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The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

Godfrey Pearlson, M.D.
Professor Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Yale University School of Medicine
Click here for Yale profile

200 Retreat Avenue
Whitehall Building - Institute of Living
Hartford CT 06106
Phone: 860-545-7700, ext 7757

Who Am I?

Dr. Pearlson completed medical school in the United Kingdom and a graduate program in philosophy of mind/philosophy of science at Columbia University. He was subsequently at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a resident, postdoctoral fellow, and ultimately Professor in the Department of psychiatry, with Dr. Paul McHugh. While at Hopkins he was the founding director of the Division of Psychiatry Neuroimaging. Dr. Pearlson moved to Connecticut in 2001, as the founding director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center. He is the holder of a MERIT award from NIMH, was awarded a Distinguished Investigator award from NARSAD, the Ziskin-Somerfeld Award by the Society of Biological Psychiatry and a Michael Visiting Professorship by the Weizmann Institute. He is on NARSAD�s Scientific Council, on the Institute of Scientific Information�s Most Highly Cited Publications list and was a Frontiers of Science Lecturer, at the 2004 Annual APA Meeting. Dr. Pearlson received the 2015 Stanley Dean Award for Schizophrenia Research, from the American College of Psychiatrists, and in the same year was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Eight of his prior trainees are currently full professors and direct their own laboratories.

Dr. Pearlson directs several complementary programs of research. One is the COBBRA lab, which in several NIMH-funded RO1 grants, that are part of the BSNIP-consortium, investigate effects of psychosis risk alleles on cognitive function and associated structural brain patterns, DTI connectivity and functional MRI BOLD patterns.

Additional projects include an NIDA-funded RO1 grant to examine the neuroscience of marijuana-impaired driving, using a sophisticated simulated driving paradigm. Dr. Pearlson is also part of Dr. John Krystal�s NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism, with a project examining functional MRI response to reward tasks in sons and daughters of fathers with alcoholism that explores the effects of an experimental compound on rebalancing dopamine/glutamate activity in cerebral reward areas.

Additionally Dr. Pearlson is the co-founder of the annual BrainDance awards, started in 2004, that is open to high school students across New England. The BrainDance Awards encourage students to gain knowledge about psychiatric diseases and to develop a more tolerant and realistic perspective toward people with severe psychiatric problems by offering awards for art, essays and scientific projects related to mental illness. Winners attend an annual lecture related to mental illness and/or stigma and showcase their work.

He is also a member of the Connecticut Board of Physicians on medical marijuana that advises the Department of Consumer Protection on medical marijuana-related issues.

Roles and Responsibilities include:

  • Formulate & plan new research studies.
  • Integrate clinical, epidemiological & neuro-imaging study data.
  • Educate researchers.

Objectives/Interests in Neuropsychiatry:

  • Structural and functional cerebral correlates of normal aging and of major neuro-developmental and neuro-degenerative psychiatric disorders.
  • Functional cerebral actions of abused drugs.
  • Interactions between genetics - neuro-imaging and pre-symptomatic expression of CNS disease in at-risk persons.


Click here for Dr. Pearlson's CV, Adobe Acrobat Required.

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