The Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics (CNG) focuses on discovering the genetic basis of major psychiatric and neurological disorders, and genetically dissecting additional traits that will shed light on the development, function, or degeneration of the central nervous system. Lack of understanding of the causes of brain diseases limits our capacity to develop better treatments and for prevention. We now have the research tools necessary to identify and characterize the specific genetic variations that predispose to brain disorders or that are associated with important nervous system traits in a wide range of model organisms.
Investigators in the CNG utilize – and in some cases helped to develop – state of the art genomic and genetic methodologies including high throughput genotyping and DNA sequencing, gene expression analysis, genetic manipulation of model organisms, as well as bioinformatics, statistics, and cell biology. The investigations within the CNG depend on sophisticated approaches for assessing brain and behavioral phenotypes in humans and model organisms. The development and application of such assessments provide the basis for numerous collaborations with investigators outside of the CNG.
The CNG also occupies an important niche in the educational mission of UCLA. It is the focal point on campus for training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the genetic investigation of complex traits.
Director: Nelson Freimer