Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Directors

Dr. Berrettini and Dr. Sehgal bring synergistic strengths to the Training Program in Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Berrettini has concentrated his mentor activities in the post-doctoral category, emphasizing research with human populations and their samples, while Dr. Sehgal has trained 20 graduate students in the past 20 years, emphasizing basic science and animal model research. Applicants wishing to apply for a post-doctoral slot (PhD, MD, or MD/PhD) should contact Dr. Berrettini (wadeb@upenn.edu).


Director

Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD

Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD
Karl E. Rickels Professor of Psychiatry
wadeb@upenn.edu

Faculty bio page
Center for Neurobiology and Behavior (CNB) page
The Program director is Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD, the Karl E. Rickels Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.  He earned his MD degree (1977) and PhD degree (Pharmacology, 1979) from Thomas Jefferson University. After psychiatry residency training, he studied genetics of behavioral disorders at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health for ten years.  Since 1997 Dr. Berrettini has served as the Director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, a group of interdisciplinary scientists studying genetic and biologic influences on brain disorders.  The author of ~400 peer-reviewed publications, his research interests include genetics, pharmacogenetics and medical treatment of addictions, mood disorders, schizophrenia and epilepsy. The Berrettini lab is currently studying somatic mutation in neurons as potential causative factors in risk for addictions, psychotic illnesses, epilepsy and obesity. Another focus of the lab is the study of a novel triple monoamine reuptake inhibitor as  pharmacotherapy in a phase II double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in cocaine addiction.



Co-Director

Amita Sehgal, PhD

Amita Sehgal, PhD
John Herr Musser Professor

Faculty bio page
Lab site
The Co-Director, Amita Sehgal, PhD, is an internationally recognized circadian rhythm neurobiologist who has an outstanding record of predoctoral and postdoctoral mentorship. She has been on the faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine since 1993 and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997. Dr. Sehgal is currently Director of the Chronobiology program at Penn and Vice Chair of the Department of Neuroscience. She has also served as Co-Director of the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center from 2008 to 2015. Dr. Sehgal’s research seeks to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying sleep and circadian rhythms, both of which are implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders. While maintaining a focus on basic mechanisms, using largely a Drosophila model, Dr. Sehgal has also extended her work in translational directions. These include studies of circadian disruption in animal models of disease (e.g. Fragile X, Angelman syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, small molecule screens to identify pharmacological modulators of sleep, and identification of potential biomarkers of sleep disruption in human subjects. Dr. Sehgal’s work has been recognized through many awards and honors, which include a Javits award from NINDS, an Ellison Senior Scholar in Aging award and an Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



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