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Psychopathology Risk and Protective Factors Research Program


This program supports research on the determinants and distributions of mental disorders in the population. To that end it supports research on the etiology of psychiatric disorders and the identification of risk and protective factors that precede the onset of mental illness; on the development of empirically based prevention and intervention strategies based on risk factor research; on the development of standardized assessments of psychiatric disorders, endophenotypes, and environmental factors; and on estimations of the prevalence and impact of psychiatric disorders in the general population.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Identifying phenotypes and endophenotypes as new targets for assessment and therapeutics, that are emerging from integrative genetics, pathophysiology, and psychopathology research.
  • Conducting translational research on emotion and affect dysregulation to find new strategies for treating disorders of anxiety and mood.
  • Identifying ways in which genetic and environmental factors interact to raise or lower risk for mental disorders.
  • Developing new preventive and treatment interventions targeted to specific cognitive, emotional, or interpersonal components of the psychopathology of disorder.
  • Using modern psychometric and statistical theories to advance fundamental conceptualizations of nosology and consequent approaches toward more focused assessment and treatment of the many dimensions and subtypes that constitute complex psychiatric disorders.


Mercedes Rubio, Ph.D.
Program Chief
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7129, MSC 9632