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Alan Sanders

Alan Roger Sanders (born 1963) is an American behavior genetics researcher. His work examines genetics factors in “major psychiatric disorders and behavioral traits.” Sanders is looking for genetic markers for sexual orientation the way he has looked for complex diseases he believes in, like “schizophrenia.”


Sanders earned his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University in 1986. He received his medical degree in 1991 from Baylor College of Medicine and did his residency at Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Sanders made the unfortunate choice to associate with J. Michael Bailey at Northwestern University, working to replicate the “gay gene” work reported by Dean Hamer. Sanders worked with Bailey protege Khytam Dawood.

J. Michael Bailey has suggested homosexuality is a “developmental error” and has written on its correlation with mental illness. Bailey has also suggested screening for gay fetuses and aborting them is “morally acceptable” and a parent’s right.


Molecular Study of Sexual Orientation.

Duan J, Martinez M, Sanders AR, Hou C, Krasner AJ, Schwartz DB, Gejman PV. Abstract Neuregulin 1 ( NRG1 ) and schizophrenia: analysis of a US family sample and the evidence in the balance. Psychol Med. 2005 Nov;35(11):1599-610. PMID: 16219118

Sanders AR, Duan J, Gejman PV. Complexities in psychiatric genetics. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2004 Nov;16(4):284-93. PMID: 16194761

Sanders AR, Rusu I, Duan J, Vander Molen JE, Hou C, Schwab SG, Wildenauer DB, Martinez M, Gejman PV. Haplotypic association spanning the 22q11.21 genes COMT and ARVCF with schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry. 2005 Apr;10(4):353-65.
PMID: 15340358

Duan J, Martinez M, Sanders AR, Hou C, Saitou N, Kitano T, Mowry BJ, Crowe RR, Silverman JM, Levinson DF, Gejman PV. Free in PMC Polymorphisms in the trace amine receptor 4 (TRAR4) gene on chromosome 6q23.2 are associated with susceptibility to schizophrenia. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;75(4):624-38. Epub 2004 Aug 24. PMID: 15329799

Mowry BJ, Holmans PA, Pulver AE, Gejman PV, Riley B, Williams NM, Laurent C, Schwab SG, Wildenauer DB, Bauche S, Owen MJ, Wormley B, Sanders AR, Nestadt G, Liang KY, Duan J, Ribble R, Norton N, Soubigou S, Maier W, Ewen-White KR, DeMarchi N, Carpenter B, Walsh D, Williams H, Jay M, Albus M, Nertney DA, Papadimitriou G, O’Neill A, O’Donovan MC, Deleuze JF, Lerer FB, Dikeos D, Kendler KS, Mallet J, Silverman JM, Crowe RR, Levinson DF. Abstract Multicenter linkage study of schizophrenia loci on chromosome 22q. Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Aug;9(8):784-95. PMID: 15007391

Duan J, Sanders AR, Molen JE, Martinolich L, Mowry BJ, Levinson DF, Crowe RR, Silverman JM, Gejman PV. Polymorphisms in the 5′-untranslated region of the human serotonin receptor 1B (HTR1B) gene affect gene expression.
Mol Psychiatry. 2003 Nov;8(11):901-10. PMID: 14593427

Duan J, Wainwright MS, Comeron JM, Saitou N, Sanders AR, Gelernter J, Gejman PV. Synonymous mutations in the human dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) affect mRNA stability and synthesis of the receptor. Hum Mol Genet. 2003 Feb 1;12(3):205-16. PMID: 12554675

Sanders AR, Duan J, Gejman PV. Abstract DNA variation and psychopharmacology of the human serotonin receptor 1B (HTR1B) gene. Pharmacogenomics. 2002 Nov;3(6):745-62. Review. PMID: 12437478

Levinson DF, Holmans PA, Laurent C, Riley B, Pulver AE, Gejman PV, Schwab SG, Williams NM, Owen MJ, Wildenauer DB, Sanders AR, Nestadt G, Mowry BJ, Wormley B, Bauche S, Soubigou S, Ribble R, Nertney DA, Liang KY, Martinolich L, Maier W, Norton N, Williams H, Albus M, Carpenter EB, DeMarchi N, Ewen-White KR, Walsh D, Jay M, Deleuze JF, O’Neill FA, Papadimitriou G, Weilbaecher A, Lerer B, O’Donovan MC, Dikeos D, Silverman JM, Kendler KS, Mallet J, Crowe RR, Walters M. No major schizophrenia locus detected on chromosome 1q in a large multicenter sample.
Science. 2002 Apr 26;296(5568):739-41. PMID: 11976456

Gejman PV, Sanders AR, Badner JA, Cao Q, Zhang J. Linkage analysis of schizophrenia to chromosome 15. Am J Med Genet. 2001 Dec 8;105(8):789-93. PMID: 11803532

Sanders AR, Gejman PV. Influential ideas and experimental progress in schizophrenia genetics research. JAMA. 2001 Jun 13;285(22):2831-3. No abstract available. PMID: 11401586

Sanders AR, Cao Q, Taylor J, Levin TE, Badner JA, Cravchik A, Comeron JM, Naruya S, Del Rosario A, Salvi DA, Walczyk KA, Mowry BJ, Levinson DF, Crowe RR, Silverman JM, Gejman PV. Genetic diversity of the human serotonin receptor 1B (HTR1B) gene. Genomics. 2001 Feb 15;72(1):1-14. PMID: 11247661

Sanders AR, Gejman PV. Major corrections are indicated for ‘Comparative proteome analysis of the hippocampus implicates chromosome 6q in schizophrenia’. Mol Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;6(1):10-2. PMID: 11244479

Levinson DF, Holmans P, Straub RE, Owen MJ, Wildenauer DB, Gejman PV, Pulver AE, Laurent C, Kendler KS, Walsh D, Norton N, Williams NM, Schwab SG, Lerer B, Mowry BJ, Sanders AR, Antonarakis SE, Blouin JL, DeLeuze JF, Mallet J. Multicenter linkage study of schizophrenia candidate regions on chromosomes 5q, 6q, 10p, and 13q: schizophrenia linkage collaborative group III. Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Sep;67(3):652-63. Epub 2000 Aug 2. PMID: 10924404

Martinez M, Goldin LR, Cao Q, Zhang J, Sanders AR, Nancarrow DJ, Taylor JM, Levinson DF, Kirby A, Crowe RR, Andreasen NC, Black DW, Silverman JM, Lennon DP, Nertney DA, Brown DM, Mowry BJ, Gershon ES, Gejman PV. Follow-up study on a susceptibility locus for schizophrenia on chromosome 6q. Am J Med Genet. 1999 Aug 20;88(4):337-43. PMID: 10402499

Detera-Wadleigh SD, Badner JA, Berrettini WH, Yoshikawa T, Goldin LR, Turner G, Rollins DY, Moses T, Sanders AR, Karkera JD, Esterling LE, Zeng J, Ferraro TN, Guroff JJ, Kazuba D, Maxwell ME, Nurnberger JI Jr, Gershon ES. A high-density genome scan detects evidence for a bipolar-disorder susceptibility locus on 13q32 and other potential loci on 1q32 and 18p11.2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 May 11;96(10):5604-9. PMID: 10318931

Gershon ES, Badner JA, Goldin LR, Sanders AR, Cravchik A, Detera-Wadleigh SD. Closing in on genes for manic-depressive illness and schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998 Apr;18(4):233-42. Review. PMID: 9509491

Yoshikawa T, Sanders AR, Esterling LE, Detera-Wadleigh SD. Multiple transcriptional variants and RNA editing in C18orf1, a novel gene with LDLRA and transmembrane domains on 18p11.2. Genomics. 1998 Jan 15;47(2):246-57.
PMID: 9479497

Sanders AR, Gershon ES. Clinical Genetics, VIII. From genetics to pathophysiology–candidate genes. Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Feb;155(2):162. No abstract available. PMID: 9464192

Sanders AR, Gershon ES. Clinical genetics, VII. From genetics to pathophysiology: positional cloning.
Am J Psychiatry. 1998 Jan;155(1):3. No abstract available.
PMID: 9433331

Esterling LE, Cox Matise T, Sanders AR, Yoshikawa T, Overhauser J, Gershon ES, Moskowitz MT, Detera-Wadleigh SD. An integrated physical map of 18p11.2: a susceptibility region for bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry. 1997 Oct-Nov;2(6):501-4. PMID: 9399696

Sanders AR, Gershon ES. Linkage and association in complex genetic diseases. Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Dec;154(12):1640. PMID: 9396939

Yoshikawa T, Turner G, Esterling LE, Sanders AR, Detera-Wadleigh SD. A novel human myo-inositol monophosphatase gene, IMP.18p, maps to a susceptibility region for bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;2(5):393-7. PMID: 9322233

Cao Q, Martinez M, Zhang J, Sanders AR, Badner JA, Cravchik A, Markey CJ, Beshah E, Guroff JJ, Maxwell ME, Kazuba DM, Whiten R, Goldin LR, Gershon ES, Gejman PV. Suggestive evidence for a schizophrenia susceptibility locus on chromosome 6q and a confirmation in an independent series of pedigrees. Genomics. 1997 Jul 1;43(1):1-8. PMID: 9226366

Detera-Wadleigh SD, Badner JA, Yoshikawa T, Sanders AR, Goldin LR, Turner G, Rollins DY, Moses T, Guroff JJ, Kazuba D, Maxwell ME, Edenberg HJ, Foroud T, Lahiri D, Nurnberger JI Jr, Stine OC, McMahon F, Meyers DA, MacKinnon D, Simpson S, McInnis M, DePaulo JR, Rice J, Goate A, Gershon ES, et al. Initial genome scan of the NIMH genetics initiative bipolar pedigrees: chromosomes 4, 7, 9, 18, 19, 20, and 21q.
Am J Med Genet. 1997 May 31;74(3):254-62. PMID: 9184307

Yoshikawa T, Sanders AR, Esterling LE, Overhauser J, Garnes JA, Lennon G, Grewal R, Detera-Wadleigh SD. Isolation of chromosome 18-specific brain transcripts as positional candidates for bipolar disorder. Am J Med Genet. 1997 Apr 18;74(2):140-9. PMID: 9129712

Yoshikawa T, Sanders AR, Detera-Wadleigh SD. Contamination of sequence databases with adaptor sequences. Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Feb;60(2):463-6. PMID: 9012422

Nimgaonkar VL, Sanders AR, Ganguli R, Zhang XR, Brar J, Hogge W, Fann WE, Patel PI, Chakravarti A. Association study of schizophrenia and the dopamine D3 receptor gene locus in two independent samples. Am J Med Genet. 1996 Nov 22;67(6):505-14. PMID: 8950407

Detera-Wadleigh SD, Badner JA, Goldin LR, Berrettini WH, Sanders AR, Rollins DY, Turner G, Moses T, Haerian H, Muniec D, Nurnberger JI Jr, Gershon ES. Affected-sib-pair analyses reveal support of prior evidence for a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder, on 21q. Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Jun;58(6):1279-85. PMID: 8651306

Sanders AR, Rincon-Limas DE, Chakraborty R, Grandchamp B, Hamilton JD, Fann WE, Patel PI. Related Articles, Links
Abstract Association between genetic variation at the porphobilinogen deaminase gene and schizophrenia.
Schizophr Res. 1993 Jan;8(3):211-21. PMID: 8094629