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Featured Postdoc: Anna Docherty, Ph.D.

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Anna Docherty, Ph.D. recently completed her postdoc training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. In two years at VIPBG, she secured an NIMH K01 and NARSAD Young Investigator Award to study the molecular genetics of schizophrenia and schizotypy, and published several papers using both biometrical and molecular genetics approaches. She just began a tenure-track professorship in Psychiatry and Human Genetics at the University of Utah, and her work dovetails extremely well with the Utah Genome Project, the Utah Human Population Database, Utah’s ABCD research grant, and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute, where she will serve as a senior investigator.

Her interest in psychiatric genetics began during her doctoral training in clinical psychology at both the University of Missouri (Ph.D.) and the University of Minnesota (NIMH F31 Fellow and American Psychological Foundation Fellow). This led her to seek training from Drs. Michael Neale, Ph.D. and Kenneth Kendler, M.D., and while working with Dr. Kendler, her interests in the molecular genetics of schizophrenia led to projects examining symptom dimensions and pathway-based polygenic risk modeling. Currently, her focus is on enhancing prediction and prevention of severe psychopathology, and on developing statistical methods for the DNA-driven molecular genetic subtyping of psychosis.

“The aims of life are the best defense against death.” – Primo Levi

Dr. Docherty’s current NIMH-funded research aims involve 1) genetic subtyping of schizophrenia and 2) GWAS-based polygenic prediction of numerous mental and physical health outcomes (the phenome) across critical stages of human development. She is especially interested in overall empirical refinement of psychiatric classification, and enhanced prediction of severe psychopathology via genetic modeling.

Outside of research, some of Dr. Docherty’s interests are running, berries, math, techno, and camping.

Article by Elizabeth Long.

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