Sackler Institute Professor of Clinical Developmental Psychobiology
Director, Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology
Division of Developmental Neuroscience
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute

1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 40
New York, NY 10032

Faculty Profile


Research Summary

Dr. Gingrich and his group use a systems approach to better understand normal and abnormal brain function; in particular, the mechanisms that underlie neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. Their goal is to understand how genetic and epigenetic factors affect behavior and intervening systems such as circuitry, anatomy, and physiology. The lab exploits the ability to genetically modify mice–either to mimic known human susceptibility factors or to use conditional gene modifications–to further investigate our hypotheses regarding circuitry and physiology.

Towards that end, Dr. Gingrich is pursuing several lines of research related to the role of serotonin-signaling in the cortex. These studies have demonstrated an important role for cortical influence on behaviors related to schizophrenia and anxiety. His lab also has an active program examining the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin on the development of brain circuits that modulate affective and anxiety states. Additionally, the group has developed a mouse model of epigenetic effects of paternal age on behavior and brain function.

Select Publications
  1. Talati A, Guffanti G, Odgerel Z, Ionita-Laza I, Malm H, Sourander A, Brown AS, Wickramaratne PJ, Gingrich JA, Weissman MM. Genetic variants within the serotonin transporter associated with familial risk for major depression. Psychiatry Res. 2015 Jul 30;228(1):170-3. Epub 2015 Apr 18.
  2. Rebello TJ, Yu Q, Goodfellow NM, Caffrey Cagliostro MK, Teissier A, Morelli E, Demireva EY, Chemiakine A, Rosoklija GB, Dwork AJ, Lambe EK, Gingrich JA, Ansorge MS. Postnatal day 2 to 11 constitutes a 5-HT-sensitive period impacting adult mPFC function. J Neurosci. 2014 Sep 10;34(37):12379-93.
  3. Milekic MH, Xin Y, O’Donnell A, Kumar KK, Bradley-Moore M, Malaspina D, Moore H, Brunner D, Ge Y, Edwards J, Paul S, Haghighi FG, Gingrich JA. Age-related sperm DNA methylation changes are transmitted to offspring and associated with abnormal behavior and dysregulated gene expression. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Aug;20 (8):995-1001. Epub 2014 Aug 5.
  • 5P50MH090966-02 (Gingrich)
    07/01/10 to 06/30/16 (NCE)NIH / NIMH
    Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research
    Serotonergic Modulation of Brain Development: Genetic and Pharmacologic Influences on Structure, Function, and Behavior

    This study aims to determine whether 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 on Project: Center PI and Co-PI of Project 4

  • 1R21MH099458-01A1 (Gingrich)
    09/01/13 – 07/31/15 NIMH

    Serotonergic modulation of claustro-cortical circuits
    The tools and results from this study can be used in the future to directly manipulate neuronal activity of the CL and reveal new neural substrates of serotonergic action on emotional and cognitive function.

    Role: Principal Investigator

  • NIMH (2R01MH080116-06A1) (Gingrich)
    02/01/08 to 03/31/17
    Serotonin and the Modulation of Brain Development

    Study of the mechanisms underlying the impact of early SSRI exposure on adult emotional function in mice.

    Role: Principal Investigator

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