Consuelo Walss-Bass, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, focuses her research on understanding of psychiatric disorders at the molecular level. She utilizes genomic and proteomic approaches in human and animal models to correlate genetic/epigenetic modifications with cellular function and brain in order to understand the mechanisms that are involved in development and expression of mental illnesses and behavior.
Walss-Bass established the UTHealth Brain Collection resource to help study brain disorders and create healthy changes for future generations. Brain tissue provides a crucial resource for understanding the biological causes of mental illness and other psychological challenges, such as substance abuse. In addition, she is currently studying the development of human induced-pluripotent stem cells and subsequent differentiation into neuronal cells and astrocytes to obtain virtual brain biopsies of individuals with psychiatric disorders.
Walss-Bass also leads the Psychiatric Genetics Program, in which she assists clinical investigators in genotype-phenotype correlations to better understand the genetic underpinnings of psychiatric disorders. Her other research interests include gene-environment interactions, correlation of genetic variants with cellular function and antipsychotic-induced metabolic syndrome.