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IBG Faculty Fellows

Michael D. Breed - Professor, Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology. Professor Breed's research emphasis is the genetics of social recognition systems in animals. His current interests include behavioral and genetic studies of the recognition cues used by honeybees to discriminate nestmates from non-nestmates. He is presently engaged in investigating the role of cuticular compounds in recognition, and the patterns of inheritance of chemical cuticular signatures.

Gregory Carey - Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Carey's research interests are in the areas of genetics and human psychopathology. Within these areas, his work concentrates on the anxiety disorders and on the development of externalizing behavior (antisocial tendencies, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse) during adolescence. A second major interest is the use of quantitative models to represent mechanisms of assortative mating, development, cultural transmission, and sibling interactions.

Allan C. Collins - Professor of Psychology and Pharmacology, Department of Psychology. Professor Collins is a biochemical pharmacologist whose primary research specialization is neurochemistry. His current research interests include neurochemical correlates of nicotine use, tolerance development, and withdrawal; neurochemical bases of alcohol tolerance; biochemical bases of behavior; and use of genetics as a tool to determine the mechanism of action of drugs.
Thomas Crowley - Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, Division of Substance Dependence, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Thomas Crowley currently heads a number of studies that focus on genetic and environmental influences on the development of behavior problems and substance abuse issues among adolescents. Additional interests include the feasibility of executive cognitive functioning tasks in adolescents with serious substance and conduct problems compared to community controls, as well as the feasibility of conducting fMRI research in troubled adolescents and a control group of general population adolescents.
John C. DeFries - Professor, Department of Psychology. Professor DeFries' primary field of specialization is quantitative behavioral genetics. His current research interests include twin and adoption studies of human cognitive abilities; the genetics of learning disabilities; and the use of DNA markers to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence behavioral characters.
Richard A. Deitrich - Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. Professor Deitrich is a pharmacologist whose current research concerns the molecular basis of the actions of alcohol. His research uses genetically selected lines of mice and rats to discover mechanisms of central nervous system depression, tolerance and dependence. These data are used to identify specific genes responsible for these actions in animals, and eventually to identify similar genes in humans at risk for development of alcoholism.
Marissa Ehringer - Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology. Dr. Ehringer is a molecular geneticist who utilizes the genomics and bioinformatics resources to study behavior genetics. Her current research involves the study of candidate genes that may be underlie genetic mechanisms that contribute to alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.
John K. Hewitt - Director of IBG and Professor of Psychology, CU Boulder; Professor of Psychiatry (Attendant Rank), School of Medicine, UCHSC; President of the Behavior Genetics Association, 2000-01; Executive Editor, Behavior Genetics. Professor Hewitt uses cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of twins and families to study behavioral development, and genetic and environmental influences on behavior, personality, and health. His recent research has focused on the development of behavior problems in childhood and adolescence, vulnerability to drug use, abuse, and dependence, genetics and health, and linkage and association studies of behavioral traits.
Tom Johnson
Thomas E. Johnson - Professor of Behavioral Genetics, Department of Integrative Physiology. Dr. Johnson received the Kleemeier Award (the premier award in aging research) for his discovery of the first gerontogene, age-1, which doubles the life span and opened up a new area of scientific research. He is also cloning quantitative trait loci conferring sensitivity to alcohol in mice. His lab uses multiple techniques: behavioral, biochemical molecular, pharmacological, quantitative and genetic, to analyze both aging and the action of genes leading to addiction. For more information examine his URL
Matt Keller
Matthew C Keller - Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology. Dr Keller's current research focus is in testing evolutionary hypotheses using human genetic data, and modeling and simulating genetically informative designs that better enable us to understand the causes of human differences.
Kenneth S. Krauter - Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Dr. Krauter's research focuses on two aspects of human genome research. The first is in the area of comparative genome analysis. The second is the use of genetic analysis to identify genes involved in complex traits such as behavioral abnormalities.
Carol B. Lynch - Professor, Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology. Professor Lynch's research interests are the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptation and brain mechanisms underlying adaptive behaviors. Her current research uses a model system which has been the study of cold adaptation in mice, with emphasis on nest-building. This involves the use of replicated genetic lines of mice that have been selectively bred for over sixty generations for differences in nest-building. These lines also differ in genetically correlated traits, such as body weight and litter size, as well as circadian rhythms and brain (hypothalamus) neurochemistry and neuroanatomy. These lines facilitate studies of both constraints on adaptive evolution and the path from genes to behavior.
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Matthew McQueen - Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. McQueen's research is focused on a multi-faceted approach to the investigation of genetic determinants underlying complex disease, with a particular interest in psychiatric, behavioral and neurologic disorders. Recent areas of research include the development and application of statistical and epidemiological methods geared towards genome-wide association in both family-based and population-based samples.
Richard K. Olson - Professor, Department of Psychology. Professor Olson is a developmental psychologist whose primary research is on the varieties, etiology and remediation of learning disorders. His research has examined the component processes in reading and related language skills that are associated with both normal and subnormal development. Heritability of these component processes is being evaluated through twin analyses. Current projects are focused on the use of computer speech feedback in the remediation of reading disabilities.
Bruce F. Pennington - Professor, Department of Psychology, and Director of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Program, University of Denver. Professor Pennington is a developmental neuropsychologist whose research focuses on understanding disorders of cognitive development. The disorders he studies include developmental dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and several mental retardation syndromes: early treated phenylketonuria, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and infantile autism. The long-term goal of this work is to understand how different genetic influences alter brain development to produce the distinct profiles of cognitive strengths and weaknesses found in each of these disorders.
Dennis R. Petersen - Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics, School of Pharmacy. Professor Petersen's research concerns biochemical pharmacology and toxicology of alcohols and aldehydes. This research focuses on enzyme systems in liver, kidney and brain that are involved in the biotransformation of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Of particular interest is the interaction of acute or chronic alcohol consumption with these enzymatic pathways. His recent research efforts have emphasized the use of genetics in studying the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying the hepatotoxic potential of various drugs and chemicals.
Richard Radcliffe - Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Radcliffe's research focuses on the genetic and molecular basis of drug and alcohol abuse. Current projects include gene expression microarray analyses of CNS systems involved in behavioral responses to methamphetamine and alcohol, QTL mapping of alcohol-related traits, mutagenesis approaches applied to the study of acute alcohol tolerance, and studies of the non-linear dynamics of the fear conditioning response.
Soo Rhee - Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Rhee's primary research interests are the etiology and development of childhood disruptive disorders, the etiology and development of substance use disorders, the causes of comorbidity between psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders, and the development of methods discriminating correct models for causes of comorbidity.
James Sikela - Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Human Medical Genetics Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. Dr. Sikela is a genome scientist and has been a key pioneer in the development of EST technology and large-scale human gene mapping. His laboratory was part of the international gene-mapping consortium that determined the chromosomal location for the majority of human genes. He contributed to the discovery of the PSN2 gene that causes Alzheimer's disease. Currently his research involves applying genomics approaches to the discovery of genes involved in alcoholism and drug abuse. His laboratory is also involved in the identification of genes important to hominoid evolution, including those that are specific to the human lineage.
Andrew Smolen - Senior Research Associate, IBG. Dr. Smolen is a pharmacologist whose primary interests are in the areas of neurochemistry and pharmacogenetics. His current research activities include the assessment of the contribution of specific candidate genes to complex behaviors such as substance abuse and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Toni N. Smolen - Research Associate, Assistant Director, IBG. Dr. Smolen's research interests are in the areas of pharmacogenetics and neuropharmacology. Her current projects use genetically inbred and selected lines of mice in studies of biochemical and neurochemical mechanisms that underlie the development of drug tolerance and dependence, the role of the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the mediation of the effects of acute and chronic alcohol administration, and drug metabolism in young and aging mice.

Michael C. Stallings - Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Stallings' research interests include quantitative genetics, substance abuse, and personality. His current research utilizes biometrical modeling and quantitative trait loci (QTL) methodology to understand genetic and environmental influences on the development of substance use disorders and comorbid psychopathology.
Jerry A. Stitzel - Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology. Dr. Stitzel is a molecular biologist whose primary interest is the use of genetic strategies to identify the underlying biological bases for the behavioral and physiological actions of drugs of abuse with special emphasis on nicotine. Current projects include the molecular, biochemical and cellular characterization of naturally occurring variants of neuronal nicotinic receptors and quantitative trait loci mapping of a nicotine preference phenotype.

Boris Tabakoff - Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. Professor Tabakoff's research concerns physiological, pharmacological, and biochemical correlates of alcohol and opiate/cannabinoid abuse. Current studies focus on behavioral genetic factors mediating tolerance development; the involvement of brain glutamate receptors in addiction; and the interaction of addictive drugs with adenylyl cyclase signaling in brain.

Jeanne M. Wehner - Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology. Professor Wehner is a biochemist whose primary research interests are pharmacogenetics and neurobiology. Current projects include biochemical and genetic studies of learning and memory, the role of nicotinic receptors in modulation of learning and the role of protein kinase C in alcohol's actions.
Erik Willcutt- Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology. Professor Willcutt's current research focuses on the causes and consequences of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and their comorbidity. He uses genetic linkage and association techniques in studies of families and twins to identify genes that increase susceptibility to these difficulties.

James R. Wilson - Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology. Professor Wilson's primary field of specialization is behavioral biology. His research interests have included the endocrinological and genetic bases of maternal behavior, sexual behavior, activity differences, and learning differences in mice; and genetic studies of cognitive functions in humans. Recent work involved genetic selection in mice for alcohol dependence, behavioral genetic studies of alcohol dosing and cigarette withdrawal in humans, and studies of neuroelectric treatment for cigarette addiction and for alleviation of migraine headaches. Professor Wilson is currently teaching an on-line behavioral genetics course for the University of Colorado at Denver.

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