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Andrew Heath, DPhil

Current Position
Spencer T. Olin Professor of Psychiatry

University Roles
Associate Professor of Genetics
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director, Midwest Alcoholism Research Center

Education and Training
D.Phil, Psychological Studies, University of Oxford

Major Awards
RSA Distinguished Investigator Award, 2003

Areas of Clinical Interest
Research only

Areas of Research Interests
Behavioral and psychiatric genetics, genetic epidemiology, particularly focusing on the interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors in the etiology of substance use disorder, eating disorder and obesity, and childhood emotional and behavioral disorders. Gene-mapping studies of substance use disorders. Prospective high-risk studies of pre-adolescent twins and adolescent twins/siblings and their families, and of twin pairs and their adolescent children. Studies of the gut microbiome in human obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

Formulation of models, development and implementation of methods of data analysis, and data collection to resolve the joint contributions of genetic and environmental risk factors, and their covariation and interaction, to risk of psychiatric disorder, and to behavioral variation. Dissection of genetic and non-genetic causes for the familial aggregation of risk.

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Turnbaugh PJ, Hamady M, Yatsunenko T, Cantarel BL, Duncan A, Ley RE, Sogin ML, Jones WJ, Roe BA, Affourtit JP, Egholm M, Henrissat B, Heath AC, Knight R, Gordon JI, (2009 Jan). A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins. Nature. 457(7228): 480-4.  Full Article ->

Munn-Chernoff MA, Duncan AE, Grant JD, Wade TD, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Madden PA, Martin NG, Heath AC, (2013 Sep). A twin study of alcohol dependence, binge eating, and compensatory behaviors. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 74(5): 664-73.  Full Article ->

Ridaura VK, Faith JJ, Rey FE, Cheng J, Duncan AE, Kau AL, Griffin NW, Lombard V, Henrissat B, Bain JR, Muehlbauer MJ, Ilkayeva O, Semenkovich CF, Funai K, Hayashi DK, Lyle BJ, Martini MC, Ursell LK, Clemente JC, Van Treuren W, Walters WA, Knight R, Newgard CB, Heath AC, Gordon JI, (2013 Sep). Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice. Science. 341(6150): 1241214.  Full Article ->

Waldron M, Vaughan EL, Bucholz KK, Lynskey MT, Sartor CE, Duncan AE, Madden PAF, Heath AC. Risks for early substance involvement associated with parental alcoholism and parental separation in an adolescent female cohort. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 May; 138:130-136. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Heath AC, Waldron MC, Martin NG, Nelson EC, Bucholz KK, Madden PA, (2014 Sep). Human mate selection and addiction: a conceptual critique. Behav. Genet.. 44(5): 419-26.  Full Article ->

Waldron M, Doran KA, Bucholz KK, Duncan AE, Lynskey MT, Madden PA, Sartor CE, Heath AC, (2015 May). Parental separation, parental alcoholism, and timing of first sexual intercourse. J Adolesc Health. 56(5): 550-6.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NICHD(Key Personnel):Early Quantitative Characterization of Reciprocal Social Behavior
NICHD(Significant Contributor):Genetics, the Adolescent Brain, and Addiction Liability: A Longitudinal Twin Study
NIAAA(Significant Contributor):Outcomes of Recurrent DUI-Moms & Their Children
NIMH(Significant Contributor):The Neural Meta-Structure of Psychopathology
NICHD(Significant Contributor):A Twin Study of Food Addiction
NIAAA(PI):Center on Women and Alcoholism
NIDA(Key Personnel):Cannabis and Tobacco Involvement: A Twin Study
NIAAA(Key Personnel):Age at First Drink and Alcoholism: Intersection of Genes and Environment
NIDDK(Key Personnel):Metagenomic Studies of the Gut Microbiomes of Obese and Lean Twins
NIAAA(PI):Gene-Environment Interplay in Alcoholism
NIAAA(Key Personnel):Neuroanatomical Validation of EEG/ERP Endophenotypes for Alcoholism
NIAAA(Key Personnel):Neighborhood, Family and Individual Factors in Adolescent Drinking
NIH(Significant Contributor):Drug Use in African American Children of Sisters Discordant for Marriage-at-Birth
NIAAA(PI):Novel Screen for Chronic Excessive Alcohol Use
NIAAA(Significant Contributor):Alcohol and the Brain: Leveraging the Human Connectome Project
NIAAA(Significant Contributor):Neuroanatomical Validation of ERP Endophenotypes for Alcoholism
NIAAA(Significant Contributor):Distinctions Between Black and White Young Women in the Course of Alcohol Use
NIDA(Significant Contributor):3/13 ABCD-USA Consortium: Twin Research Project
NIDDK(Key Personnel):Metagenomic Studies of Gut Microbiomes of Obese and Lean Twins - Biospecimen Collection Core A
NIAAA(PI):Biomedical Training in Alcoholism Research
NIMH(Key Personnel):Mapping the Human Connectome: Structure, Function, and Heritability