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Tenure Department Talk – James Li
October 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
James Li will be giving his department Tenure talk with virtual attendance options.
Title: Nature and Nurture in the Precision Medicine Era: Applications in ADHD and Beyond
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common (7-11% prevalence rate among children in the U.S.) and heritable (genes account for 70-80% of its variance) of the mental disorders. Despite its prevalence and high degree of heritability, our current tools to diagnose and treat children with ADHD are both archaic (e.g., largely based on brief questionnaires or interviews) and problematic (e.g., frequent use of stimulant medications without behavioral intervention). My research program attempts to address some of these issues by tapping into the NIH-sponsored Precision Medicine Initiative, an endeavor that strives to understand “how a person’s genetics, environment and lifestyle can determine the best approach to prevent or treat disease”. My research incorporates advanced longitudinal models of psychopathology, cutting-edge methods in genetics, and rigorous assays of a child’s environment to show the ways in which a person’s genes and upbringing can impact the development of ADHD over time.
In this talk, I will articulate a developmentally-informed model for studying the genetic and environmental underpinnings of ADHD and related phenotypes. I will focus my talk on two of the three aims of my research program: 1) the development and application of novel genetic methods to improve our ability to diagnose ADHD in children, and 2) the use of genetic information to uncover the mechanistic (including environmental) pathways by which genes for ADHD eventuate into different pathways of behavior in later life. To conclude, I will provide a vision and a pipeline of research that reflect the ways in which my research can inform mental health practice in the precision medicine era.
More information will be provided as we get closer to the date.