JOINED THE SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL IN 2015
Associate Professor In Residence, Department of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego
Dr. Young’s primary interest is understanding causes of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction in serious mental illness with relevance to real world functioning. He developed and uses several cognitive/behavioral tests that can be conducted in rodents and humans so that mechanisms underlying deficient behaviors in humans can be disentangled using rodents studies. These behaviors and cognitive domains include exploration, attention, impulsivity, working memory, decision-making, and learning. Examples of this research includes using targeted genetic, pharmacological, and adeno-associated viral manipulations to examine what role the dopamine D1 receptor plays in each of these domains. Another example has been testing a genetic model of bipolar disorder mania to develop putative treatments for the inattention and impulsivity observed in the model, which are also seen in bipolar mania patients when tested by our collaborators in a fMRI setting.
Finally, beyond genetic models, Dr. Young is also interested in determining environment X genetic susceptibility factors that may underlie the expression of behavioral abnormalities, including those observed in cycling between behaviors representative of depression and mania. Using these paradigms in both humans and animals provides the opportunity for bench-to-bedside translational research, increasing the likelihood of clinical success for treating the numerous behavioral and cognitive abnormalities seen in psychiatric disorders.
NARSAD Grants: Young Investigator 2008 and 2012