Posts classified under: F

Jonathan Flint, M.D.


Jonathan Flint has been a pioneer in the genetics of behaviour. He showed that behaviour, and psychiatric diseases are genetically tractable targets, and he has made key advances in identifying their molecular underpinnings, particularly with his work on structural variants.   His genome-wide analyses of behaviour in rodents, precursors to GWAS in humans, revealed the polygenic architecture of behavior, arising from the joint action of many loci of small effect, a key insight for the design and interpretation of genetic studies in psychiatry.

His work has had clinical relevance: probes developed in his laboratory are now part of standard screening protocols for intellectual disability across the world; his work on determining the causal pathway from mutation to behavioural phenotype resulted in the discovery of an important and unexpected cause of a human genetic disorder (neuronal migration defects), again with benefits for patients and families.

He developed and pioneered novel approaches in mouse genetics, championing the use of multi-parental lines and outbred mice. Together with the widely used sequence data of classical inbred strains, these ideas and resources have transformed complex trait analysis in rodents.

His insistence on the importance of careful delineation of phenotypes in psychiatric genetics resulted in his successful genetic analysis of major depression, and has opened new avenues to understanding the origins of the world’s leading cause of disability. Such work is necessary to develop new ways of treating patients.

Debora Farber, Ph.D.


Debora B. Farber is a biochemist and molecular biologist who has been a faculty member of the UCLA School of Medicine since she joined the Department of Ophthalmology in 1977. She became a full professor in 1984, a Karl Kirchgessner Endowed Chair in 2001 and a Distinguished Professor in 2007. She has been Associate Director for Research of the Brain Research Institute (1992 -1994) and Associate Director of the Jules Stein Eye Institute as well as Co-Chief of its Vision Science Division (1994 – 2004). Dr. Farber earned her M.S. in Chemistry and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department, University of California at Santa Barbara, where she studied the cyclic nucleotide regulation of different processes. She started working on the retina and diseases affecting it when she joined UCLA, and soon thereafter she received a National Eye Institute Research Career Development Award. In addition to her continued support from NIH, Dr. Farber also was granted an NIH MERIT Award. She received the highest honorary degree, Doctor Honoris Causa, from the University of Göteborg, Sweden, the Proctor Medal from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the “Marraine 2005” honorary title from L’Association Degenerescence Maculaire Liee a l’Age, France. She also was the recipient of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine Distinguished Lecturer Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Neurosciences, the Alcon Research Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vision Research, The Foundation Fighting Blindness Trustee Award, the Paul Kayser International Award of Merit in Retina Research, two Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigators Awards and the Visionary Award from The Vision of Children Foundation. UCLA granted Dr. Farber the Woman of Science Award, the Franklin D. Murphy, M.D. Prize from the UCLA School of Medicine and the David Geffen School of Medicine MAA Medical Science Award. She is an Editorial Board member of several journals and has given Plenary lectures at national and international meetings. She also was elected Trustee and Vice-President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Andrew Fuligni, Ph.D.


Dr. Fuligni received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan and was previously an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University. His work has been funded by a FIRST award from NICHD, a Faculty Scholars Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, the Mac Arthur Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Haynes Foundation. Fuligni is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and was a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Boyd McCandless Award for Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology. He currently is Co-Director of the NIMH Family Research Consortium IV and was an associate member of the Mac Arthur Network on Middle Childhood and the Russell Sage Foundation Working Group on Social Identity and Institutional Engagement. Fuligni was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for Research on Adolescence, and has served on the editorial boards of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Journal of Research on Adolescence. He currently is an Associate Editor of Child Development.