Current Studies

  • Genetic variation and marijuana's pharmacologic and cue-elicited effects
    The primary goal of this pilot research is to investigate variability in marijuana's acute and cue-elicited effects associated with empirically-chosen polymorphisms in the CNR1 and FAAH genes. The long-term objective of this research is to identify genetic variation underlying individual differences in marijuana effects that may account for individual differences in susceptibility to marijuana dependence. Greater understanding of these mechanisms can inform genetically targeted pharmacotherapeutic approaches for treating cannabis dependence.
    Co-Investigator:Valerie Knopik

  • Prenatal tobacco exposure: effects on neuropsychological outcomes and ADHD
    The goal of this project is to critically investigate prenatal environmental influences on child attention problems and associated learning and cognitive deficits. This sampling design provides the best possible methodological control for many stable maternal and familial confounding factors (e.g., heritable and sociodemographic characteristics of the mother that predict increased probability of maternal smoking during pregnancy) as well as differences between mothers who do and do not smoke during pregnancy, and their partners, that might otherwise artifactually create, or alternatively mask, an association between smoking during pregnancy and child outcomes.  Such a design will therefore provide opportunities to determine less biased effect sizes while also allowing us to investigate (on a preliminary basis) the possible contribution of paternal or other second-hand smoke exposure during the pre-, peri- and postnatal periods to offspring outcome. 
    Principal Investigator:Valerie Knopik 

  • The Rhode Island Multi-site Genetics Study For Autism and Related Disorders.
    The Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP) is investigating genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying autism and intellectual disability. We use genome-wide strategies to identify patterns in genes and chromosomes that may be associated with an autism diagnosis.

    The long-term goal of this research is to improve genetic diagnosis and treatments, with the hope of improving outcomes for affected individuals.

    We are inviting families to participate if there is at least one member affected by autism, or a related condition. Participation in the study consists of a one-time interview during which we go over the individual's medical and developmental history, as well as construct a family tree. We may also ask children to participate in a short evaluation. Finally, we will ask all family members in attendance to provide a DNA sample.

    By participating in the study, you can help future families like your own who are affected by autism, and contribute to approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism in general. Email Eric Morrow, MD, PhD for more information.

    More Information

  • Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP)