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

Research Summary

Dr. Docherty’s current NIMH-funded research aims involve 1) genetic subtyping of psychopathology to inform psychiatric nosology and treatment and 2) GWAS-based polygenic prediction of numerous mental and physical health outcomes (the phenome) across critical stages of human development. She is interested in overall empirical refinement of psychiatric classification, and enhanced prediction of severe psychopathology via genetic modeling.


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • M.S. , Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • B.A., English, Oberlin College
  • Predoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Genetics, Psychiatry & Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Early Assessment of Psychosis Certification, Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
  • Advanced Structural Equation Modeling for Genetics Studies, Psychiatry, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychiatric Genomics (NIMH T32), Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric & Behavioral Genetics


Dr. Anna Docherty, Ph.D. recently completed her postdoc training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. She works with research groups at MIT and Oxford to improve prediction and prevention of depression and psychosis. She has secured an NIMH and NARSAD Young Investigator Award to study the molecular genetics of schizophrenia and schizotypy, and has published several papers using genetics approaches to understanding and preventing mental illness. 

Dr. Docherty's interest in psychiatric genetics began during her doctoral training at both the University of Missouri (Ph.D.) and the University of Minnesota (NIMH F31 Fellow and American Psychological Foundation Fellow). This led her to collaborate with the Wellcome Trust and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, and to projects examining symptom dimensions, genetic subtyping, and genome-wide polygenic risk modeling. Overall, her focus is on enhancing prediction and prevention of severe psychopathology, and developing precision medicine studies in the service of identifying novel drug targets.


Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Docherty is licensed to practice in Utah and Virginia.