Devanand S. Manoli is a neuroscientist and child psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Manoli received his undergraduate degrees with honors in biology and French literature from Stanford University and continued his medical and graduate training in neuroscience at Stanford. He then decided to continue his clinical training in psychiatry at UCSF and focus his work on the neural basis of social attachment. Manoli began his postdoctoral work with the goal of developing genetic tools to understand the genes and neural circuits that control pair bonding and social attachment in prairie voles. He established the techniques to generate, for the first time, voles with mutations in specific genes, and to label and manipulate neurons in the vole brain. He plans to study the neural circuits that control social attachment, the changes that occur in these neurons during early and adolescent development, and how these circuits respond to early life stress.
Manoli’s research parallels his clinical interest in the social attachment deficits seen in children and adolescents with ASD and those that are beginning to show signs of psychotic illness. Manoli plans to generate voles with mutations in genes implicated in autism and schizophrenia to understand the deficits in social attachment that are hallmarks of these disorders, and to determine how these can be used to identify at-risk populations earlier. For his work, he has won several awards, including a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus Fellowship, the Julius R. Krevans Award for Clinical Excellence at UCSF, fellowships from the Sandler and NARSAD foundations, the National Institute of Mental Health Outstanding Resident Award and a Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.