Carolyn Drazinic, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry/Genetics, UConn Health (Affiliate)


Research Overview

Dr. Drazinic is a translational researcher who has a long-standing interest in investigating the behavioral, cognitive, and neurologic manifestations of genetic syndromes with behavioral manifestations. By establishing a Behavioral Gene Bank at Yale, and again at UConn, she has worked with patients with DiGeorge Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, 18p monosomy, and a variety of other disorders with unique behavioral manifestations. When she recently became Director of the Huntington’s Disease program, she focused on Huntington’s disease, a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder. She developed expertise in treating their behavioral problems of irritability and mood swings, as well as their neurological problems of chorea and dystonia. She received a State of CT stem cell seed grant, and her basic laboratory is currently growing pluripotent stem cells to test small molecules for inhibition or reversal of the disease process, i.e. the abnormal accumulation of toxic mutant huntingtin protein aggregates.

For the InCHIP grant proposals, she (and others working with her in clinical and basic research venues) would like to explore other small molecules, including histone deacetylase inhibitors, anticonvulsants, and antioxidants, for a possible treatment of HD, at both the clinical and the molecular levels. Based on pilot data in human subjects obtained with InCHIP support, she would like to use her clinical trial experience to initiate larger clinical trials that involve periodic neuropsychiatric assessments, radiologic monitoring of disease progression, bloodwork for molecular expression profiling, and skin biopsies for patient-derived stem cell exploration of personalized treatments.

Education

1986-1990 B.S. High Honors, Interdisc. Basic Biological and Medical Sciences, Univ. Florida, Gainesville.
1989-1998 M.D. Degree, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
1991-1996 Ph.D. Degree, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Univ. Florida, Gainesville.
1998-2002 Medical Residency, Adult Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
2002-2003 Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
2003-2004 Neuropsychiatry Fellowship, West Haven VA Hospital/Yale University, West Haven, CT
2004-2005 Child Neurodevelopmental Fellowship, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Emaildrazinic@uchc.edu
Phone860.679.3316
Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
Department of Psychiatry/Genetics
263 Farmington Avenue, MC 2103
Farmington, CT 06030-2103