Who we are

Nelson Freimer

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 Director of the NINDS-funded Postdoctoral Training Program in Neurobehavioral Genetics, and Co-Director of UCLA Neuroscience. Dr. Freimer received an M.D. degree from the Ohio State University, and completed residency training in psychiatry (at UC San Francisco) and a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics (at Columbia University). He joined the UCLA faculty in 2000 after 10 years on the faculty at UC San Francisco. 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.

Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D.

Daniel Geschwind holds the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics and is a professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is director of the Neurogenetics Program and the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) and co-director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics. Professor Geschwind obtained an A.B. degree in psychology and chemistry at Dartmouth College. Following two years of The Boston Consulting Group, he obtained MD and PhD degrees at Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. He completed his neurology residency at UCLA, where he has remained following training, joining the faculty in 1997. The Geschwind laboratory focuses on integrating basic neurobiology, genetics, and genomics with translational studies of human diseases. One area of basic investigation has been in the analysis of transcriptome data where his group has used network biology approaches to understand brain transcriptome organization. Professor Geschwind has also put considerable effort into fostering large-scale collaborative patient resources for genetic research and data sharing. He played a major role in the founding, and has provided continuing scientific oversight, of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), the largest collection of multiplex autism families in the world. He has served on numerous scientific advisory boards, including the NIH Council of Councils, the Executive Council of the American Neurological Association (ANA), and Co-Chairs the neurogentics section of the Faculty of 1000 Medicine. He received the Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award from the ANA in 2004, the Scientific Service Award from Autism Speaks in 2007, the Ruane Prize from the Brain and Behavior Foundation in 2013 and is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.