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Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Research Program


This program supports research into the origins, onset, course, and outcome of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and such related conditions as schizotypal and schizoid personality disorders. The goals of the program are to discover mechanisms that transform vulnerability characteristics into active illness; to identify valid markers of illness onset; to develop psychometrically sound methods for assessing the cognitive, affective, and behavioral response systems believed to underpin clinical symptoms and functional impairments; and ultimately to channel scientific findings from each of these areas into the development of effective methods of mental illness prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

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 psychotic disorders.
  • 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.


Sarah E. Morris, Ph.D.
Program Chief
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7122, MSC 9625