Carrie Bearden, Ph.D.

Carrie Bearden, Ph.D.

Center Director

Dr. Bearden serves as CAPPS’ Program Director and Principal Investigator. She is an associate professor-in-residence in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences with an appointment in the Department of Psychology, as well as being a licensed clinical psychologist. She is also a faculty member in theBrain Research Instituteand another of other centers at UCLAinvestigating the genetic and neurological underpinnings of developmental and psychiatric illness.Dr. Bearden received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and completed postdoctoral fellowships in autism and psychosis research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at UCLA.  

Dr. Bearden's research aims to understand genetic, cognitive and neurobiological risk factors for the development of child- and adolescent-onset neuropsychiatric disorders. Her lab examines these questions through two complementary lines of research: 1) The investigation of cognitive, neuroanatomic and temperament traits associated with the development of psychosis and /or mood disorder, and 2) The study of neurobehavioral manifestations of syndromes with an identified genetic origin.

In addition to her work at CAPPS and the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS), an international consortium of clinics conducting longitudinal research on predictors of psychosis, Dr. Bearden is conducting a separate, longitudinal study of individuals with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, a genetic disorder which results in a disruption of early neuronal migration and confers a particularly high risk for psychosis. Dr. Bearden also has an ongoing study of autistic spectrum features in children with this syndrome, funded by the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART).

In collaboration with Alcino Silva, Dr. Bearden’s lab has also undertaken translational studies of the neural basis of cognitive disability in children with another genetic disorder, Neurofibromatosis I, one of the most common single-gene disorders affecting neurologic function in humans. An ongoing project is examining a potential pharmacologic treatment for cognitive disability in NF1; this study represents one of the first translational clinical trials for developmental learning disabilities.