Dr. Giedd's research team at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health seeks to use cutting edge technologies to explore the relationship between genes, brain and behavior in healthy development and in neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood onset. They conduct longitudinal neuropsychological and brain imaging studies of healthy twins and singletons as well as clinical groups such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, childhood-onset schizophrenia, and others. Over the past 20 years they have acquired over 3000 MRI scans making this the largest pediatric neuroimaging project of its kind. The lab also studies sexual dimorphism in the developing brain (especially important in child psychiatry where nearly all disorders have different ages of onsets, prevalence and symptomatology between boys and girls) by exploring clinical populations which have unusual levels of hormones (congenital adrenal hyperplasia, familial precocious puberty) or variations in the sex chromosomes (Klinefelter's syndrome, XYY, XXYY). The lab also conducts studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, which are beginning to unravel the relative contributions of genes and environment on a variety of developmental trajectories in the pediatric brain. The group is also involved in the development and application of techniques to analyze brain images and is actively collaborating with other imaging centers throughout the world to advance the image analysis field.
Dr. Giedd received his M.D. from the University of North Dakota in 1986. He received his training in adult psychiatry at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS, and his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training at Duke University in Durham, NC. He is board certified in General, Child and Adolescent, and Geriatric Psychiatry. Currently, he is the Chief of the Unit on Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry Branch at the NIMH. His research focuses on the biological basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioral disorders.