Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology
Director, Program in Birth Cohort Study

1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 23
Room 125
New York, NY, 10032
646-774-6408 (fax)

Faculty Profile


Research Summary

The area of specialty of my research program is the epidemiology of neurodevelopmental etiologies of schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorder. The focus of the work is on biomarker-based in utero and early childhood exposures that are prospectively documented in large population birth cohorts followed up for these disorders. These samples include a Finnish national birth cohort and the Child Health and Development Study. These studies have yielded novel associations between prenatal exposures including infection, immune dysfunction, and micronutrient deficiencies and schizophrenia among offspring. More recently, we have extended this work to include autism and bipolar disorder, demonstrating associations between maternal inflammatory biomarkers and autism, and between maternal influenza and bipolar disorder in offspring.   Presently, we are broadening the array of risk factors to include autoantibodies, neurotoxins, hormones, and other obstetric events. Moreover, we have demonstrated associations between prenatal exposures and neuroanatomic and neuropsychological brain abnormalities in schizophrenia. In addition, we are investigating relationships between early developmental exposures and deviations in child development and premorbid neuropsychological function. My research group is also examining the relationship between use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy and neuropsychiatric outcomes in childhood and adolescence.   Furthermore, I am collaborating on translational studies of maternal immune activation and schizophrenia, with a focus on GABAergic cortical interneurons and psychopharmacological treatment trials of cytokine antagonists in schizophrenia.

Select Publications
  1. Malm H, Artama M, Brown AS, Gissler M, Gyllenberg D, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, McKeague I, Sourander A. Infant and childhood neurodevelopmental outcomes following prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: overview and design of a Finnish Register-Based Study (FinESSI). BMC Psychiatry 2012; 12:217. PMCID: PMC3564781
  2. Gyllenberg D, Gissler M, Malm H, Artama M, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Brown AS, Sourander A. Specialized service use for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders by age 14 in Finland. Psychiatr Services 2014; 65(3):367-373. PMCID: in process
  3. Brown AS, Sourander A, Hinkka-Yli-Salomaki S, McKeague IW, Sundvall J, Surcel HM. Elevated maternal C-reactive protein and autism in a national birth cohort. Mol Psychiatry 2014; 19(2): 259-264. PMCID: PMC3633612.
  4. Brown AS, Begg MD, Gravenstein S, Schaefer CA, Wyatt RJ, Bresnahan MA, Babulas V, Susser ES. Serologic evidence for prenatal influenza in the etiology of schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2004; 61:774-780. PMID:15289276
  1. Brown AS, Hooton J, Schaefer CA, Zhang H, Petkova E, Babulas V, Perrin M, Gorman JM, Susser ES. Elevated maternal interleukin-8 levels and risk of schizophrenia in adult offspring. Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161:889-895. PMID: 15121655
  1. Brown AS, Schaefer CA, Quesenberry CP, Liu L, Babulas V, Susser ES. Maternal exposure to toxoplasmosis and risk of schizophrenia in adult offspring. Am J Psychiatry 2005; 162:767-773. PMID: 15800151
  2. Insel BJ, Schaefer CA, McKeague IW, Susser ES, Brown AS. Maternal iron deficiency and the risk of schizophrenia in offspring. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2008; 65:1136-1144. PMCID: PMC3656467.
  3. Perrin MA, Chen H, Sandberg DE, Malaspina D, Brown AS. Growth trajectory during early life and risk of schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry 2007; 191:512-520. PMCID: PMC2994714
  1. Lampi KM, Lehtonen L, Tran PL, Suominen A, Lehti V, Banerjee PN, Gissler M, Brown AS, Sourander A. Risk of autism spectrum disorders in low birth weight and small for gestational age infants. J Pediatr, 2012; 161:830-836. PMCID: PMC3449022
  1. Tran PL, Lehti P, Lampi K, Helenius H, Brown AS, Sourander A. Smoking during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorder in a Finnish national birth cohort. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol, 2013; 27:266-274. PMCID: PMC3652271
  2. Opler MG, Brown AS, Graziano J, Desai M, Zheng W, Schaefer C, Factor-Litvak P, Susser ES. Prenatal lead exposure, delta-aminolevulinic acid, and schizophrenia. Environ Health Perspect 2004; 112:548-552. PMCID: PMC2592283
  3. Harper K, Hibbeln JR, Deckelbaum R, Bresnahan M, Quesenberry CA, Schaefer CA, Brown AS. Maternal serum docosahexaenoic acid and schizophrenia spectrum disorders in adult offspring. Schizophr Res 2011; 128: 30-36. PMCID:PMC3085558
  4. Lampi KM, Banerjee PN, Niemelä S, Huttunen J, Ristkari T, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Ikonen M, Kulmala U, Saanakorpi K, Sarlin T, Lindroos J, Sillanmäki L, McKeague I, Surcel HM, Gissler M, Brown AS, Sourander A. Finnish prenatal study of autism and autism spectrum disorders (FIPS-A): Overview and design. J Autism Dev Disord 2011; 41: 1090-1096. PMID: 21082229
  5. Brown AS, Bottiglieri T, Scheafer CA, Quessenberry CP Jr., Liu L, Bresnahan M, Susser ES. Elevated prenatal homocysteine levels as a risk factor for schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2007; 64(1):31-39.
  6. Lehti V, Brown AS, Gissler M, Rihko M, Suominen A, Sourander A. Autism spectrum disorders in IVF children: a national case-control study in Finland. Hum Reprod 2013; 28(3):812-818. PMCID: PMC3708520.
  • 5 P50MH090966-06 (Gingrich) 09/01/10 – 04/30/16 (NCE)


    Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research: Serotonergic Modulation Influence on Structure, Function, and Behavior; We will test the hypothesis that low-expressing 5httlpr variants of the serotonin transporter (SERT) and pharmacologic inhibition of SERT function produce similar effects on brain maturation and ultimately behavior and increase the risk for clinical diagnoses such as affective and anxiety-related disorders.

    Role: Co-Investigator, Principal Investigator of Project 1

  • CaMPR-Basic Pilot Award (Kellendonk) 12/01/14 – 11/31/15

    (Irving Institute)

    The relationship between prenatal immune activation and basal metabolism in the adolescent hippocampus.

    We will measure CA1 metabolic activity using resting state fMRI in an animal model of early maternal infection during pregnancy, the maternal immune activation (MIA) model. We will then test whether we hypothesize that anti‐inflammatory therapy will prevent CA1 hypermetabolism in the MIA model.

    Role: Co-I

  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (Canetta) 01/15/14 – 01/14/16

    Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

    Maternal immune activation and development of PV+ GABAergic Cortical Interneurons in the Mouse

    Brown (Co-mentor)

    We will examine the role of maternal immune activation on GABAergic cortical interneuron circuitry in a mouse model

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