Aaron Alexander-Bloch, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Brain-Gene Development Laboratory

After studying philosophy as an undergraduate at Harvard, Dr. Alexander-Bloch completed a Master’s in computational biology at the University of Cambridge. His PhD, jointly at Cambridge and the intramural program of the National Institute of Mental Health, explored MRI brain networks in typical development and schizophrenia. After UCLA medical school and residency in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Alexander-Bloch served briefly as an assistant professor at Yale before moving to the CHOP-Penn system in 2019 to start the Brain-Gene-Development Lab.

Dr. Alexander-Bloch takes a multi-disciplinary approach to probe neurodevelopment and its disruption in mental illness. He develops computational methods to integrate brain imaging, genomics and clinical data. He is at work on projects in partnership with researchers at Penn and CHOP, as well as national and international collaborators. Current projects include:

  • Investigating the underlying cellular, genetic and transcriptomic basis of brain imaging measures such as cortical thickness, folding and multimodal connectivity between brain regions
  • Using network models to investigate normal brain development and altered developmental trajectories that lead to mental illness
  • Integrating the study of rare genetic syndromes with more common genetic and environmental risk factors to predict the onset of psychosis spectrum disorders

Dr. Alexander-Bloch works at the Richards Biomedical Research Building.




Other Titles: 
Assistant Professor - Psychiatry - University of Pennsylvania
Attending Psychiatrist, CHOP


MD - University of California, Los Angeles - 2015
PhD - University of Cambridge - 2015
MPhil - University of Cambridge - Computational Biology - 2007
AB - Harvard College - Philosophy - 2006

Selected Publications

Alexander-Bloch AF, Mathias SR, Fox PT, Olvera RL, Göring HHH, Duggirala R, Curran JE, Blangero J, Glahn DC. Human cortical thickness organized into genetically-determined communities across spatial resolutions. Cerebral Cortex. 2019 Jan; 29(1):106-118. PMID 29190330
Alexander-Bloch A, Reiss PT, Rapoport J, McAdams H, Giedd JN, Bullmore ET, Gogtay N. Abnormal cortical growth in schizophrenia targets normative modules of synchronized development. Biological Psychiatry. 2014 Jan; 76(6): 438–446 (Cover). PMID: 24690112
Alexander-Bloch A, Giedd J, Bullmore E. Imaging structural co-variance between human brain regions. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2013 Jan; 14(5):322-36. PMID: 23531697
Alexander-Bloch A, Raznahan A, Bullmore E, Giedd J. The convergence of maturational change and structural covariance in human cortical networks. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013 Jan; 33(7):2889-2899. PMID 23407947
Alexander-Bloch A, Vértes PE, Stidd R, Lalonde F, Clasen L, Rapoport J, Giedd J, Bullmore ET, Gogtay N. The anatomical distance of functional connections predicts brain network topology in health and schizophrenia. Cerebral Cortex. 2012 Jan; 23(1):127-38. PMID: 22275481