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Todd Lencz, PhD

Associate Investigator, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Associate Professor, Molecular Medicine and Psychiatry, The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Phone: (718) 470-8126
Email: lencz@lij.edu

About the Investigator

In addition to his position as associate investigator at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Dr. Todd Lencz  is an associate professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received a BA in psychology magna cum laude from Yale University and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Lencz leads the Laboratory of Analytic Genomics within the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He is also founder and co-leader of The Ashkenazi Genome Consortium, an international collaboration of leading researchers studying the genetics of complex disease (ranging from cancer to mental illness to diabetes) by examining DNA samples drawn from members of this genetically unique “founder” population.

Dr. Lencz was among the first recipients of the EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and has previously received a Career Development Award from NIMH and a Young Investigator Award from NARSAD.

He is also the author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications of scientific and biomedical literature, and was an invited contributor to the Encyclopedia of Genetics.

Research Focus

Dr. Lencz’s primary research focus is the use of biomarkers, especially novel genetic technologies, to refine our understanding of the causes and treatment of schizophrenia.

The Laboratory for Analytic Genomics develops and implements strategies for identifying relationships between genetic variation and psychiatric disease. State-of-the-art molecular technologies, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms, produce a flood of data capturing variation across the entire genome. To manage this unprecedented flow of information, novel analytic methods are required to separate signal from noise.

Dr. lencz’s lab team also works closely with members of the Psychiatric Neuroscience department to examine the role that schizophrenia risk genes play in brain structure, function and development.

Lab Members

Semanti Mukherjee, PhD
Email: smukherje1@nshs.edu


Yale University, New Haven, CT
Degree: BA
Field of Study: Psychology

University of Southern California
Degree: MA
Field of Study: Clinical Psychology

University of Southern California
Degree: PhD
Field of Study: Clinical Psychology

Hillside Hospital
Degree: Postdoctoral Fellowship
Field of Study: Clinical Neurosciences

Awards & Honors

1989 Yale University: Graduated magna cum laude, 1989; Awarded Distinction in the Major (Psychology)
1990-1993 University of Southern California: University Merit Fellowship
1993 Young Investigator’s Award, International Congress on Schizophrenia Research
1993-1994 Dissertation Fellowship
1993-1994 Predoctoral Fellowship Award, National Institute of Mental Health (NRSA program)
1995 Distinguished Dissertation Award
1996 Hillside Hospital Young Investigator’s Award
2001 NARSAD Young Investigator’s Award
2002 ISI “Hot Paper” Designation (Subfield: Psychiatry/Psychology; for Raine, Lencz et al. 2000)
2003 ACNP Memorial Travel Award
2005 KeySpan Research Fellowship
2005-present NIMH Loan Repayment Program
2006 NIMH Clinical Centers and Special Projects Review Committee
2006 NIMH Special Emphasis Panel (Neurologic/Psychiatric Disorders)
2006-present NIH Panels: NIMH Special Emphasis Panel (K99/R00 Pathways to Independence)
2007 American Psychopathological Association Robins/Guze Award
2008 NIH EUREKA (Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) 2009 Award, Elected Associate Member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
2009 NIMH Special Emphasis Panel (Grand Opportunity RC2 mechanism)
2009-2011 NIMH Special Emphasis Panel (EUREKA – NIMH, NINDS, NIDA) 2013 NIH Behavioral Genetics & Epidemiology Study Section
2010 NIH Member Conflict Panel (Mental Health Epidemiology)
2010 NIH Special Emphasis Panel (Genetics and Epigenetics in Health and Disease)
2011 Chair, NIH Member Conflict Panel (Chronic Diseases)
2011 NIH Member Conflict Panel (Epidemiology)
2013 NIMH Special Emphasis Panel (BRAINS)

  1. Guha S*, Rees E*, Darvasi A, Ivanov D, Ikeda M, Bergen SE, Magnusson PK, Cormican P, Morris D, Gill M, Cichon S, Rosenfeld JA, Lee A, Gregersen PK, Kane JM, Malhotra AK, Rietschel M, Nöthen MM, Degenhardt F, Priebe L, Breuer R, Strohmaier J, Ruderfer DM, Moran JL, Chambert KD, Sanders AR, Shi J, Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Consortium, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2, Kendler K, Riley B, O’Neill T, Walsh D, Malhotra D, Corvin A, Purcell S, Sebat J, McCarthy S, Gejman PV, Levinson DF, Owen MJ, O’Donovan MC, Lencz T**, Kirov G**. (2012) “A rare deletion at distal 16p11.2 is implicated in schizophrenia.” JAMA Psychiatry, in press. Epub: 2013 Jan 16. *authors contributed equally  **corresponding authors contributed equally
  2. Palamara PF, Lencz T, Darvasi A, Pe’er I. (2012) “Length distributions of identity by descent reveal fine-scale demographic history.” American Journal of Human Genetics, 91(5):809-22.
  3. Guha S, Rosenfeld JA, Malhotra AK, Lee AT, Gregersen PK, Kane JM, Pe’er I, Darvasi A, Lencz T. (2012) “Implications for health and disease in the genetic signature of the Ashkenazi Jewish population.” Genome Biology, 13(1), R2.
  4. Malhotra AK, Zhang J, Lencz T. (2012) “Pharmacogenetics in psychiatry: Translating research into clinical practice.” Molecular Psychiatry, 17(8):760-9. Epub: 15 Nov 2011
  5. Cornblatt BA, Carrión RE, Seidman L, Walker EF, Cannon TD, Cadenhead KS, McGlashan TH, Perkins DO, Tsuang M, Woods SW, Heinssen R, Addington J, Lencz T. (2012) “Risk factors for psychosis: Impaired social and role functioning.” Schizophrenia Bulletin, 38 (6): 1247-1257. Epub: 10 Nov 2011.
  6. Malhotra AK, Correll CU, Chowdhury NI, Müller DJ, Gregersen PK, Lee AT, Tiwari AK, Kane JM, Fleischhacker WW, Kahn RS, Ophoff RA, Lieberman JA, Meltzer HY, Lencz T*, Kennedy JL*. (2012) “Common variants near the melanocortin 4 receptor gene are associated with severe antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain.” Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(9):904-12. *authors contributed equally
  7. The Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) Consortium. (2011) “Genome-wide association study identifies five novel schizophrenia loci.” Nature Genetics, 43(10):969-76.
  8. Lencz T, Robinson DG, Napolitano B, Sevy S, Kane JM, Goldman D, Malhotra AK. (2010) “DRD2 promoter region variation predicts antipsychotic-induced weight gain in first episode schizophrenia.” Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, 20(9):569-72.
  9. Zhang J, Lencz T, Malhotra AK. (2010) “Dopamine D2 receptor genetic variation and clinical response to antipsychotic drug treatment: A meta-analysis.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 2010 Jul;167(7):763-72.
  10. Lencz T, Szeszko PR, DeRosse P, Burdick KE, Bromet EJ, Bilder RM, Malhotra AK. (2010) “A schizophrenia risk gene, ZNF804A, influences neuroanatomic and neurocognitive phenotypes.” Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(11), 2284-91. Epub: July 21 2010.

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