Ahead of the Curve: Behavioral Geneticist

Those who specialize in ethical gene-related therapies may be in growing demand.


Behavioral Geneticist. For over 100 years, psychologists have attempted, with modest success, to ameliorate mental problems from depression to low intelligence by changing patients' attitudes and by exploring their childhood angst. Now, pharmacological approaches are used, also with only moderate success. Recent evidence suggests a more fruitful path tied to the fact that human behavior—sexual orientation, alcoholism, intelligence, the propensity for violence—has a strong genetic component. Researchers and, in coming years, clinicians who specialize in developing and implementing ethical gene-related therapies should be in growing demand.

More info: National Institutes of Health overview of the field and Behavioral Genetics Association