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  • Linda Brzustowicz
  • Position: Distinguished Professor
  • Research Focus: Medical and human genetics: the genetics of neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Subset Area: Genetics of Human Disease | CNS, Genetic Mechanisms | Small RNAs, Computational Genetics | Bioinformatics
  • Click for Lab Website
  • Email:
  • Phone: (848) 445-1638
  • Address: Life Sciences Building Rutgers University 145 Bevier Road Piscataway, NJ, 08854
  • Office: LSB 231
  • Fax: (732) 445-1636
  • Research:

    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.

  • Publications: Selected Recent Publications Manley W, Moreau MP, Azaro M, Siecinski SK, Davis G, Buyske S, Vieland V, Bassett AS, Brzustowicz LM. Validation of a microRNA target site polymorphism in H3F3B that is potentially associated with a broad schizophrenia phenotype. PLoS One, 2018, 13:e0194233. Williams M, Prem S, Zhou X, Matteson P, Yeung PL, Lu CW, Pang Z, Brzustowicz L, Millonig JH, Dicicco-Bloom E. Rapid Detection of Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in Human Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs). Journal of Visual Experiments, 2018, 133: e56628. Svane KC, Asis EK, Omelchenko A, Kunnath AJ, Brzustowicz LM, Silverstein SM, Firestein BL. d-Serine administration affects nitric oxide synthase 1 adaptor protein and DISC1 expression in sex-specific manner. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 2018, 89:20-32.  Bruni M, Flax JF, Buyske S, Shindhelm AD, Witton C, Brzustowicz LM, Bartlett CW. Behavioral and Molecular Genetics of Reading-Related AM and FM Detection Thresholds. Behavior Genetics,2017, 47:193-201. Hernandez K, Swiatkowski P, Patel M, Liang C, Dudzinski NR, Brzustowicz LM, Firestein BL. Overexpression of Isoforms of Nitric Oxide Synthase 1 Adaptor Protein, Encoded by a Risk Gene for Schizophrenia, Alters Actin Dynamics and Synaptic Function. Frontiers of Cellular Neuroscience, 2016, 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. Merico M, Costain G, Butcher NJ, Warnica W, Ogura L, Alfred SE, Brzustowicz LM, Bassett AS. MicroRNA Dysregulation, Gene Networks and Risk for Schizophrenia in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.  Frontiers in Neurology, 2014, 5:238. Vieland VJ, Walters KA, Azaro M, Brzustowicz LM, Lehner T. The Value of Regenotyping Older Linkage Data Sets with Denser Marker Panels. Human Heredity, 2014, 78:9-16. 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. 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. 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. Brzustowicz LM, Bassett AS.  miRNA-Mediated Risk for Schizophrenia in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.  Frontiers in Genetics, 2012, 3:291. 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. 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.  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.
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