Gary Heiman

Gary Heiman

Gary Heiman

Adjunct Assistant Professor


145 Bevier Road
Piscataway NJ 08854
Website address: Email:


Gary Heiman, PhD, focuses on research at the intersection of genetics, psychiatry, and neurology. Many neurological disorders are highly comorbid with psychiatric disorders, but the cause of this comorbidity is unknown. Using genetic information, he is testing the hypothesis that the comorbidity is due, in part, to a shared genetic susceptibility.

Dr. Heiman is conducting a number of studies including the genetic relationship between epilepsy and depression; psychiatric manifestations of the DYT1 dystonia gene; various clinical manifestations, including psychiatric symptoms, in a genetic form of Parkinson's disease; and the long-term clinical course of DYT1 dystonia carriers to determine if any other signs or symptoms appear later in life.

He is investigating genetics of Tourette's Disorder (TD). TD is a developmental neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by persistent vocal and motor tics. He is the PI on the Tourette International Collaborative Genetics, the largest sharing cell and DNA repository for TD. This is an international collaboration of clinicians, geneticists, and statisticians from the US, Europe, and South Korea. The goal of this repository is identify genetic factors that play a role in causing TD and associated disorders.



PhD, 2002, Columbia University
MSc, 1989, Sarah Lawrence College
BA, 1983, Boston University

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Genetics

Honors & Awards

Student Leadership Award, American Psychopathological Association, 2001
Anna C. Gelman Award for Excellence in Epidemiology, 2002
Election to American Psychopathological Association, 2002
Distinguished Service Award, American Psychopathological Association, 2009

Areas of Expertise

Genetics, Mental Health

Select Publications

Ercan-Sencicek AG, Stillman AA, Ghosh A, Bilguvar K,. O'Roak BJ,. Mason CE, Abbott T, Gupta A, King RA, Pauls DL, Tischfield JA, Heiman GA, Singer HS, Gilbert DL, Hoekstra PJ, Loring E, Yasuno K, Fernandez T, Sanders S, Louvi A, Cho JH, Mane S, Colangelo CM, Biederer T,. Lifton RP, Gunel M and State MW. A rare dominant negative mutation in L-histidine decarboxylase (HDC) implicates histaminergic neurotransmission in Tourette syndrome (TS). N Engl J Med, 362:1901-8, 2010. PMCID: PMC2894694.
Fernandez T, Sanders S, Yurkiewicz IR, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Kim YS, Fishman D, Raubeson M, Song Y, Yasuno K, Winson H, Bilguvar K, Glessner J, Chu SH, Leckman J, King RA, Gilbert D, Heiman GA, Tischfield JA, Hoekstra PJ, Devlin B, Hakonarson H, Mane SM, Gunel M, and State MW. Rare Copy Number Variants (CNVs) in Tourette Syndrome (TS) are Enriched for Genes in Histaminergic Pathways and Overlap with Risks for Autism. Biol Psychiatry; 71: 392-402, 2012. PMCID: PMC3282144.
Dietrich A, Fernandez TV, King RA, State MW, Tischfield JA, Hoekstra PJ, *Heiman GA; the TIC Genetics Collaborative Group. The Tourette International Collaborative Genetics (TIC Genetics) study, finding the genes causing Tourette syndrome: objectives and methods. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 24:141-151, 2015. PMCID: PMC4209328.
Heiman GA, King RA, and Tischfield JA New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome Sharing Repository: methods and sample description BMC Medical Genomics 1 2008
Heiman GA, Ottman R, Saunders-Pullman R, Ozelius LJ, Risch NJ, and Bressman SB Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not a manifestation of the DYT1 dystonia mutation. Am J Med Genet Part B (Neuropsychiatr Genet) 144B 361-364 2007
Gorroochurn P, Heiman GA, Hodge SE, and Greenberg DA. Centralizing the non-central chi-square: a new method to correct for population stratification in genetic case-control association studies Genet Epidemiol [Epub ahead of print] 2006
Tsai WY, Heiman GA, Hodge SE Simple Tests for age-at-onset anticipation: Application to panic disorder Genetic Epidemiology 28 256-260 2005
Heiman GA, Hodge SE, Gorroochurn P, Zhang J, Greenberg DA Effect of population stratification on case-control association studies. I: elevation in false-positive rates and comparison to confounding risk rations (a simultion study) Human Heredity 58 30-39 2004
Gorroochurn P, Hodge SE, Heiman GA, Greenberg DA Effect of population stratification on case-control assocation studies. II: false-positive rates and their limiting behavior as number of subpopulations increases Human Heredity 58 40-48 2004
Heiman GA, Ottman R, Saunders-Pullman R, Ozelius LJ, Risch NJ, Bressman SB Increased risk for recurrent major depression in DYT1 dystonia mutation carriers Neurology 63 631-637 2004

Back to Top