Welcome to the Neurodevelopment & Psychosis Section!

The Neurodevelopment & Psychosis Section of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychiatry is devoted to the study of brain and behavior in health and disease. By integrating methodologies we aim to advance the understanding and treatment of complex brain disorders such as schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders.

We combine clinical assessment procedures with neurobehavioral measures, neuroimaging, electrophysiology and genomics. Clinical research is linked to basic research by using animal models and biomarkers.  The research involves working with individuals and families over time to help understand changes and treatments. We are especially interested in factors that contribute to vulnerability to psychosis as well as those that add to resilience in young people.

Our Story

Drs. Raquel and Ruben Gur established the Neurodevelopment & Psychosis Section in the Department of Psychiatry of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the early ‘80s, committed to advance the understanding of schizophrenia as a brain disorder. At the time, there was little research being conducted on schizophrenia in the Philadelphia area. Supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), they established a mental health clinical research center. As the center began attracting additional investigators, it transitioned toward translational research that integrated clinical and basic neuroscience methods across many Penn departments and schools. Since then, Neuropsychiatry  has evolved into two larger-scale programs: The Schizophrenia Research Center and the Brain Behavior Laboratory.

More recently, Penn Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have established The Lifespan Brain Institute (LiBI), a joint effort dedicated to identifying in children the neuropathological antecedents to mental health disorders, like schizophrenia, that strike in adolescence or early adulthood.