Core Faculty

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 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.

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.

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