Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Freimer, Nelson B., M.D.


The genetic basis of neurobehavioral traits, development of research tools to facilitate the genetic investigation of complex traits


  • Director, Biological Samples Processing Core (BSPC)
  • Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics
  • Informatics Center for Neurogenetics and Neurogenomics (ICNN)
  • UCLA Neuroscience Genomics Core
  • Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
  • Member, Neuroscience IDP
  • Adult Psychiatry
  • Brain Research Institute
  • CTSI


The research in Dr. Freimer’s laboratory aims to identify the genetic basis of complex traits, particularly neurobehavioral phenotypes such as bipolar disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and temperament. Together with numerous collaborators the lab has centered its studies around three foci:

1) using genomewide genetic approaches to map neurobehavioral traits
2) developing innovative approaches to phenotype neurobehavioral traits
3) emphasizing the importance of population genetics for gene mapping, particularly the use of population isolates.


  1. Song, J, Ramírez, MC, Okano, JT, Service, SK, de la Hoz, J, Díaz-Zuluaga, AM et al.. Geospatial investigations in Colombia reveal variations in the distribution of mood and psychotic disorders. Commun Med (Lond). 2024;4 (1):26. doi: 10.1038/s43856-024-00441-x. PubMed PMID:38383761 PubMed Central PMC10881503.
  2. Service, SK, De La Hoz, J, Diaz-Zuluaga, AM, Arias, A, Pimplaskar, A, Luu, C et al.. Predicting diagnostic conversion from major depressive disorder to bipolar disorder: an EHR based study from Colombia. medRxiv. 2023; :. doi: 10.1101/2023.09.28.23296092. PubMed PMID:37873340 PubMed Central PMC10593019.
  3. Maury, EA, Sherman, MA, Genovese, G, Gilgenast, TG, Kamath, T, Burris, SJ et al.. Schizophrenia-associated somatic copy-number variants from 12,834 cases reveal recurrent NRXN1 and ABCB11 disruptions. Cell Genom. 2023;3 (8):100356. doi: 10.1016/j.xgen.2023.100356. PubMed PMID:37601975 PubMed Central PMC10435376.
  4. Hsu, YH, Pintacuda, G, Liu, R, Nacu, E, Kim, A, Tsafou, K et al.. Using brain cell-type-specific protein interactomes to interpret neurodevelopmental genetic signals in schizophrenia. iScience. 2023;26 (5):106701. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106701. PubMed PMID:37207277 PubMed Central PMC10189495.
  5. Zugman, A, Alliende, LM, Medel, V, Bethlehem, RAI, Seidlitz, J, Ringlein, G et al.. Country-level gender inequality is associated with structural differences in the brains of women and men. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120 (20):e2218782120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2218782120. PubMed PMID:37155867 PubMed Central PMC10193926.
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