Gerry Higgins, M.D., Ph.D.

Gerry Higgins, M.D., Ph.D.
Job Title: 

Research Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics

My research focuses on pharmacogenomics to optimize medication selection and dosage for patients who have been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and neurological disease. Emphasis is placed on noncoding regulatory pathways in the human epigenome for discovery of novel brain pathways that mediate the pharmacodynamics of drugs such as mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, analgesics and antidepressants. Using computational methods and gene association data, we have identified the pathway in the human brain in which lithium acts in bipolar disorder, a medication that has been used since the 1950’s without a clearly defined mechanism of action. In the past I have served in federal, corporate, academic and hospital settings, including Chief of Molecular Neurobiology at the National Institutes of Health, consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Vice President of R&D for Hoffmann – LaRoche and Laerdal Medical Corporation, Chief Innovation Officer for the MedStar hospital network and co-founder of SimQuest International, LLC. I have served as Principal Investigator on 24 grants and projects, raised over $65 M in venture funding, and published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in biomedical research and computer science. I have received the Mallinckrodt Scholar Award for Excellence in Science, and fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trust, Hereditary Disease foundation, the American Health Assistance foundation and the American Heart Association. Product development has included Virtual IV™ training simulator (Laerdal Medical Corporation), Ingenuity Pathway Analysis™ (Qiagen), BD FocalPoint™ Slide Profiler Intelligent Pap Imaging™ (Becton, Dickinson) and GeneSight® Psychotropic Pharmacogenomic Test (AssureRx Health, Inc.).