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The mission of PNGU is to identify and characterize the genetic basis of psychiatric, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders and to translate these discoveries to improvements in clinical care and public health.
Dr. Pauls was the founding director of the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU). On July 1, 2011 he stepped down as director and has reduced his time to 25%. Prior to coming to Harvard in September 2001, he was the Professor of Psychiatric and Neurobehavioral Genetics in the Child Study Center at Yale University. Over the past 30 years, his research has focused primarily on the genetics of child neuropsychiatric disorders. Research under his direction has led to a better understanding of the inheritance of the Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), specific reading disability and the autism spectrum disorders. Until recently, he led three separate international consortia of investigators devoted to finding genes for GTS, OCD, trichotillomania and related conditions. Over the last 30 years, the focus of Dr. Pauls’ research has been on elucidating the underlying etiologic mechanisms important for the expression of human behavior. His primary goal has been to understand the both genetic and non-genetic factors that underlie the manifestation of specific behaviors that begin in childhood and continue over the life course. His research has focused on five different developmental neuropsychiatric disorders: the Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, high functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome, specific reading disability and trichotillomania and related disorders. Dr. Pauls is the author of over 270 peer-reviewed articles, 60 book chapters and one book. Most of his work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
See a list of Dr. Pauls' publications
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