Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H.

Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H.
Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology

Director, Unit in Birth Cohort Studies

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia University Irving Medical Center / New York State Psychiatric Institute

2019 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research

2015 Distinguished Investigator Grant

2004, 2000 Independent Investigator Grants

1996, 1994 Young Investigator Grants

Dr. Alan Brown’s principal area of research is the epidemiology of prenatal risk factors for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. He has over 25 years of experience in large-scale collaborative birth cohort studies of prenatal and other early-life exposures in relation to schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and other psychiatric illnesses among offspring. Risk factors that he has studied include maternal infectious, inflammatory, toxic, hormonal, nutritional, and antidepressant exposures.

Dr. Brown is the founder and principal investigator of the Finnish Prenatal Studies (FiPS), a series of investigations based on a national birth cohort of over 2 million individuals. He has made several new scientific discoveries by analyzing stored maternal serum samples drawn during pregnancy for specific biological markers among offspring with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Among these findings, he demonstrated that a mother's exposure to infections, inflammation, smoking, and low thyroid hormone levels are related to an increased risk of schizophrenia in the offspring. Moreover, he has demonstrated that maternal exposure to the insecticide DDT is associated with risk of autism. This work offers the promise for prevention of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, as well as the identification of causal mechanisms and new treatments.

Dr. Brown has received numerous NIH grants and BBRF research awards and several scientific honors, including the A.E. Bennett Research Award. He has served on numerous grant review committees, and is on the editorial boards of major psychiatric journals.

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