Travis Mallard, PhD
I am a clinical psychologist who studies the genetic etiology of psychiatric disorders with a particular interest in forms of psychopathology characterized by disinhibition and/or psychosis. I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, where I received training in psychometrics and behavioral and statistical genetics while mentored by Drs. Paige Harden and Elliot Tucker-Drob. I am now a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Jordan Smoller in the Psychiatric & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Genomic analysis of cortical morphology to advance cross-level explanations of psychopathology and related complex traits.
My current research aims to address a hard question in the study of psychiatric disorders: How do we bridge across levels of analysis to enrich our understanding of mechanisms in psychopathology? Large-scale genomic and neuroscientific studies have yielded novel insights into the biological correlates of mental illness at specific ‘levels’. However, to generate biologically informative models of psychopathology, we must understand how liability at one level (e.g., genetic) mechanistically influences functioning at another level (e.g., neurobiological, psychological). In order to advance mechanistic inference in psychiatric research, I propose a comprehensive study of psychiatric disorders that bridges genomic, transcriptomic, and neuroimaging levels of analysis. In doing so, I strive to develop a flexible, data-driven framework for studying the biology associated with psychopathology in a way that is meaningful to its conceptualization, classification, and/or treatment.