Ezra Susser, MD, PhD

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Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Epidemiology
  • Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Susser's primary research has been on the epidemiology of mental disorders, and on examining the role of early life experience in health and disease throughout the life course. His international collaborative birth cohort research program (The Imprints Center) seeks to uncover the developmental origins of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and ADHD, as well as other complex diseases. Among the risk factors explored are prenatal exposures to infectious disease and toxic chemicals, childhood nutrition and environment, and genetics, as well as the interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors. His most recent research addresses the role of in utero de novo genetic mutations in the development of schizophrenia in adulthood. Dr. Susser’s work has addressed the health of inner city populations, examining relationships between homelessness, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS.

Research

Much of Dr. Susser's research focuses on the developmental origins of health and disease throughout the life course. These longitudinal studies emanate from his earlier work on the population affected by the Dutch Famine (1944-45) and neurodevelopmental etiologies of schizophrenia. Those findings have recently been replicated on a broad scale based on the population in utero at the time of the massive famine precipitated by China's Great Leap Forward in 1959-61. Dr. Susser is pursuing new research in this population on the role of de novo gene mutation as a consequence of nutritional deprivation during gestation. He heads the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies, a collaborative birth cohort research program in which epidemiologists seek to uncover the causes of a broad range of disease and health outcomes, including psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, obesity, cardiovascular disease, reproductive performance, and breast and ovarian cancers. Dr. Susser has also taken an active role in using epidemiology to better understand social inequalities of health by focusing in the health of inner city populations. He is the Co-Director of the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies, an interdisciplinary research center focused on the prevention of homelessness among people with severe mental illness.

Grants

INFECTION, FEVER AND IMMUNITY AND OFFSPRING ADHD I A POPULATION BASED PREGNANCY/BIRTH COHORT (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2017 - Jun 30 2022

RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM IN PSYCHIATRIC EPIDEMIOLOGY (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 1972 - Jun 30 2022

CHARACTERIZING COGNITION ACRIOSS THE LIFESPAN IN UNTREATED PSYCHOSIS IN CHINA (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2016 - May 31 2020

STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH A HIGH-RISK STATE FOR PSYCHOSIS (Federal Gov)

May 22 2012 - Mar 31 2019

DETERMINANTS OF LEUKOCYTE TELOMERE LENGTH AT BIRTH (SUSSER/FACTOR-LITVAK/AVIV) (Federal Gov)

Apr 1 2012 - Feb 28 2019

1/3 - GENOMICS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN THE SOUTH AFRICA XHOSA (Federal Gov)

Jan 10 2013 - Dec 31 2018

REGIONAL NETWORK FOR MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH IN LATIN AMERICA (SUSSER/GALEA/ALVARADO/ROJAS) (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2011 - Aug 31 2018

FAMILY PSYCHOEDUCATION FOR ADULTS WITH PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS IN TANZANIA (STUDY) (Federal Gov)

May 15 2017 - Feb 28 2018

MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FOR AUTISM (MINERVA) (Federal Gov)

Sep 4 2012 - May 31 2017

FETAL EXPOSURE TO MATERNAL STRESS AND INFLAMMATION: EFFECTS ON NEURODEVELOPMENT (Federal Gov)

Mar 15 2012 - Dec 31 2016

INFECTION, FEVER AND IMMUNE SIGNATURES IN AN AUTISM BIRTH COHORT (HORNIG/LIPKIN) (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2014 - Aug 31 2016

AFRICA FOCUS ON INTERVENTION RESEARCH FOR MENTAL HEALTH (AFFIRM) (Federal Gov)

Sep 27 2011 - Aug 31 2016

GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS IN AN AUTISM BIRTH COHORT (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2003 - Feb 29 2016

A US-UK COMPARISON OF DISCRIMINATION & DISPARITIES IN HEALTH & HEALTH SERVICE USE (Federal Gov)

Aug 15 2009 - Jun 30 2015

EFF OF A MAJOR CLIMATIC EVNT -SPRSTRM SANDY ON PREG OUTCMS AND TELOMERE LENGTH (FACTOR-LITVAK/MONK) (Federal Gov)

May 15 2013 - Apr 30 2015

A LIFECOURSE APPROACH TO EMERGING HEALTH DISPARITIES IN A US BIRTH COHORT (LINK/COHN) (Federal Gov)

Sep 29 2008 - Aug 31 2014

PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS IN AN AFRICAN SETTING: INCIDENCE, EARLY COURSE, AND TRTMNT PTHWYS (SUSSER/BURNS) (Federal Gov)

Aug 11 2011 - Jul 31 2014

PRENATAL UNDER NUTRITION AND MORTALITY THROUGH AGE 63 PROJECT (Federal Gov)

Apr 1 2008 - Mar 31 2014

JERUSALEM PERINATAL COHORT SCHIZOPHRENIA STUDY II (Federal Gov)

Sep 13 2007 - Oct 31 2013

EARLY DETECTION, INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION OF PSYCHOSIS (Private)

Jun 5 2008 - Apr 30 2013

NATIONAL CHILDREN''S STUDY- QUEENS VANGUARD CENTER PROPOSAL (Federal Gov)

Mar 11 2011 - Sep 6 2012

FOLATE AND PATERNAL AGE AND DE NOVO GENETIC AND EPIGENETIC E VENTS (Private)

Jul 1 2009 - Mar 31 2011

NATIONAL CHILDREN''S STUDY - QUEENS VANGUARD CENTER PROPOSAL (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2005 - Mar 3 2011

PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH FOUR PART SEMINAR SERIES (Private)

Sep 1 2008 - Dec 20 2010

PILOT STUDY: FAMINE, DE NOVO MUTATIONS AND SCHIZOPHRENIA (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2007 - Nov 30 2008

Selected Publications

  • Reichenberg A, Gross R, Weiser M, Bresnahan M, Silverman JM, Harlap S, Rabinowitz J, Shulman C, Malespina D, Lubin G, Knobler HY, Davidson M, Susser E. : Advancing paternal age and autism. Archives of General Psychiatry 2006;63: 1026-1032
  • McClellan J, Susser E, King MC. : Maternal famine, de novo mutations and schizophrenia.. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006;296(3): 582-584
  • Brown AS, Begg MD, Gravenstein S, Schaefer CA, Wyatt RJ, Bresnahan M, Babulas V, Susser E: Serologic evidence for prenatal influenza in the etiology of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 2004;61: 774-780
  • Susser E, Schaefer C, Brown A, Begg M, Wyatt RJ: The Design of the Prenatal Determinants of Schizophrenia (PDS). Schizophrenia Bulletin 2000;26(2): 257-273
  • Susser E, Schwartz S, Morabia A, Begg M, Gorman J, Bromet E: Psychiatric Epidemiology:Searching for the Causes of Mental Disorders, New York:Oxford University Press , New York, NY, USA, 2006