilitating a collaboration of disciplines including genetics, deaf studies, audiology, psychology, and statistics to examine the individual and societal impact of genetic testing for deafness.

X. William Yang, MD, PhD

Dr. Yang’s laboratory integrates mouse genetics and systems biology to study pathogenesis and therapeutics of neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.  His laboratory also develops novel neurotechnologies to illuminate the brain-wide morphology and connectivity of neurons and glial cells, and applies these powerful tools to study brain cells during healthy aging or in age-dependent brain diseases.

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