Rare Misspellings of the Genome, Dopamine Mishandling, and ADHD

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Rare Misspellings of the Genome, Dopamine Mishandling, and ADHD

The heritability of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its treatment by brain dopamine modulating medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, raise the question as to whether risk for ADHD is impacted by improper control of dopamine availability or action. Dr. Blakely will discuss his group’s discovery of multiple, rare changes in a gene responsible for brain dopamine availability in individuals with ADHD, and how the study of these mutations suggests new insights into pathophysiological mechanisms and diagnostic strategies.

Watch webinar recording:

Please use #BBRFWebinar when sharing or posting about our Meet the Scientist Webinars on social media.

Sign up for other upcoming webinars.

View past webinar recordings.

Presented by 
Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D.
Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D.
Florida Atlantic University

Executive Director, FAU Brain Institute

Professor of Biomedical Sciences in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

Scientific Council Member (Joined 1999)

2005, 1996 Distinguished Investigator Grant


Dr. Blakely studies brain proteins called neurotransmitter transporters to understand how their structure relates to antidepressant and psychostimulant action and how knowledge of transporter regulation can elucidate mechanisms of brain disease and provide clues to novel therapeutics in mental illness. His laboratory has cloned human and rodent genes that encode multiple neurotransmitter transporters, including those that produce the brain’s norepinephrine and serotonin transporters, the targets of most clinically used antidepressants. Dr. Blakely’s group has discovered several mechanisms by which the brain regulates transporter activity, thereby achieving the proper balance of neurotransmitter signaling, and has identifi ed mutations in norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin transporters that are associated with multiple neural disorders, including autism, ADHD and major depression.

Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director of the FAU Brain Institute in 2016, Dr. Blakely was the Allan D. Bass Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Moderated by
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein served as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association from 2012 - 2023.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.