Research in Genomic Psychology at Duke, for PhD students, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and advanced Duke undergraduates.


A group of faculty in Duke's Psychology and Neuroscience do path-breaking research in genomic psychology and provide research opportunities that cut across training programs and even disciplines. Research opportunities for students and postdoctoral researchers interested in genomic psychology include:

Dr. Staci Bilbo: Students in Dr. Bilbo's laboratory can explore the mechanisms underlying gene x environment interactions in nervous, endocrine, and immune system development, as well as potential trans-generational effects of environmental stressors via epigenetic modifications, using rodent models.

Dr. Avshalom Caspi: Students in developmental or personality psychology can join research on genetic and environmental risk factors that influence mental disorders, temperament, personality traits, and intelligence. Caspi uses quantitative twin studies and longitudinal studies with measured genotypes.

Dr. Kenneth Dodge: Students can examine mechanisms of gene-environment interaction effects in antisocial behavior and related mental disorders through analyses of two ongoing longitudinal studies of over 1,000 participants, the Fast Track Project and the Child Development Project.

Dr. Ahmad Hariri: Students in any of the Psychology & Neuroscience programs can investigate genetic mechanisms regulating behaviorally relevant brain function and related risks for psychopathology, using both candidate loci and genome wide strategies with Dr. Hariri. (

Dr. Terrie Moffitt: Students in Duke's Clinical Psychology Training program can work with Dr. Moffitt's longitudinal studies to research how inter-dependence between genetic and environmental risk factors influences the onset and course of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance dependence, and psychosis. (

Dr. Michael Platt: Students doing graduate work in P&N, Cognitive Neuroscience, or Neurobiology can investigate genetic mechanisms contributing to decision making and social behavior in nonhuman primates and mice with Dr. Platt (

Dr. Keith Whitfield: Students can examine genetic and environmental contributions to individual variation in cognition and health of adult and aged African Americans with Dr. Whitfield.

Dr. Redford Williams: Students in Duke's Clinical Psychology Training program can undertake research on the role of measured genes in the connection between psychosocial factors and major medical disorders, health and disease. Specific projects focus on gene-environment interaction in depression and coronary heart disease.


In addition to the faculty listed above, Duke has many other resources that facilitate the study of genomic psychology. These include:

Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy
(IGSP, )

Duke's Institute for Brain Sciences
(DIBS, )

Duke's Population Research Institute
(DuPri, )

Duke's Social Science Research Institute
(SSRI, )

Duke's NIDA Research Center

Students interested in studying genomic psychology at Duke can benefit from interaction with any and all of these faculty and involvement with any and all these institutes and centers. To be best prepared, an academic background is recommended that includes two or more courses in the following areas: abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, genetics, biology, animal behavior, neuroscience, statistics. Lab experience is desirable, but not necessary.

For more information, contact one of the faculty listed above or make your interest known when you apply to one of the listed Training Programs.