- Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
- Adult Psychiatry Neuroscience Research Track
- T32 in the Neuroscience of Mental Health Graduate
David Gavin, MD was a psychiatry resident with a desire to go into research but he had absolutely no training for this. Using David as our template, UIC revised its residency to include a research track, and he was the first experiment. David took classes in neuroscience and worked with Rajiv Sharma. The program awarded him an MS in Neuroscience and allowed him to develop into a researcher. David decided on a career in Academic Psychiatry and joined the UIC faculty in July
2009, with a 80% of his time devoted to research. He is also currently a Physician at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. David received a NARSAD Young Investigator grant in 2012 and is funded currently with both a VA Merit Award and an R01.
David writes about his T32 grant experience:
I cannot overerstate how valuable the T32 grant has been for my research career during my training and now as an independent investigator and as a mentor to aspiring researchers. I was a participant in the T32-funded Psychiatry Residency Research Track at UIC from 2004-2009. While a resident I published several original peer-reviewed papers regarding abnormal levels of histone modifications and chromatin plasticity in schizophrenia peripheral blood cells. The assays employed in these experiments may lead to a method for individualizing chromatin altering treatments. Following residency, I remained at UIC as an Assistant Professor and became interested in studying the role of DNA methylation/demethylation in relation to schizophrenia. This work was supported by an APIRE/AstraZeneca Young Minds in Psychiatry Award. In 2013 I was awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant for my continued studies in schizophrenia, and a VA Career Development Award to study the potential contribution of DNA demethylation to alcoholism. In 2017, I was promoted to Associate Professor, received an R01 Award from NIAAA to study DNA demethylation in relation to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and in 2018 a VA Merit Award to continue my studies of DNA demethylation related to adult alcoholism. I am also a co-investigator on a P50 center grant from NIAAA and a VA Merit Award that examines the role of astrocytes in relation to FASD. The T32-funded Psychiatry Residency Research Track provided the springboard that has made my recent successes in research possible.
Elucidating factors that control gene expression as they relate to cognition and perception. The ultimate goal of these projects is the rapid application of basic scientific findings to diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment use in patients.