Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Welcome to the Neuropsychopharmacology Training Program


A model of human decision-making in dynamic environments, in which leaky integration is adjusted adaptively according to the current strength of the decision-maker’s belief and bias and expectations about the rate of change (“hazard rate”) of the environment. This adaptive leakiness is thought to be governed by the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine neuromodulatory system, which is disrupted in schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other conditions that affect learning and decision-making. Created by Chris Glaze in the Gold lab (see Glaze et al, eLife, 2015).

About the Program

This NIMH T32 post-doctoral training grant, A Training Program in Neuropsychopharmacology (now in its 40th year of continuous operation), provides multidisciplinary research training in the fields of neuroscience, psychopharmacology and psychiatric disorders. The Program is focused on the neural basis of normal and pathological behavior, which includes psychiatric diseases such as mood and anxiety disorders, chronic psychotic illnesses, addictions and other behavioral disorders. While emphasizing an understanding of basic mechanisms that can be targeted pharmacologically or genetically to influence brain function, the program also brings a translational component linking these mechanisms to psychiatric disorders.

The Program provides 2-3 years of support for post-doctoral fellows (MDs, PhDs and MD/PhDs) conducting research in the lab of one of the mentors. The level of salary support provided is determined by the National Institutes of Health, according to the number of years of training completed.

The mentors are the heart and soul of the Program. The mentors range from those studying cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying different behaviors to scientists translating laboratory models to clinical care. If neuropsychopharmacology can be defined as the study of endogenous and exogenous compounds acting in the nervous tissue to modulate behavior, then all of our mentors fit this definition, and nearly all are conducting studies that have translational relevance. Most mentors are tenured faculty in the departments of Pharmacology, Neuroscience and/or Psychiatry and members of the Pharmacology, Neuroscience and/or Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Groups.

The Program Director is Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD, the Karl E. Rickels Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The Co-Director is Amita Sehgal, PhD, John Herr Musser Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Applicants wishing to apply for a post-doctoral slot (PhD, MD, or MD/PhD) should contact Dr. Berrettini (wadeb@upenn.edu).