Return to the Faculty List

Arpana Agrawal, PhD

Current Position
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

University Roles
Courses taught:
(a) Psych 345: Genes, Environment and Human Behavior (Fall only)
(b) Biol 5483: Human Linkage and Association (Fall only)
(c) PHS 562: Addiction and Addictive Behaviors, Psychiatric Genetics (Spring only).
(d) Summer Workshop in Genomics Methods (ipng.wustl.edu)

Education and Training
PhD 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
I am interested in the epidemiological and genetic study of addictive substances, particularly cannabis, alcohol and tobacco. I co-lead the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) substance use disorders (PGC-SUD) working group with the goal of conducting mega-analyses of genomewide association data. Designing gene x environment studies is an additional interest. I also collaborate with investigators interested in integrating neuroimaging outcomes with genotype and environmental indices.

Key Publications
Agrawal A, Lynskey MT (2014 Mar). Cannabis controversies: how genetics can inform the study of comorbidity. Addiction. 109(3): 360-70.  Full Article ->

Agrawal A, Nelson EC, Littlefield AK, Bucholz KK, Degenhardt L, Henders AK, Madden PA, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Pergadia ML, Sher KJ, Heath AC, Lynskey MT (2012 Jul). Cannabinoid receptor genotype moderation of the effects of childhood physical abuse on anhedonia and depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 69(7): 732-40.  Full Article ->

Agrawal A, Verweij KJ, Gillespie NA, Heath AC, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Martin NG, Nelson EC, Slutske WS, Whitfield JB, Lynskey MT (2012 Jul 17). The genetics of addiction-a translational perspective. Transl Psychiatry. 2e140.  Full Article ->

Dick DM, Agrawal A, Keller MC, Adkins A, Aliev F, Monroe S, Hewitt JK, Kendler KS, Sher KJ (2015 Jan). Candidate gene-environment interaction research: reflections and recommendations. Perspect Psychol Sci. 10(1): 37-59.  Full Article ->

Pagliaccio D, Luby JL, Bogdan R, Agrawal A, Gaffrey MS, Belden AC, Botteron KN, Harms MP, Barch DM (2014 Apr). Stress-system genes and life stress predict cortisol levels and amygdala and hippocampal volumes in children. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(5): 1245-53.  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, Depression and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

NIDA(PI):Cannabis and Tobacco Involvement: A Twin Study

NIAAA(PI):Age at First Drink and Alcoholism: Intersection of Genes and Environment

NIDA(PI):Delineating the Role of Genetic Influences on Cannabis Involvement