Dr. Straub is an Investigator at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (libd.org), a newly formed private research institute that is formally affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus. For collaborative purposes, he retains a Special Volunteer position in the Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, which is part of Intramural Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, where he headed the molecular genetics and bioinformatics group from 2001-2011.
At the Lieber Institute, he analyzes genetic data from genotyping, sequencing, transcript and protein quantification, as well as from cell biology experiments in both bioinformatic and statistical genetics frameworks. The goal is to discover and characterize the epistatic genetic and environmental architecture of risk factors for schizophrenia and related disorders and to understand the pertinent aspects of biological and pathological brain information processing. His group has discovered many genes influencing schizophrenia and cognition. These leads are used to inform biochemical and functional imaging studies that seek to uncover the mechanisms by which inherited and denovo variation in DNA structure and in levels of RNA and protein isoforms can lead to errors in brain development and aberrant information signal transduction. Ultimately, because this new knowledge is genomics and functional biology based, it will enable the identification of important environmental variables, and will result in the development of more rational therefore effective diagnosis, treatment, and preventative measures.