Mammalian Genome

, Volume 25, Issue 1–2, pp 23–31 | Cite as

The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project: implications for genetics research

  • Janine M. Simmons
  • Kevin J. QuinnEmail author


Heterogeneity of disorders, comorbidity across diagnoses, and reification of existing disease classifications are some of the challenges facing psychiatry in the twenty-first century. NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project seeks to address these issues by defining basic dimensions of function that cut across disorders as traditionally defined and can be studied across multiple units of analysis, from genes to neural circuits to behaviors. The intent is to translate rapid progress in basic genetic, neurobiological, and behavioral research to an improved integrative understanding of psychopathology. In so doing, RDoC seeks to facilitate the development of new and/or optimally targeted treatments for mental disorders. The RDoC project would not have been possible without NIMH’s long-term investment in basic research. Without the continuation of basic research, both related and unrelated to current RDoC domains and constructs, it will not be possible to sustain the RDoC effort. This article seeks to outline the relationship between RDoC and NIMH’s ongoing support for broad-based basic research, from genetics to behavior.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Polygenic Risk Score Research Domain Criterion Anxiety Disorder Clinic Current Diagnostic System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Andrea Beckel-Mitchener, Bruce Cuthbert, Michael Kozak, Thomas Lehner, Doug Meinecke, David Panchision, and Lois Winsky for helpful input and discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of HealthDepartment of Health & Human ServicesBethesdaUSA

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