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Aaron Alexander-Bloch, MD, PhD
Aaron Alexander-Bloch, MD, PhD
Director, Brain-Gene-Development Laboratory

Dr. Alexander-Bloch investigates normal brain development and the altered developmental trajectories that lead to mental illness. His multi-disciplinary research integrates brain imaging, genomics and clinical information.



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After studying philosophy as an undergraduate at Harvard, Dr. Alexander-Bloch completed a Master’s in computational biology at the University of Cambridge. His PhD, jointly at Cambridge and the intramural program of the National Institute of Mental Health, explored MRI brain networks in typical development and schizophrenia. After UCLA medical school and residency in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Alexander-Bloch served briefly as an assistant professor at Yale before moving to the CHOP-Penn system in 2019 to start the Brain-Gene-Development Lab.

Dr. Alexander-Bloch takes a multi-disciplinary approach to probe neurodevelopment and its disruption in mental illness. He develops computational methods to integrate brain imaging, genomics and clinical data. He is at work on projects in partnership with researchers at Penn and CHOP, as well as national and international collaborators. Current projects include:

  • Investigating the underlying cellular, genetic and transcriptomic basis of brain imaging measures such as cortical thickness, folding and multimodal connectivity between brain regions
  • Using network models to investigate normal brain development and altered developmental trajectories that lead to mental illness
  • Integrating the study of rare genetic syndromes with more common genetic and environmental risk factors to predict the onset of psychosis spectrum disorders

Dr. Alexander-Bloch works at the Richards Biomedical Research Building.

Education and Training

AB (magna cum laude), Harvard College, Philosophy, 2006

MPhil (with distinction), University of Cambridge, Computational Biology, 2007

PhD, University of Cambridge, 2015

MD (alpha omega alpha), University of California - Los Angeles, 2015

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Psychiatrist, CHOP

Director, Brain-Gene-Development Laboratory

Professional Memberships

Organization of Human Brain Mapping,  2009-

Society of Biological Psychiatry, 2013-

American Psychiatric Association, 2015-

Professional Awards

American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium, 2019

Career Development Institute for Psychiatry, 2019

Lustman Award, Yale Department of Psychiatry, 2018

NIMH Outstanding Resident Award, 2017

Thomas P. Detre Award, Yale Department of Psychiatry, 2017

Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale Department of Psychiatry, 2015-2019

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Award, 2015

Organization for Human Brain Mapping Travel Award, 2010, 2011, 2013

UCLA-Caltech Medical Science Training Program, 2013-2015

NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholarship, 2009-2013

Publication Highlights

Alexander-Bloch A, Huguet G, Schultz LM, et al. Copy Number Variant Risk Scores Associated With Cognition, Psychopathology, and Brain Structure in Youths in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 Jul; 79(7):699-709. PMID: 35544191
Bethlehem, R.A.I., Seidlitz, J., White, S.R., Alexander-Bloch, A, et al. Brain charts for the human lifespan. Nature. 2022 Apr; 604, 525–533. PMID: 35388223
Alexander-Bloch AF, Raznahan A, Vandekar SN, Seidlitz J, Lu Z, Matthias SR, Knowles E, Mollon J, Rodrigue A, Curran JE, Görring HHH, Satterthwaite TD, Gur RE, Bassett DS, Hoftman GD, Pearlson G, Shinohara RT, Liu S, Fox PT, Almasy L, Blangero J, Glahn DC. Imaging local genetic influences on cortical folding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Mar; 117(13):7430-7436. PMID: 32170019
Alexander-Bloch AF, Mathias SR, Fox PT, Olvera RL, Göring HHH, Duggirala R, Curran JE, Blangero J, Glahn DC. Human cortical thickness organized into genetically-determined communities across spatial resolutions. Cerebral Cortex. 2019 Jan; 29(1):106-118. PMID 29190330
Alexander-Bloch A, Reiss PT, Rapoport J, McAdams H, Giedd JN, Bullmore ET, Gogtay N. Abnormal cortical growth in schizophrenia targets normative modules of synchronized development. Biological Psychiatry. 2014 Jan; 76(6): 438–446 (Cover). PMID: 24690112

Active Grants/Contracts

K08: Combined Brain and Gene Network Approaches to the Developmental Hypothesis of Schizophrenia 
PI: Alexander-Bloch

Links of Interest