Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Allan L. Reiss, M.D. is the Howard C. Robbins Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR) at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Reiss uses advanced research methods and tools such as multi-modal neuroimaging, genetic analyses and neurobehavioral assessment to focus on neurodevelopmental and neurogenetic disorders of childhood onset. In particular, he studies how genetic and environmental factors affect brain structure and function, and how this ultimately impacts the development and function of persons with these disorders. Dr. Reiss has worked extensively with individuals affected by neurogenetic and medical disorders that increase risk for serious cognitive and behavioral dysfunction including fragile X syndrome, sex chromosome variation (e.g., Turner and Klinefelter syndromes), Williams syndrome, 22q deletion syndrome, type 1 diabetes and preterm birth. A particularly important focus of this work is identifying gene-environment-brain-behavior interactions that have relevance to the development of more specific and effective interventions.
A second major research focus of the CIBSR is on the neuroscience of typical human cognitive-behavioral function. Work in this area includes studies of the brain basis of humor, creativity, social interaction, executive function, resilience, driving and territorial behavior. These studies are designed to advance our understanding of biological and environmental factors that influence human behavior with the overarching goal of improving quality of life.
Dr. Reiss laboratory and key collaborations serve as a model for interdisciplinary brain sciences collaboration. Research in the laboratory is carried out, or facilitated by faculty and staff from numerous fields including psychiatry, neurology, psychology, neuroscience, genetics, radiology, computer science, special education and statistics. The CIBSR is dedicated to the concept that direct interaction among individuals from these multiple disciplines will serve as the engine for substantive progress in our field.