September 1, 2011 — Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, an authority on the role of genetic factors in the development of mental and addictive disorders, will deliver the 14th P. Browning Hoffman Memorial Lecture in Law and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Law on Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.
Kendler is the Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and a professor of human genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University. During his talk, "Genes, Drugs and Moral Responsibility," Kendler will discuss recent research on the connection between genes and human behavior, focusing on moral responsibility and the impact of genes on psychiatric and substance use disorders.
Kendler is director of the Psychiatric Genetics Research Program and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at VCU. He is best known for pioneering research in psychiatric genetics, particularly the genetic causes of schizophrenia, and is an editor of the journal Psychological Medicine.
His studies have spanned the fields of genetic epidemiology and human molecular genetics. In recent years, his work has focused on the implications of these scientific advances for our understanding of the nature of mental disorders and the meaning of psychiatric diagnoses.
Kendler is currently chair of a scientific review committee for the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's influential diagnostic manual, known as the DSM V. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999.
The lecture, sponsored by the Law School and the School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, is open to the public and parking is available at the Law School. A reception will follow.