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Mental Health

Faculty Profiles

The PET Program consists of 21 Core Faculty and 25 Affiliate Faculty.  Each of the faculty are aligned with one of the two Concentrations, Etiology of Mental Disorders and Interventions in Mental Disorders.  In addition, the Data-Intensive Methods Support Hub consists of 10 Affiliate Faculty with expertise in genomics, informatics and imaging.  Many of the faculty in the two Concentrations have expertise in both, but we associate them here with the one they most strongly align. All Core Faculty are either in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and/or the School of Medicine.

The designation as “Core” means the faculty member can serve as a primary advisor for trainees over extended periods of time, such as for a dissertation.  By contrast, Affiliate Faculty provide information and advice about developments or programs which may be of benefit to trainees, as well as temporary educational experiences, linkages and consultations, and access to data.  Affiliate Faculty do not serve as primary mentors, but they frequently serve on Thesis Advisory Committees and as secondary mentors to trainees.

Etiology of Mental Disorders

This concentration provides advanced training in the principles and methods of psychiatric epidemiology to search for genetic and environmental causes of mental disorders.  Surprisingly little is known about the causes of most mental disorders, and this has hampered our ability to develop more effective intervention strategies.  The goal of this concentration is to train the next generation of scientists to carry out etiologic research that will advance our understanding of the causal mechanisms in mental disorders and lead to the identification of disease predictors that lay the foundation for developing more rational and effective strategies for prevention and/or treatment.

Core Faculty 

Peter P. Zandi, PhD; Professor, Department of Mental Health; genetic epidemiology of mood disorders; bioinformatics; statistical genetic; pharmacogenetics of psychotropic medications; pharmacoepidemiology; learning health systems; mobile mental health applications.

William Eaton, PhD; Professor, Department of Mental Health; epidemiology of schizophrenia, depressive and anxiety disorders; risk factors, natural history and consequences of major mental disorders; co-morbidity of mental and physical disorders; author of text on The Sociology of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition.  

M. Daniele Fallin, PhD; Chair and Professor, Department of Mental Health and Director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities; genetic epidemiology of autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease; epigenetics; gene-by-environment interactions in mental disorders.

Gerald Nestadt, MD; Professor, Department of Psychiatry; epidemiology of anxiety and personality disorders; genetic epidemiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Brion Maher, PhD; Professor, Department of Mental Health; statistical genetics; genetic epidemiology of mental and co-morbid substance use disorders.

Adam Spira, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health; sleep disturbances and psychopathology; late-life cognitive and functional outcomes; actigraphy; wearable technology in epidemiology.

Holly Wilcox, PhD; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry; suicide risk; mood disorders; early trauma exposure; HPA axis function; adolescents; at-risk studies

Heather Volk, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health; genetic and environmental epidemiology of autism; gene-environment interaction; air pollution and autism risk.

Andrew Jaffe, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health; genomics of severe mental illness; epigenomics; transcriptomics; human brain development; computational methods development.

Alden Gross, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health; cognitive aging and mental health; psychometrics; latent variable modeling; late life functioning.

Christine Ladd-Acosta, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health; genetic epidemiology of autism; gene-environment interactions; epigenomics.

Affiliate Faculty

David Valle, MD; Professor and Director, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine; member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; past President, American Society of Human Genetics; Director, Center for Inherited Disease Research; Director, Maryland Genetics, Epidemiology, and Medicine Training Program; genetics of schizophrenia.

Kathleen Merikangas, PhD; Senior Investigator and Chief, Genetic Epidemiology Branch in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health; familial mechanisms for comorbidity of mental and medical disorders; high risk studies of mental disorders.

Preben Bo Mortensen, PhD; Professor and Head, The National Centre for Register-based Research,  University of Aarhus; Principal Investigator, The Lundbeck Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH); epidemiology of severe mental illness; most cited Danish researcher.

Catherine Schaefer, PhD;  Research Scientist, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California; Director, Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health; epidemiology of psychiatric and neurologic disorders; genetic epidemiology; early antecedents of mental illness.

Daniel Weinberger, MD; Director and CEO, Lieber Institute for Brain Development; member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; genetics of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses; post-mortem brain collection.

Stephen Gilman, PhD; Chief, Health Behavior Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; mood and substance-use disorders; early-life antecedents; health inequalities; disadvantaged childhood environments.

Xiaobin Wang, MD, ScD, MPH; Professor, Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health; Director, Center on Early Life Origins of Disease; birth cohorts; molecular epidemiology; nutritional biomarkers; epigenetics.

Interventions in Mental Disorders

This concentration provides advanced training in the principles and methods of psychiatric epidemiology that deal with developing and testing treatment and/or preventive interventions for mental disorders.  Despite many years of research, the burden of mental disorders in the population has not abated.  There is a need for new and more effective interventions to reduce the burden of mental disorders that plague public health.  The goal of this concentration is to produce a new generation of researchers with the knowledge and skills to translate findings on the etiology of mental disorders into novel interventions, as well as to test the efficacy and effectiveness of these interventions to establish the evidence-base for their dissemination into standard practice.

Core Faculty

Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH; Professor, Department of Mental Health; time trends of psychiatric medication use, attitudes towards mental health treatment seeking in the community, mental health care utilization; pharmacoepidemiology of antidepressants.

Tamar Mendelson, PhD; Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health; development, evaluation, and dissemination of prevention strategies; maternal and child mental health, underserved urban populations; mindfulness-based strategies; gender, class and racial/ethnic disparities.

Gail Daumit, MD, MHA; Professor, Department of Medicine with joint in Department of Mental Health;  severe mental illnesses; co-morbidity; premature mortality; randomized trials; behavioral interventions.

Judith Bass, PhD, MPH; Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Education, Department of Mental Health; PET graduate; innovative prevention and intervention strategies for mental illness; effectiveness studies; low-resource settings; vulnerable populations; victims of torture and trauma.

Elizabeth Stuart, PhD; Professor, Department of Mental Health with a joint appointment in the Department of Biostatistics; Associate Dean for Education; statistical methodologies for evaluation of public health and education interventions; randomized experiments; observational studies; propensity score methods; missing data methods; causal inference.

Michelle C. Carlson, PhD; Professor, Department of Mental Health; Co-Director, Center on Aging and Health; randomized prevention trials for cognitive impairment; neuroimaging and other biological measures of brain interventions; mobile technology assessments.

Robert Findling, MD, MBA; Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Vice President, Psychiatric Services at the Kennedy Krieger Institute; severe mental illnesses in children; pediatric psychopharmacology; randomized trials; longitudinal studies of mania.

Nicholas Ialongo, PhD; Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, The Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention and Early Intervention; mental disorders in children; school-based preventative interventions; effectiveness trials.

Gwenn Smith, PhD; Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry; PET imaging; cognitive and mood disorders in late life; mood and cognitive responses to drug and brain stimulation treatment; imaging predictors of treatment response.

Rashelle Musci, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health; child and adolescent development; psychometrics; latent variable modeling; mental health disparities; gene-intervention interactions.

Affiliate Faculty

Constantine Lyketsos, MD, MHS; Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; clinical trials; biomarker development; neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases; dementia.

Daniel Ford, MD, MPH; Professor, Department of Medicine; Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation in the School of Medicine; Director, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research; depression and chronic medical conditions; treatment of depression in the primary care setting.

Albert Wu, MD, MPH; Professor, Department of Health Policy; Director, Hopkins DEcIDE center for comparative effectiveness research; quality of care; patient-reported outcomes; electronic health records.

Caleb Alexander, MD, MS; Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology; Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness; Chair, FDA’s Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee; pharmacoepidemiology; prescription drug utilization; clinical decision making.

Sharon Larson, PhD; Senior Investigator and Director of Behavioral Research, Geisinger Health System; depression and co-occurring conditions; psychometrics; community health; access to care; patient outcomes.

Gregory Simon, MD, MPH; Senior Investigator, Group Health Research Institute; Director, Mental Health Research Network; depression screening; bipolar disorder; treatment adherence; suicide prevention; effectiveness trials.

Paul Lipkin, MD; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Director, Center for Development and Learning, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Director, Interactive Autism Network; identification and treatment of neuro-developmental disorders; high-risk screening.

Scott Zeger, PhD; Professor, Department of Biostatistics; Director, Johns Hopkins Individualized Health Initiative; precision medicine; Bayesian models; longitudinal data analysis.

Data-Intensive Methods Support Hub

Affiliate Faculty

Steven Salzberg, PhD; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science and Biostatistics; Director, Center for Computational Biology; Associate Director, The Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science; DNA and RNA sequencing methods.

Jeffrey Leek, PhD; Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics; Co-Founder, Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab; Co-Developer Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization in Coursera; public health genomics; statistical methods development; reproducible science.

Kasper Hansen, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics; computational biology methods; statistical genetics; epigenomics; transcriptomics.

Nilanjan Chaterjee, PhD; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics; genomic methods; gene-environment interactions; predictive models; precisions medicine

Martin Lindquist, PhD; Professor, Department of Biostatistics; brain imaging; functional magnetic resonance imaging; statistical methods; software development.

Brian Caffo, PhD; Professor, Department of Biostatistics; Co-Director, SMART (Statistical Methods and Applications for Research in Technology) Workgroup; brain imaging; statistical methods development; biological signal analysis; wearable computing.

Vadim Zipunnikov, PhD; Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics; brain imaging; wearable computing; biological signal analysis; statistical methods development; longitudinal imaging studies.

Jonathan Weiner, DrPH; Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management; Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Population Health Information Technology; health informatics; population health.

Michael Miller, PhD; Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Director, Center for Imaging Sciences; Co-Director, Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute; brain imaging; software development.

Ciprian Crainiceanu, PhD;  Professor, Department of Biostatistics; Co-Director, SMART Workgroup; wearable computing; biological signal analysis; sensor analysis, high-dimensional functional data analysis.