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 (Spring 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.

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, Barch DM, Bogdan R, Wood PK, Lynskey MT, Heath AC, Agrawal A, (2015 Oct). Shared Predisposition in the Association Between Cannabis Use and Subcortical Brain Structure. JAMA Psychiatry. 72(10): 994-1001.  Full Article ->

Carey CE, Agrawal A, Zhang B, Conley ED, Degenhardt L, Heath AC, Li D, Lynskey MT, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Wang T, Bierut LJ, Hariri AR, Nelson EC, Bogdan R, (2015 Nov). Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) polymorphism rs604300 interacts with childhood adversity to predict cannabis dependence symptoms and amygdala habituation: Evidence from an endocannabinoid system-level analysis. J Abnorm Psychol. 124(4): 860-77.  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