James B Potash, MD, MPH

PotashJ
Psychiatry
Paul W. Penningroth Chair, Professor and Head of Psychiatry
Summary statement: 

Genetics and epigenetics of mood disorders

Office phone: 
(319) 356-1144
Office number: 
2887
Office building: 
JPP
Lab phone: 
(319) 335-7225
Lab room number: 
B005
Lab building: 
ML

I am interested in the genetic variation and DNA methylation variation that confer susceptibility to depression and bipolar disorder. Family, twin, and adoption studies have made it abundantly clear that these disorders are substantially heritable, but only a very small proportion of that heritability has thus far been explained molecularly. Similarly, the environment clearly plays a role in the etiology of depression, but the molecular basis of that role remains undefined. I have an R01 grant from the NIMH to perform next-generation exome sequencing in about 3,000 bipolar disorder cases and controls, and examine the data searching for rare variants associated with this illness. I also have an R01grant from the NIMH to assess genome-wide DNA methylation variation in a mouse model of stress and depression. Both of these projects involve bench work including DNA sequencing, bisulfite pyrosequencing, and gene expression assays. They further involve bioinformatics and statistical genetics assessment of large data sets. 

“Iowa City is a semi - small town centralized around the University and conjoined Hospital. All of the amenities necessary are easily accessible. Iowa City holds an excellent night life and has an emphasis on local everything (coffee, food, etc..). As UIowa is a large university, there are endless activities to be had. The new rec and numerous trails satisfy your exercise and outdoor craving needs. Coming from the larger city of Pittsburgh, I would equate the cultures as both outgoing and open-minded. A more positive aspect of Iowa City over a larger city is the slower feel to the town. Graduate life can be very stressful, so the safety of the town and lack of a dense population make an already busy life easier to manage. ”