Aaron F Alexander-bloch, MD, PhD, MPhil

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Department: Psychiatry
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Richards Biomedical Research Laboratories, B504
3700 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
AB (Philosophy)
Harvard College, 2006.
MPhil (Computational Biology)
University of Cambridge, 2008.
PhD (Neuroscience)
University of Cambridge, 2013.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 2015.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr Alexander-Bloch investigates normal brain development and the altered developmental trajectories that lead to mental illness, using a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates brain imaging, genomics and clinical information. The lab team's goal is to translate the highly polygenic risk for psychosis and other neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders into pathophysiologic mechanisms, to inform therapeutic targets and improve risk assessment. Current projects include: 1) Lifespan trajectory models of post-mortem brain gene expression and brain MRI morphological features (n=100,000 scans including shared and open data); 2) Influence of copy number variants and polygenic risk on brain development and psychiatric risk, in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort; 3) Analysis of clinically-acquired brain MRI at CHOP and integration with natural language processing of physician notes from electronic health record; 4) Transcriptome-wide association study of neuroimaging phenotypes in the UK Biobank. Rotation Projects are available within the scope of each of the above projects.

Selected Publications

Sha Z, Sun KY, Jung B, Barzilay R, Moore TM, Almasy L, Forsyth JK, Prem S, Gandal MJ, Seidlitz J, Glessner JT, Alexander-Bloch AF.: The copy number variant architecture of psychopathology and cognitive development in the ABCD(®) study. medRxiv May 2024.

Ho NCW, Bethlehem RA, Seidlitz J, Nogovitsyn N, Metzak P, Ballester PL, Hassel S, Rotzinger S, Poppenk J, Lam RW, Taylor VH, Milev R; Lifespan Brain Chart Consortium; Bullmore ET, Alexander-Bloch AF, Frey BN, Harkness KL, Addington J, Kennedy SH, Dunlop K.: Atypical brain aging and its association with working memory performance in major depressive disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging Apr 2024.

Luo AC, Sydnor VJ, Pines A, Larsen B, Alexander-Bloch AF, Cieslak M, Covitz S, Chen AA, Esper NB, Feczko E, Franco AR, Gur RE, Gur RC, Houghton A, Hu F, Keller AS, Kiar G, Mehta K, Salum GA, Tapera T, Xu T, Zhao C, Salo T, Fair DA, Shinohara RT, Milham MP, Satterthwaite TD.: Functional connectivity development along the sensorimotor-association axis enhances the cortical hierarchy. Nat Commun 15: 3511, Apr 2024.

Ball G, Oldham S, Kyriakopoulou V, Williams LZJ, Karolis V, Price A, Hutter J, Seal ML, Alexander-Bloch A, Hajnal JV, Edwards AD, Robinson EC, Seidlitz J.: Molecular signatures of cortical expansion in the human fetal brain. bioRxiv Feb 2024.

Wagstyl K, Adler S, Seidlitz J, Vandekar S, Mallard TT, Dear R, DeCasien AR, Satterthwaite TD, Liu S, Vértes PE, Shinohara RT, Alexander-Bloch A, Geschwind DH, Raznahan A.: Transcriptional cartography integrates multiscale biology of the human cortex. Elife 12: RP86933, Feb 2024.

Keller AS, Pines AR, Shanmugan S, Sydnor VJ, Cui Z, Bertolero MA, Barzilay R, Alexander-Bloch AF, Byington N, Chen A, Conan GM, Davatzikos C, Feczko E, Hendrickson TJ, Houghton A, Larsen B, Li H, Miranda-Dominguez O, Roalf DR, Perrone A, Shetty A, Shinohara RT, Fan Y, Fair DA, Satterthwaite TD.: Personalized functional brain network topography is associated with individual differences in youth cognition. Nat Commun 14: 8411, Dec 2023.

Bagautdinova J, Bourque J, Sydnor VJ, Cieslak M, Alexander-Bloch AF, Bertolero MA, Cook PA, Gur RE, Gur RC, Hu F, Larsen B, Moore TM, Radhakrishnan H, Roalf DR, Shinohara RT, Tapera TM, Zhao C, Sotiras A, Davatzikos C, Satterthwaite TD.: Development of white matter fiber covariance networks supports executive function in youth. Cell Rep 42: 113487, Dec 2023.

Bedford SA, Lai MC, Lombardo MV, Chakrabarti B, Ruigrok A, Suckling J, Anagnostou E, Lerch JP, Taylor M, Nicolson R, Stelios G, Crosbie J, Schachar R, Kelley E, Jones J, Arnold PD, Courchesne E, Pierce K, Eyler LT, Campbell K, Barnes CC, Seidlitz J, Alexander-Bloch AF, Bullmore ET, Baron-Cohen S, Bethlehem RAI; MRC AIMS Consortium and Lifespan Brain Chart Consortium.: Brain-charting autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder reveals distinct and overlapping neurobiology. medRxiv Dec 2023.

Weinstein SM, Vandekar SN, Alexander-Bloch AF, Raznahan A, Li M, Gur RE, Gur RC, Roalf DR, Park MTM, Chakravarty M, Baller EB, Linn KA, Satterthwaite TD, Shinohara RT.: Network Enrichment Significance Testing in Brain-Phenotype Association Studies. bioRxiv Nov 2023.

Seidlitz J, Mallard TT, Vogel JW, Lee YH, Warrier V, Ball G, Hansson O, Hernandez LM, Mandal AS, Wagstyl K, Lombardo MV, Courchesne E, Glessner JT, Satterthwaite TD, Bethlehem RAI, Bernstock JD; Lifespan Brain Chart Consortium; Tasaki S, Ng B, Gaiteri C, Smoller JW, Ge T, Gur RE, Gandal MJ, Alexander-Bloch AF.: The molecular genetic landscape of human brain size variation. Cell Rep 42: 113439, Nov 2023.

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Last updated: 06/05/2024
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