We are fortunate to have an NIMH-supported training grant that provides specific slots for both pre- and post-doctoral trainees. This training program focuses on biological factors underlying psychopathology and personality, and aims to provide training in areas such as psychophysiology, molecular genetics, neuroimaging, and psychopharmacology combined with quantitatively rigorous characterizations of human behavior. Many PhD students in clinical psychology are not adequately trained to apply neurobehavioral concepts and methods to their work; most clinical psychology graduate programs are primarily oriented toward cognitive and psychosocial aspects of behavior. Our unique training program, funded for the past 29 years, integrates behavioral neurobiology and behavior genetics in the scientific study of personality and psychopathology, taking advantage of the unique perspectives on emotional/motivational systems offered by psychology. Building upon this perspective, we incorporate a dimensional approach to the study of behavior, conceptualizing psychopathology as an extension of the continuum of normal behavior. Our goal, realized over the history of the program, is to train biologically informed clinical scientists who will assume academic leadership positions in the field.
There are seven components of the training program, 1) coursework in behavioral neurobiology, behavioral genetics, personality, psychopathology and quantitative methods; 2) laboratory research in association with a faculty mentor; each trainee is involved in proposal development, study design, study execution, and manuscript preparation; 3) training program seminars, allowing for in-depth discussion and exchange of ideas related to neurobehavioral themes; 4) ongoing evaluation of coursework and research progress; 5) lecture series delivered by invited scholars and an annual research conference featuring trainee presentations; 6) for predoctoral trainees, involvement in practicum activities focused on neuropsychology as a regular part of their clinical training; and 7) travel to national conferences to present their work and establish a professional identity. Our faculty are an exceptional group with strong records of research productivity, grant support and student mentorship. We have incorporated strategies deemed important to NIMH in training subsequent generations of researchers to become productive neurobehaviorally-informed clinical scientists.
Questions regarding the training grant can be directed to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Luciana, at:
Monica Luciana, PhD
Clinical Science & Psychopathology Research
Department of Psychology
N218 Elliott Hall
University of Minnesota
75 E River Pkwy
Minneapolis, MinnesotaÂ 55455