Arpana Agrawal, PhD

Associate Professor

Human and Statistical Genetics Program

Research Abstract:

Broadly, my expertise is in two domains:
(a) Epidemiology and psychometrics: I am particularly interested in understanding how alcohol, substance use and co-occurring behaviors go together. To this end, I have researched the comorbidity between aspects of alcohol involvement, ranging from early initiation to alcohol use disorders. I have also explored the role of changing diagnostic frameworks (DSM-IV to DSM-5) and methods for creating reliable composite indices of alcohol consumption. In addition, as a contributor to a multi-site NIAAA-funded effort (MARC), I have been responsible for developing phenotype harmonization methods for meta-analysis. I also recently contributed to the PhenX effort as a member of the Substance Abuse Advisory Committee.
(b) Genetics and Genomics: I have extensive experience with latent genetic modeling using family and twin data. These included multivariate and gene-by-environment interplay models for alcohol and drug involvement. I have also led linkage, candidate gene and genomewide association studies and currently lead two international consortia that seek to identify genomic variants for alcohol consumption and dependence. In addition, I am particularly interested in the role of common versus specific genetic influences for alcohol and drug use disorders, and the role of internalizing psychopathology (e.g. depression, suicide) as complicating factors that share etiologic connections with these substances. I recently consulted with NIAAA on a workshop aimed at delineating a plan for future gene-by-environment studies. I have gained considerable technical expertise with designing candidate gene assays, establishing genotyping pipelines and quality control metrics for multi-site studies, as these are my primary responsibilities on the MARC. In addition, I am interested in meta-analytic methods for gene-finding.

Last Updated: 4/15/2013 10:14:22 AM

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