Nord Neurogenomics Lab

University of California, Davis

UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference

Neha, Melissa, Daniela, and Amina, presented posters, and Darlene gave a research talk at the UC Davis undergraduate research conference. The engagement was incredible and the presenters were busy for their entire time slots! It was a great opportunity to present months of hard work and answer challenging questions.

Research profiling genetic underpinnings of endophenotypes in psychotic disorders published in Molecular Psychiatry

PhD student Tracy Warren’s new paper dissecting the genetic profiles of endophenotypes in psychotic disorders is out now in Molecular Psychiatry! This study, done in collaboration with Dr. Pak Sham at the University of Hong Kong and Dr. Cam Carter at UC Davis and UC Irvine, uses pathway polygenic risk scores to dissect the convergent pathways taken toward psychiatric symptoms in 205 human subjects with a psychotic disorder and 115 controls. Major findings include associations of glutamatergic and GABAergic deficits with negative symptoms and cognitive control abnormalities, as well as associations of dopaminergic deficits with improved likelihood of response to antipsychotic medications.

Read the official paper in Molecular Psychiatry or the news item published by the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences today!

Preprint of translational phenotypes in a SYNGAP1 model out on bioRxiv

A recent manuscript from the Nord lab and the Silverman lab at the MIND Institute is now out as a preprint on bioRxiv. This collaborative project describes phenotypes of a preclinical SYNGAP1 model including hyperactivity, deficits in learning and memory, and impairments of sleep. Other major findings include increased network firing activity, greater spikes per burst, and shorter inter-burst intervals between peaks using high density micro-electrode arrays in primary neurons.

Full preprint is available here:

New and continuing ADNR scholars in the Nord lab


We are thrilled to announce two  of our exceptional undergraduate researchers are part of the Advancing Diversity in Neuroscience Research (ADNR) Program this year. At the Nord lab, we believe in fostering an inclusive and diverse community of aspiring neuroscientists. It is within our mission to inspire and support students from all backgrounds to pursue advanced degrees and research careers in neuroscience.
This year, we proudly recognize two outstanding scholars from our lab who have been selected into the prestigious ADNR Program. Melissa Corea, who has been an integral part of our lab since her freshman year, has been selected for this program in her Junior year and will embark on this enriching journey throughout the summer of 2023 and continue her training throughout 2023-2024 academic year.
Darlene Rahbarian, an ADNR honors awardee since 2022, has continued to excel as a senior ADNR student, dedicating herself to advancing the frontiers of our research. Both Melissa and Darlene are instrumental in our ongoing investigation of the Chd8 gene function within the mouse brain. Working under the expert guidance of our Research Scientist, Dr. Cesar P Canales, their individual projects have made significant contributions to critical areas of our studies.
The ADNR Program not only recognizes the talent and dedication of these exceptional students but also provides them with invaluable opportunities to hone their skills and expand their knowledge in the field of neuroscience. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, in our lab we aim to empower aspiring scientists like Darlene and Melissa to make meaningful contributions to the understanding of the brain and neurological disorders. We are immensely proud and grateful to have Melissa and Darlene as part of our research team. Their passion, drive, and dedication serve as an inspiration to us all, and we eagerly anticipate the groundbreaking discoveries they will make in the future.
As we continue to advance diversity and excellence in neuroscience research, we invite everyone to join us in celebrating the achievements of these remarkable students and supporting their journey towards a brighter and more inclusive scientific community


Preprint of neurotransmitter polygenic risk for psychosis symptoms out on medRxiv!

Tracy Warren’s recent co-first author manuscript is now out as a preprint on medRxiv! This collaborative project between the Nord Lab, the Carter Lab at UC Davis Medical Center, and the Sham Lab at the University of Hong Kong, assessed how polygenic risk for schizophrenia that affects different neurotransmitter pathways is associated with different symptom profiles in humans with psychotic disorders. Major findings include that subjects with increased glutamatergic risk variants tended to have more severe cognitive control symptoms, subjects with increased dopaminergic risk were better candidates for antipsychotic medication, and unsupervised clustering on subject phenotypes identified groups that differed primarily by severity of positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. These clusters showed different profiles of genetic risk and different responsiveness to antipsychotic medication.

Check out the preprint here!
Association of neurotransmitter pathway polygenic risk with specific symptom profiles in psychosis | medRxiv

PhD student Nicolas Seban receives LaMP T32

2nd year Neuroscience PhD candidate Nicolas Seban was awarded the Learning, Memory, and Plasticity (LaMP) T32 fellowship to continue his work in identifying cell-type specific pathology associated with ASD-associated de novo mutations, leveraging using single-cell multiomic methods in a murine model. Congrats!!

Tracy Warren wins travel award to attend Wellcome Trust conference in Cambridge, UK!

Tracy was awarded the Barbara Chapman Neuroscience travel award to attend the Wellcome Trust’s 2023 Genomics of Brain Disorders meeting in Cambridge, UK. At the conference, Tracy presented her findings on differential symptomatology within psychotic disorders that are associated with risk converging upon distinct neurotransmitter pathways. A preprint of this research is available on medRxiv: Association of neurotransmitter pathway polygenic risk with specific symptom profiles in psychosis | medRxiv

Nickolas Chu awarded the NSF-GRFP!

Second year PhD candidate Nickolas Chu has been selected for the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) to investigate the expression and regulation of alternative transcriptional start sites across brain development. Congratulations Nick!

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