Laura Jean Bierut
Laura Jean Bierut, MD, professor of psychiatry, is an expert in the genetics of addiction. Her team has studied genetic contributions to alcohol, nicotine and cocaine dependence. Recently, she has identified genes that help predict whether a person will respond to medication to help them quit smoking and determined that genes influence how much people tend to smoke, as well as which smokers are the most likely to develop lung cancer. Bierut’s group has also looked at the impact of drinking-age laws on drinking and driving behavior, teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infection rates among young people.