Gabriel R. Fries, PhD, is assistant professor in the Faillace Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a translational researcher in the field of biological psychiatry. His research focuses on the epigenetic basis of mood disorders, with a particular interest in bipolar disorder, suicide, and molecular mechanisms of stress. Fries’ studies use basic science and investigation of postmortem tissues, cells, (epi)genomes, and clinical datasets to better understand disease mechanisms and transmission, with the ultimate goal of designing novel medications and improving the lives of patients.

Fries received his Master’s degree and his PhD in Biochemistry from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He also completed a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Germany, before joining the UTHealth Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as a postdoctoral research fellow (2015-2018) and later as an Instructor (2018-2019). As an Assistant Professor, he currently collaborates with basic and clinical investigators on the search for the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of severe mental illnesses. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and received awards for his research work from multiple scientific societies, including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), and the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). Dr. Fries has received several grants and a Principal Investigator and is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Milken Institute, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the McGovern Medical School, and the UTHealth Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.



Doctoral Degree
Biochemistry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil
Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Psychiatric Genetics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics and Epigenetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Mood Disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Substance use disorder