I am Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and Principal Investigator at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. I have been interested in the cerebellar regulation of movement, beginning at The University of Iowa where I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology in 1990 under the mentorship of Professor John A. Harvey.
The Williams lab is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which genetic risk factors contribute to psychiatric disease from a developmental perspective. Our current projects focus on voltage-gated calcium channel genes, which have been linked to the risk of developing bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and autism. We use induced pluripotent stem cells and transgenic mouse models to study how calcium channel gene SNPs alter neuronal development, neural circuit function, and affective behavior.
Research in the Freeman Lab examines the neural circuitry underlying learning and memory. Our general approach is to use multiple systems neuroscience methods to identify neural circuits and neural circuit interactions necessary for learning. Our approach has shifted over the years from identifying the neural inputs and outputs necessary for learning to examining dynamic interactions among neural systems, including feedback loops and sensory gating.