|Dr. Matthew W. State
State is designated as
Cohen Associate Professor
Dr. Matthew W. State, recently named the Donald J. Cohen Associate Professor
of Child Psychiatry, is investigating the genetic bases of neuropsychiatric
and development disorders in childhood.
He is the first incumbent of the Cohen chair, named for the late Dr. Donald
J. Cohen, longtime director of the Yale Child Study Center and a pioneer in
child psychiatry. The professorship is intended to support a distinguished
scholar in the field of developmental psychopathology.
State is working to identify and characterize the genes related to such disorders
as Tourette Syndrome; obsessive-compulsive disorder; autism and related pervasive
developmental disorders; mental retardation; and early-onset psychosis. Instead
of studying large groups of patients with these disorders, State’s laboratory
is studying rare individuals and families to identify the genetic variants
linked to the conditions.
Using this approach, State and his colleagues discovered a gene called SLITRK1,
in which mutations lead to Tourette Syndrome; this work was hailed by the journal
Science as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2005. His team has
since found a gene (CNTNAP2) for autism-spectrum disorders. In March of 2007,
State and fellow Yale Child Study Center researcher Ami Klin received a $1.2
million grant from The Simons Foundation to take part in a $10 million project
to create a national databank of DNA samples from autism patients.
State earned his B.A. and M.D. from Stanford University and, after residency
and clinical fellowship training at the University of California-Los Angeles,
came to Yale as a research fellow in 1997. He later earned a Ph.D. in genetics
at Yale, working in the laboratory of David Ward.
He has faculty appointments at the Yale Child Study Center, where he is also
an attending physician, as well as in the Department of Genetics and the Yale
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. He is director of the School of Medicine’s
Program in Neurogenetics and co-director of the Program in Medical Genomics
at Yale’s Center for Genomics and Proteomics. He was appointed as Harris
Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry in 2005 and as the Harris Associate
Professor the following year.
His numerous honors include a Kingsley Fellowship in Medical Research in 2006.
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