Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Psychiatry
UBHC. Room D-439
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Biochemical and molecular biological studies of human behavior
Dr. Paul Manowitz is interested in the biochemistry and genetics of mental illness. One of his main interests is the identification of a gene for susceptibility to alcoholism. His research has identified an abnormal protein. an enzyme (arylsulfatase A). which occurs much more frequently in alcoholics than in normal control. Tissue culture experiments have shown that this protein is much less stable metabolically than the normal protein. Molecular biological studies have determined the site of the nucleic acid change which produces the abnormal protein. Work is currently being done to further test the hypothesis that this abnormal gene is a susceptibility gene for alcoholism.