Areas of Interest
This laboratory's research is aimed at finding genes involved in behavioral, neurological and psychiatric diseases, especially related to ataxia and depression. While ataxia is caused by numerous genes one at a time, many of which still need to be identified, genetics plays a minor role in risk for depression, and its interactions with environmental, lifestyle and behavioral factors – diet, stress, sleep, drug use, exercise – need to be better understood. Genes for such common disorders are not deterministic, and a goal of my public engagement is to help the interested public in using their genetic information wisely. In both projects, I have strong collaborations across the University, the US and the world, particularly in Turkey and China.