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Linda Brzustowicz
Linda Brzustowicz
Distinguished Professor
(848) 445-1638
(732) 445-1636
LSB 231
Life Sciences Building Rutgers University 145 Bevier Road Piscataway, NJ, 08854


My research group applies the techniques of molecular and statistical genetics to approach clinically relevant problems in neuroscience, with the ultimate goal of understanding gene function in both the pathologic and normal states. We are currently studying schizophrenia, autism, and specific language impairment (SLI). Work directly conducted by my group includes development of phenotype definitions, subject recruitment and assessment (for autism and SLI), genotyping and statistical analysis for linkage and association studies, comparative genomic analysis, and gene expression studies. We have successfully identified functional variants in two susceptibility genes, NOS1AP which is involved in schizophrenia and EN2 which is involved in autism. Other areas of particular interest include the role of microRNAs in the control of gene expression in the human brain and enhancements to moderately high throughput genotyping technologies. Within Rutgers and UMDNJ, we work closely with Dr. Bonnie Firestein (Rutgers Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience) and Drs. Jim Millonig and Manny DiCicco-Bloom (UMDNJ-RWJ Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology) on understanding the molecular neurobiology of schizophrenia and autism susceptibility genes. Our primary collaborators outside of Rutgers/UMDNJ are Dr. Anne Bassett at the University of Toronto, who works on phenotype definition, subject recruitment and assessment for schizophrenia, Dr. Veronica Vieland at Ohio State University, who works on the development of advanced statistical genetics methods, and Dr. Christopher Bartlett, who works on the molecular genetics of specific language impairment. For more details on my research, please visit my Lab Page.


Selected Recent Publications

  • Carrel D, Kwon M, Hernandez K, Mau C, Trivedi MP, Brzustowicz LM, Firestein BL. NOS1AP, a Protein Implicated in Schizophrenia, Controls Radial Migration of Cortical Neurons. Biological Psychiatry, 2015, 77:969-78.
  • Vieland VJ, Walters KA, Lehner T, Azaro M, Tobin K, Huang Y, Brzustowicz LM. Revisiting Schizophrenia Linkage Data in the NIMH Repository: Reanalysis of Regularized Data Across Multiple Studies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2014, 171:350-9.
  • Bartlett CW, Hou L, Flax JF, Hare A, Cheong SY, Fermano Z, Zimmerman-Bier B, Cartwright C, Azaro MA, Buyske S, Brzustowicz LM. A Genome Scan for Loci Shared by Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Impairment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2014,171:72-81.
  • Moreau MP, Bruse S, Jornsten R, Liu Y, Brzustowicz LM. Chronological Changes in microRNA Expression in the Developing Human Brain. PLoS One, 2013 8:e60480.
  • Bartlett CW, Flax JF, Fermano Z, Hare A, Hou L, Petrill SA, Buyske S, Brzustowicz LM. Gene x Gene Interaction in Shared Etiology of Autism and Specific Language Impairment. Biological Psychiatry, 2012,72:692-9.
  • Husted JA, Ahmed R, Chow EW, Brzustowicz LM, Bassett AS. Early Environmental Exposures Influence Schizophrenia Expression Even in the Presence of Strong Genetic Predisposition. Schizophrenia Research, 2012;137:166-8.
  • Nikulina V, Widom CS, Brzustowicz LM.  Child Abuse and Neglect, MAOA, and Mental Health Outcomes: A Prospective Examination. Biological Psychiatry, 2012;71:350-7.
  • Hou L, Phillips C, Azaro M, Brzustowicz LM, Bartlett CW. Validation of a cost-efficient multi-purpose SNP panel for disease based research. PLoS One, 2011; 6(5):e19699.
  • Logan J, Petrill SA, Flax J, Justice LM, Hou L, Bassett AS, Tallal P, Brzustowicz LM, Bartlett CW. Genetic Covariation Underlying Reading, Language and Related Measures in a Sample Selected for Specific Language Impairment. Behavior Genetics,  2011;41:651-659
  • Moreau MP, Bruse SE, David-Rus R, Buyske S, Brzustowicz LM. Altered microRNA expression profiles in post-mortem brain samples from individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  Biological Psychiatry, 2011; 69:188-93.
  • Flax JF, Hare Am Azaro MA, Vieland VJ, Brzustowicz LM.  Combined linkage and linkage disequilibrium analysis of a motor speech phenotype within families ascertained for autism risk loci. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2010; 2:210-223.
  • Simmons TR, Flax JF, Azaro MA, Hayter JE, Justice LM, Petrill SA, Bassett AS, Tallal P, Brzustowicz LM, Bartlett CW. Increasing Genotype-Phenotype Model Determinism: Application to Bivariate Reading/Language Traits and Epistatic Interactions in Language Impaired Families. Human Heredity,  2010; 70:232-244.
  • Costain G, Ho A, Crawley AP, Mikulis DJ, Brzustowicz LM, Chow EW, Bassett AS. Reduced gray matter in the anterior cingulate gyrus in familial schizophrenia: A preliminary report. Schizophrenia Research, 2010; 122:81-4.
  • Hadzimichalis NM, Previtera ML, Moreau MP, Li B, Lee GH, Dulencin AM, Matteson PG, Buyske S, Millonig JH, Brzustowicz, LM, Firestein, BL.  NOS1AP protein levels are altered in BA46 and cerebellum of patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 2010; 124:248-50.
  • Husted JA, Ahmed R, Chow EWC, Brzustowicz LM, Bassett AS. Childhood Trauma and Genetic Factors in Familial Schizophrenia Associated with the NOS1AP Gene. Schizophrenia Research, 2010; 121:187-92.
  • Wratten NS, Memoli H, Huang Y, Dulencin AM, Matteson PG, Cornacchia MA, Azaro MA, Messenger J, Hayter JE, Bassett AS, Buyske S, Millonig JH, Vieland VJ, Brzustowicz LM.  Identification of a schizophrenia associated functional non-coding variant in NOS1AP.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 2009; 166:434-441.

Lab Page
Linda Brzustowicz, M.D.

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