ADAA_GAN-Sig-Logo-Final_1_0.pngThe Genetics and Neuroscience SIG brings together researchers who are broadly involved in the biological science of anxiety and depressive disorders. This includes clinical and basic neuroscience (electrophysiology, imaging, animal models, experimental paradigms) and genetics (twin and family studies, molecular genetics, endophenotypes). The SIG provides ADAA members with opportunities to network, share ideas, form collaborations, and update one another and the broader ADAA community on the state of the genetics and neuroscience field. The group is comprised of a diverse array of clinicians, researchers, and clinician-researchers across the student, postdoctoral scholar/clinical trainee, and faculty/practitioner levels.

Recent SIG activities include: (1) Establishing a repository of information on measures relevant to the genetics and neuroscience study of anxiety and depression, so that anyone in the ADAA community can learn what measures are out there, how to find them, and how they link to other units of analysis within the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) domain, and (2) Providing monthly updates on articles relevant to the group’s focus.

At the 2018 ADAA Annual Conference in Washington DC., the SIG hosted a symposium on Ketamine as a Novel Approach for Treatment-Resistant Depression and Anxiety," presented by Drs. Carlos Zarate (National Institute of Mental Health) and Chadi Abdallah (Yale University).

If you’re interested in joining this SIG, please login to your member account and choose Groups from the green menu bar at the top of your screen. Have a question about the member platform? Please contact Vickie Spielman, ADAA Associate Director of Membership and Marketing.

SIG Co-Chairs:

  • Lynnette A. Averill, PhD, National Center for PTSD
  • Karmel Choi, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Namik Kirlic, PhD, Laureate Institute for Brain Research
  • Daniel Levey, PhD, Yale University/VA Connecticut Healthcare System

Former SIG Co-Chairs:

  • Sanne van Rooij, PhD (2017-2019)
  • Sahib Khalsa, PhD (2017-2019)

Board Liasion:
Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP, Emory University School of Medicine 

GAN SIG Members in the News

2018-2019 Annual Report


  1. We informed the membership of the SIG activities at the 2018 meeting.
  2. We have grown our SIG membership list. Since the last year’s report submitted to the board the number of current GAN SIG members is n=129 (the number at last year’s board report was n=51; and the number at the 2018 ADAA meeting was n=100).
  3. We co-sponsored a webinar with the Professional Education Committee on the role of genetics in anxiety disorders, on December 6, 2018. The speaker, Dr. Jordan Smoller, discussed: “Genetics of Depression and Anxiety: What Do Clinicians Need to Know?”
  4. We posted monthly updates about recently published studies via blog and the GAN SIG website page. Posts covered the role of neuroimaging predictors of depression or PTSD treatment response, machine learning predictors of suicide completion, and the role of quantitative EEG in predicting antidepressant response, among others. 
  5. We identified two new co-chairs, Lynnette (Nette) Averill (Yale University) and Karmel Choi (Massachusetts General Hospital). They bring strong genetics and neuroscience expertise and a refreshing perspective, and will each serve a two-year term. Sanne and Sahib will step down as GAN SIG co-chairs at this year’s ADAA meeting.
  6. We developed a new logo for the GAN SIG, that can be added to online postings to distinguish this group from others at ADAA 
  7. For this year's ADAA meeting in Chicago, we organized a symposium entitled “Failure to launch? Promises and Pitfalls of Genetic/Neuroimaging Predictors in Mental Health.” We invited two experts in this field to discuss this topic from a genetics and neuroscience perspective: Drs. Roy Perlis (Harvard Medical School) and Isaac Galatzer-Levy (NYU School of Medicine/AiCure). Their presentation will be followed by an interactive discussion.

 Ongoing/Plans for the Future

  1. We will continue our monthly updates on articles relevant to the group’s focus by posting these articles on the ADAA website page.
  2. We will be starting the ‘First and last paper challenge’: the goal is to get each GAN SIG member to list their very first and their most recent publication on the member blog page, as a way to increase awareness and interaction between members.
  3. Organize the GAN SIG symposium for the 2020 ADAA meeting; decide on a topic and and invite experts in the field of neuroscience and genetics to give a presentation about their research related to this topic.   

Please view the ADAA SIG Guidelines for responsibilities and expectations.