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C. Robert Cloninger, MD, PhD

Current Position
Wallace Renard Professor of Psychiatry

University Roles
Director, Sansone Family Center for Well-Being
Director, Center for Psychobiology of Personality

Education and Training
B.A.: Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1966
M.D.: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, 1970
NIMH Fellowship & Psychiatry Residency, Barnes Hospital, 1970-1973;
M.D. honoris causa (Genetics), University of Umea, 1983
PhD honoris causa (Psychology), University of Gothenburg, 2012

Major Awards
National Academy of Medicine, elected 1988
Edward Strecker Award, Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, 1988
Adolf Meyer Award, American Psychiatric Assn, 1993
Samuel Hamilton Award, Am Pychopathological Assn, 1993
NIMH Research Scientist Award, 1995
Fellow, Am Academy for Advancement of Science, elected 1996
Lifetime Achievement Award, Finnish Psychiatric Association, 2000
Lifetime Achievement Award, Am Soc of Addiction Medicine, 2000
Lifetime Achievement Award, Int Soc Psych Genetics, 2003
Listed in America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, 2002 - present
Highly Cited Investigator, Institute of Scientific Information, 2003-present
Judd Marmor Award, Am Psychiatric Assn, 2009
Oskar Pfister Award, Am Psychiatric Assn , 2014
Alumni Achievement Award, Washington U, 2015

Areas of Clinical Interest
Psychobiology, personality assessment & development, general psychiatry. well-being coaching
Research Interests: Genetic epidemiology, genetics of alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, somatization, mood and anxiety disorders


Areas of Research Interests
My research on personality and well-being is directed toward person-centered diagnosis and treatment to improve health and quality of life as well as reducing the burden of disease. Mental disorders can be understood as dysfunctions of complex adaptive systems involving many interacting biological, mental, and spiritual variables. Attention is focused on assessing and treating both causes of illness and sources of well-being rather than reducing psychiatry to treatment of symptoms. Current research includes cross-cultural studies across the lifespan and treatment directed at all three aspects of human beings (body, thought, and psyche) to promote psychobiological coherence, happiness, and fulfillment.
My research in psychiatric genetics is currently directed toward characterizing the genotypic and phenotypic architecture of mental disorders as non-linear dynamic systems, primarily in analysis of genome-wide association studies.

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Cloninger CR (2013 Jan). What makes people healthy, happy, and fulfilled in the face of current world challenges? Mens Sana Monogr. 11(1): 16-24.  Full Article ->

Cloninger CR, Zohar AH, Hirschmann S, Dahan D (2012 Feb). The psychological costs and benefits of being highly persistent: personality profiles distinguish mood disorders from anxiety disorders. J Affect Disord. 136(3): 758-66.  Full Article ->

Cloninger CR, Zohar AH (2011 Jan). Personality and the perception of health and happiness. J Affect Disord. 128(1-2): 24-32.  Full Article ->

Cloninger CR (1987 Apr 24). Neurogenetic adaptive mechanisms in alcoholism. Science. 236(4800): 410-6.  Full Article ->

Cloninger CR (1987 Jun). A systematic method for clinical description and classification of personality variants. A proposal. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 44(6): 573-88.  Full Article ->

Cloninger CR, Svrakic DM, Przybeck TR (1993 Dec). A psychobiological model of temperament and character. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 50(12): 975-90.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NIAAA (SUNY)(Key Personnel):Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism
NIMH(PI):Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia
NIMH(Key Personnel):Mapping Abnormal Neurodevelopment in Schizophrenia