S. Alexandra Burt’s research examines the role of gene-environment interplay in the development of externalizing forms of psychopathology such as conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and ADHD. Her research has led to significant progress in identifying the origins of externalizing disorders and related behaviors such as aggression.
Burt is co-director of the Michigan State University Twin Registry (MSUTR), where more than 24,000 twins have been enrolled to date, with twin participants spanning several developmental stages–including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood–to ensure that genetic, environmental, and biological risk factors specific to particular developmental periods are identified and examined.
Burt has engaged in numerous activities to raise public awareness of the importance of mental health and twin research, including a website to engage twin families in the research process (see http://msutwinstudies.com/). Her work has been featured in the New York Times; CBS and ABC News; The Daily Telegraph; Minnnesota Public Radio, and numerous other media outlets. She is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.
Burt is co-director of MSUTR, a population-based twin registry housed in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and behavioral genetics from the University of Minnesota in 2004.