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Arpana Agrawal, PhD

Current Position
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

University Roles
Instructor: Psychology 345, Human Linkage and Association, Addiction and Addictive Behaviors, Psychiatric Genetics (MPHS).

Education and Training
Ph.D. Human Genetics (Quantitative)

Major Awards
Behavior Genetics Association's Fuller and Scott Award for Contributions made Early in the Career (2010).


Areas of Research Interests
My research focuses on the genetic and environmental underpinnings of substance-related behaviors, especially those related to cannabis (marijuana) use and misuse as well as alcohol. I am currently funded by NIDA to conduct data analyses using data on monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs to understand the sources of variation in co-occurring cannabis and tobacco use. I am also supported by the Alcoholic Beverages Medical Research Foundation to genotype candidate genes that are potentially associated with variation in alcohol consumption and to conduct measured genotype-environment interaction studies. Recently, I received ARRA-supported funds via NIDA to examine the correlates of transitions in cannabis involvement in a large US dataset (NESARC). My other interests include assessment of the psychometric properties of substance-related scales, genomic linkage/association/epistasis studies, genomewide association studies using multivariate methods and defining the environment as it applies to substance-related behaviors. Recently I have also begun to explore the role of CNR1 in stress adaptation.

My CV and biosketch are available at:

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Agrawal A, Lynskey MT, Hinrichs A, Grucza R, Saccone SF, Krueger R, Neuman R, Howells W, Fisher S, Fox L, Cloninger R, Dick DM, Doheny KF, Edenberg HJ, Goate AM, Hesselbrock V, Johnson E, Kramer J, Kuperman S, Nurnberger Jr JI, Pugh E, Schuckit M, Tischfield J, The GENEVA Consortium, Rice JP, Bucholz KK, Bierut LJ (2011 Jul). A genome-wide association study of DSM-IV cannabis dependence. Addict Biol. 16(3): 514-518.  Full Article ->

Agrawal A, Heath AC, Lynskey MT (2011 Jun 1). DSM-IV to DSM-5: The impact of proposed revisions on diagnosis of alcohol use disorders. Addiction.   Full Article ->

Lynskey MT, Agrawal A, Heath AC (2010 Dec). Genetically informative research on adolescent substance use: methods, findings, and challenges. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 49(12): 1202-14.  Full Article ->

Agrawal A, Balasubramanian S, Smith EK, Madden PA, Bucholz KK, Heath AC, Lynskey MT (2010 Oct). Peer substance involvement modifies genetic influences on regular substance involvement in young women. Addiction. 105(10): 1844-53.  Full Article ->

Bennett SN, Caporaso N, Fitzpatrick AL, Agrawal A, Barnes K, Boyd HA, Cornelis MC, Hansel NN, Heiss G, Heit JA, Kang JH, Kittner SJ, Kraft P, Lowe W, Marazita ML, Monroe KR, Pasquale LR, Ramos EM, van Dam RM, Udren J, Williams K, GENEVA Consortium (2011 Apr). Phenotype harmonization and cross-study collaboration in GWAS consortia: the GENEVA experience. Genet Epidemiol. 35(3): 159-73.  Full Article ->

Cornelis MC, Agrawal A, Cole JW, Hansel NN, Barnes KC, Beaty TH, Bennett SN, Bierut LJ, Boerwinkle E, Doheny KF, Feenstra B, Feingold E, Fornage M, Haiman CA, Harris EL, Hayes MG, Heit JA, Hu FB, Kang JH, Laurie CC, Ling H, Manolio TA, Marazita ML, Mathias RA, Mirel DB, Paschall J, Pasquale LR, Pugh EW, Rice JP, Udren J, van Dam RM, Wang X, Wiggs JL, Williams K, Yu K, GENEVA Consortium (2010 May). The Gene, Environment Association Studies consortium (GENEVA): maximizing the knowledge obtained from GWAS by collaboration across studies of multiple conditions. Genet Epidemiol. 34(4): 364-72.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NIDA(PI):Cannabis and Tobacco Involvement: A Twin Study
NIDA(Key Personnel):The Genetics of Vulnerability to Nicotine Addictions
NIDA(PI):Characterizing the 3-year Course of Cannabis Involvement in NESARC
NIDA(PI):Cannabis and Tobacco Involvement: A Twin Study (Supplement)
NIAAA(Key Personnel):Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA)
NIDA(Key Personnel):Cannabis and Other Illicit Drug Use: A Twin Study
ABMRF(PI):Gene x Environment Influences on Quantitative Indices of Alcohol Consumption