Dr. Alan S. Brown, Mailman School of Public Health professor of Epidemiology, received a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Dr. Brown, who is also professor of Psychiatry Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, studies the identification of early antecedents for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. The NARSAD grant provides support for experienced investigators conducting neurobiological and behavioral research. Areas of particular interest to the Scientific Council’s Selection Committee include patient populations with unique or unusual characteristics and central nervous system developments.
[Photo: Dr. Alan S. Brown]
Among Dr. Brown’s major findings, he was the first to demonstrate that serologically documented prenatal exposure to influenza, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and inflammatory biomarkers are potential risk factors for schizophrenia. Most recently, his research revealed a new link between low levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxine during pregnancy and risk of schizophrenia in the offspring. He has reported that smoking during pregnancy is also associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia in children.