Robert Asarnow


Ph.D.: Wayne State University
Primary Area: Clinical Psychology
Home Department: Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Address: 760 Westwood Plaza, 48-240C Semel Institute
Phone: (310) 825-0394

Research and Teaching Interests:

There are three major foci of Dr. Asarnow’s current research. The first is a family genetic study of children with schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which systematically evaluated alternative ways of measuring the schizophrenia phenotype. The results of this study indicate that there is an increased familial aggregation of schizophrenia, schizophrenia spectrum personality disorders and certain neurocognitive impairments, as well as an usually early age of onset of schizophrenia in those relatives who develop a schizophrenic disorder, in the relatives of probands with childhood onset schizophrenia compared to relatives of community control and adult-onset schizophrenia probands. Asarnow and colleagues are following up these results in a genetic linkage study which will attempt to identify chromo-somal regions harboring susceptibility genes for schizoprenia and/or certain neurocognitive impairment which may reflect genetic liability to schizophrenia. The second focus of Dr. Asarnow’s research is studies examining the neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injuries in children and adults. These are prospective, epidemiological studies that assess language, cognition and school and adaptive functioning in children and adults who have suffered significant traumatic brain injuries. The third major theme is studies examining the neurobehavioral outcomes in children who receive resective surgery for “catastrophic” epilepsies. A major focus of that work is an attempt to identify the conditions under which the developing brain demonstrates functional plasticity.