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Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology Study Section [BGES]

The Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology [BGES] Study Section reviews research on the epidemiology and genetics of psychiatric disorders, psychological and mental health conditions, alcohol and substance abuse and recovery and development in human populations, and other health behaviors. Psychiatric diseases and conditions considered include schizophrenia, bipolar and mood disorders, depression, anxiety, suicide, antisocial personality, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Other areas considered include normal and abnormal human development through the lifespan, developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD, learning abilities and disabilities, temperament and risky behaviors.



  • Behavioral genetic, genetic association or DNA sequencing studies with behavioral or psychiatric phenotypes.
  • Mapping of epigenetic markers or changes in behavioral or psychiatric phenotypes.
  • Gene-environment interactions, including population-based or clinically-ascertained family, twin, and adoption studies that incorporate environmental risk factor identification and measurement, including heritability studies.
  • The distribution and patterns of mental health and health behaviors in human populations with respect to personal characteristics, place and time.
  • Determinants, predictors and biomarkers of diseases/conditions. The focus is to determine whether risk of a disease/condition is different among individuals who are exposed or not exposed to specific biological, psychological, social, environmental, and cultural factors of interest.
  • Studies of individual, familial, group, and community factors and dynamics that may predispose and/or result from natural catastrophes and traumatic events affecting a population or region [e.g., fire, hurricane, terrorism, violence, and crime].
  • Primary prevention including those evaluated by clinical trials.
  • Research designs and methodologies to address epidemiologic questions including cohort; case-control; prospective; longitudinal; retrospective; clinical trial; cross-sectional; surveillance; genetics; genome wide association studies (GWAS); epigenetics; gene-environment interactions; and molecular genetics.

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