Robert Cloninger

Professor Emeritus

Additional Titles & Roles


  • Director, Sansone Family Center for Well-Being
  • Director, Center for Psychobiology of Personality

Education & Training


  • PhD, honoris causa: Psychology: University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2012
  • MD, honoris causa: Genetics: University of Umea, Umea, Sweden, 1983
  • Fellowship & Residency: Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, MO, 1973
  • MD: Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1970
  • BA: University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1966

Major Awards


  • National Academy of Medicine, elected, 1988
  • Edward Strecker Award, Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, 1988
  • Adolf Meyer Award, American Psychiatric Association, 1993
  • Samuel Hamilton Award, American Psycho-pathological Association, 1993
  • NIMH Research Scientist Award, 1995
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Finnish Psychiatric Association, 2000

Areas of Clinical Interest


Psychobiology, personality assessment & development, general psychiatry. well-being coaching
Research Interests: Genetic epidemiology, genetics of alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, somatization, mood and anxiety disorders

Research Interests


My research on personality and well-being is directed toward person-centered diagnosis and treatment to improve health and quality of life as well as reducing the burden of disease. Mental disorders can be understood as dysfunctions of complex adaptive systems involving many interacting biological, mental, and spiritual variables. Attention is focused on assessing and treating both causes of illness and sources of well-being rather than reducing psychiatry to treatment of symptoms. Current research includes cross-cultural studies across the lifespan and treatment directed at all three aspects of human beings (body, thought, and psyche) to promote psychobiological coherence, happiness, and fulfillment.
My research in psychiatric genetics is currently directed toward characterizing the genotypic and phenotypic architecture of mental disorders as non-linear dynamic systems, primarily in analysis of genome-wide association studies.

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Key Publications


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Funded Research Projects


NIAAA (SUNY)(Key Personnel):Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism
NIMH(PI):Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia
NIMH(Key Personnel):Mapping Abnormal Neurodevelopment in Schizophrenia