Anna R. Docherty, PhD, LP portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
  • Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience
  • Affiliate Assistant Professor, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric & Behavioral Genetics

Research Summary

Dr. Docherty is a quantitative geneticist and a clinician, examining risk and resilience in the context of severe outcomes including psychosis and suicide. Her research team has secured NIMH, Simons Foundation, AFSP, and NARSAD funding to build predictive models and identify high risk for psychosis, suicide, and autism. She has also built a pipeline for enhanced prediction of health outcomes (the "phenome") in emerging adulthood.

Education

  • Advanced Quantitative Molecular Genetics, Psychiatry, Institute for Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Fellowship in Quantitative Genetics (NIMH T32), Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric & Behavioral Genetics
  • Advanced Structural Equation Modeling for Genetics Studies, Psychiatry, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Fellowship in Behavioral Genetics (NIMH F31 NRSA), Psychiatry & Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Early Assessment of Psychosis Certification, Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
  • M.S. , Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.A., English, Oberlin College

Biography

Dr. Docherty is a quantitative geneticist and clinical psychologist. She examines risk and resilience in the context of severe psychiatric outcomes, and specializes in the clinical treatment of psychosis and severe depression. Dr. Docherty has completed predoctoral and postdoctoral NIMH research fellowships, and was awarded grants during these fellowships to study the genetics of schizophrenia and treatment-resistant depression. This led to collaborations with the Wellcome Trust and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, and to lead projects at the University of Utah examining the genomics of suicide, schizophrenia, depression, and autism spectrum disorders.

Since joining the faculty in 2016, Dr. Docherty has led a computational laboratory in the Department of Psychiatry. With colleagues Hilary Coon, Andrey Shabalin, and Emily DiBlasi, the team leverages the largest genomic datasets available of psychiatric populations, suicide deaths, and healthy emerging adult populations. They have secured multiple NIMH, Simons Foundation, AFSP, and NARSAD awards to build predictive models and to identify risk subtypes of major mental health disorders. The team uses a computational pipeline for genome-wide genetic and epigenetic risk scoring of hundreds of mental and physical health outcomes (the “phenome”) across critical stages of human development.

Currently, Dr. Docherty’s focus is on enhancing clinical prediction of severe psychopathology and suicide risk during emerging adulthood (e.g., in college students) and developing early detection and intervention methods using genetic data. Dr. Docherty is an active member of the Genetic Testing and Ethics committees of the International Society for Psychiatric Genetics and several consortia efforts to map the genetics of psychiatric disorders. With Robert Welsh, she co-directs the department’s NINDS R25 training workshop, Advanced Statistical Training for Imaging and Genetics. She is also a community educator and mental health advocate, and as a clinician, Dr. Docherty directs an outpatient clinic at UNI focused on evidence-based group, family, and individual psychotherapies for management of depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

 

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Docherty is licensed to practice in Utah.