Upstate News

January 14, 2005
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D., leading authority on genetics of psychiatric disorders, to head new genetics research program at SUNY Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on the genetics of psychiatric disorders, especially attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, has been named to head a new medical genetics research program at SUNY Upstate Medical University. In addition, Faraone will serve as professor of psychiatry and director of child and adolescent psychiatry research in SUNY Upstate’s Department of Psychiatry.

Faraone’s appointment is one of the most significant faculty appointments in recent history at SUNY Upstate, said Steven Scheinman, M.D., executive vice president and dean of the College of Medicine.

“Dr. Faraone is a major figure in psychiatric genetics. No other psychiatric geneticist in the past decade has been cited more often for his or her work in scientific journals than Stephen Faraone,” Scheinman said. “His appointment elevates SUNY Upstate to a new level in the area of medical research.”

Faraone brings to SUNY Upstate several million dollars in funded research primarily from the National Institutes of Health. The studies, some funded through 2010, address numerous psychiatric conditions, including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder and substance use disorders in children.

As director of the medical genetics research at SUNY Upstate, Faraone will bring together genetics researchers from across campus to help foster collaborative research efforts and to raise the profile of genetics research at the university

“The study of genetics is a tremendously powerful tool for discovering the causes of disease,” Scheinman said. “This is where great medical breakthroughs are being made, and Stephen Faraone will help us strengthen and move our research efforts ahead in this area with significant speed.”

One area sure to benefit from Faraone’s appointment is the Department of Psychiatry. Already involved in several multi-million dollar federal research studies, the department will see its research profile rise, especially in the area of ADHD.

Faraone’s interest in ADHD is longstanding. He has or is currently investigating various aspects of the disorder, including the genetics of the disorder and its long-term outcomes. His studies have brought a greater understanding of the highly heritable nature of ADHD and have brought researchers closer to identifying specific genes that play a key role in increasing susceptibility of the disorder.

Mantosh Dewan, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, said Faraone’s ADHD research will significantly enhance the department’s already strong research and clinical interest into ADHD.

“His connection with our department will be a great benefit to moving ahead with additional research activities on psychiatric disorders, especially ADHD,” Dewan said. “He is so well recognized in this field, that his presence here will cause other top-flight researchers to join our institution.”

Dewan said Faraone will be a key player in helping the department develop an adult ADHD program. The department already has an ADHD program for children. ADHD is a somewhat common neuropsychiatric disorder that may affect as many as 10 percent of children. Less is known about adult ADHD, which may affect 5 percent of the adult population.

Prior to joining SUNY Upstate, Faraone has been a faculty member since 1985 at Harvard Medical School and, since 2002 , at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also served as a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He has authored over 400 journal articles, editorial chapters and books, including Straight Talk about Your Child’s Mental Health: What to do When Something Seems Wrong (The Guilford Press, 2003), which won the 2003 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing.

Faraone is co-editor of the journal of Neuropsychiatric Genetics and associate editor for statistics and methodology of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. He is a member of the Panel of Biostatistical and Methodology Consultants for the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is a member of the editorial boards of Behavioral and Brain Functions and the Journal of Psychiatric Medicine.

In 2002 Faraone was inducted into the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Hall of Fame in recognition of outstanding achievement in medicine and education research on attention disorders and in 2003 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics.

Faraone received a doctorate (1982) and master’s degree (1980) from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook.

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