Genetics, Epigenetics and Human Behavior

Course Description

Behavioral genetics is a field of study that combines statistics and molecular biology to answer these questions. This course will provide an overview of the exciting and increasingly important field of behavioral genetics. Topics such as personality, substance abuse, mental health, and sexuality will be addressed. Examples of cutting-edge research currently being conducted in the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health at Brown University will be used to stimulate discussions. You will be able to grasp basic genetic concepts in this course and learn to apply them to a more tangible (and perhaps more interesting) subject such as behavior.

Teaching methods will include techniques designed to engage you with all learning styles (including discussion, hand-on labs, teamwork, and individual research projects).

This course uses real examples from the clinic and the laboratory to enrich the learning experience and convey the excitement of career opportunities for clinician scientists.

By the end of this course, you will:
• Develop a multi-disciplinary way of thinking about how genetics and epigenetics underpin psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes (and how findings from this area of research can lead to novel interventions to change human health)
• Learn how to locate, read, and analyze primary literature research articles to support a deeper understanding of the biological underpinnings of a topic of your choice
• Learn molecular biology lab techniques for DNA extraction, quantification, amplification, and allele calling using your own DNA

Former students in this class have described the class as a foundational experience that encourages curiosity in trans-disciplinary approaches to medicine and science. These students frequently go on to study psychology, genetics, neuroscience, medicine, or a combination of disciplines.


Completion of a high school biology course is recommended but not required. Although we will be working in the lab extensively, no prior experience is required. Just a willingness to learn and interest in the subject area are expected.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 12:15P-3:05P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): John McGeary
Course Number: 10113