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. 

“On a program note, the main reason I chose to attend UIowa was because of the down to earth students and the student-oriented graduate program. Many of the students are very close-knit and we try to ensure the success of everyone, regardless of future aspirations. I have certainly felt at home since at UIowa, and have no doubt the Neuroscience Program here was the right choice. ”