Alison Merikangas, M.P.H, Ph.D. Research Scientist - Genetic Epidemiologist

Alison Merikangas, MPH, PhD, is a genetic epidemiologist who joined the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2017, where she is a Research Scientist. She has a B.S. in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from the George Washington University School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Neuropsychiatric Genetics from Trinity College Dublin. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine with Dr. Raquel Gur in Genetic Epidemiology. Dr. Merikangas' research has focused on genetic and environmental factors in childhood psychopathology, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder and Mood Disorders, and she has more than a dozen publications. Her current research in the Almasy Lab is investigating the genetic architecture of medical/mental comorbidity. She has received numerous awards including a post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, a grant from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology for her doctoral studies, and a Ruth L. Kirschstein Training Award for her post-doctoral studies. She has also received the Samuel Gershon Junior Investigator Award from the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, the Michele Tansella Award from the World Psychiatric Association Section on Epidemiology and Public Health, and numerous junior investigator travel fellowships.




Ph.D. - Neuropsychiatric Genetics - Trinity College, Dublin
M.P.H - Epidemiology - George Washington University School of Public Health
B.S. - Psychology - Carnegie Mellon University

Selected Publications


Merikangas KR, Merikangas AK. Harnessing Progress in Psychiatric Genetics to Advance Population Mental Health. Am J Public Health. 2019 Jun;109(S3):S171-S175. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.304948. PubMed PMID: 31242010; PubMed Central PMCID:



Merikangas AK, Calkins ME, Bilker WB, Moore TM, Gur RC, Gur RE. Parental Age and Offspring Psychopathology in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 May;56(5):391-400. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Mar 6. PubMed PMID: 28433088; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5458772.


Merikangas AK, Cui L, Calkins ME, Moore TM, Gur RC, Gur RE, Merikangas KR. Neurocognitive performance as an endophenotype for mood disorder subgroups. J Affect Disord. 2017 Jun;215:163-171. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.021. Epub 2017 Mar 10. PubMed PMID: 28340442; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5441552.


Merikangas AK, Segurado R, Kelleher E, Hogan D, Delaney C, Gill M, Gallagher L, Corvin AP, Heron EA. Parental age, birth order and neurodevelopmental disorders. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;21(6):728-30. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.127. Epub 2015 Aug 25. PubMed PMID: 26303659.