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Joseph Dougherty, PhD

Current Position
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Education and Training
B.A., B.S. Psychology, Truman State University, 1999
Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of California Los Angeles, 2005.
Postdoctoral Training, Nathaniel Heintz, Rockefeller University, 2005-2010

Major Awards
Highlighted as one of Genome Technology’s ‘Up and Coming Investigators’ 2012
K99/R00: Serotonin, Autism, and investigating cell types for CNS disorders.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship
Route 28 Summit in Neurobiology Award for Excellence
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship (declined in favor of HHMI)


Areas of Research Interests
My research focuses on trying to understand the genetic and cellular underpinnings of both normal behavior and psychiatric disorders, primarily autism. We combine data from human genetics studies with high througphput cell-type specific gene expression profiling to identify genes and circuits that may contribute to mental disorders, which we then test with mouse models. We are particularly focused on neuromodulatory systems and glia.

Key Publications
Dougherty JD, Maloney SE, Wozniak DF, Rieger MA, Sonnenblick L, Coppola G, Mahieu NG, Zhang J, Cai J, Patti GJ, Abrahams BS, Geschwind DH, Heintz N (2013 Feb 13). The disruption of Celf6, a gene identified by translational profiling of serotonergic neurons, results in autism-related behaviors. J Neurosci. 33(7): 2732-53.  Full Article ->

Dalal J, Roh JH, Maloney SE, Akuffo A, Shah S, Yuan H, Wamsley B, Jones WB, Strong Cde G, Gray PA, Holtzman DM, Heintz N, Dougherty JD (2013 Mar 1). Translational profiling of hypocretin neurons identifies candidate molecules for sleep regulation. Genes Dev. 27(5): 565-78.  Full Article ->

Dougherty JD, Zhang J, Feng H, Gong S, Heintz N (2012). Mouse transgenesis in a single locus with independent regulation for multiple fluorophores. PLoS One. 7(7): e40511.  Full Article ->

Dougherty JD, Schmidt EF, Nakajima M, Heintz N (2010 Jul). Analytical approaches to RNA profiling data for the identification of genes enriched in specific cells. Nucleic Acids Res. 38(13): 4218-30.  Full Article ->

Doyle JP, Dougherty JD, Heiman M, Schmidt EF, Stevens TR, Ma G, Bupp S, Shrestha P, Shah RD, Doughty ML, Gong S, Greengard P, Heintz N (2008 Nov 14). Application of a translational profiling approach for the comparative analysis of CNS cell types. Cell. 135(4): 749-62.  Full Article ->

Nakano I, Dougherty JD, Kim K, Klement I, Geschwind DH, Kornblum HI (2007 Aug). Phosphoserine phosphatase is expressed in the neural stem cell niche and regulates neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation. Stem Cells. 25(8): 1975-84.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NINDS, R00, (PI): Serotonin, Autism, and investigating cell types for CNS disorders
NIH, R21, (Co-PI): Translation profiling and nanoscale localization of synaptic transcripts
NIH, R21, (Co-PI):Tools to enhance study of remak schwann cells
Malinckrodt Foundation, (PI):Induction of specific neuronal types from adult fibroblasts
Hope Center(Co-PI):Isolating Cell-Type Specific miRNAs from Mice