About IBG

Mission    ARPAC Report & IBG Self Study    IBG Videos    Journals & Associations    Director's Note 


The Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) is an organized research unit of the University of Colorado Graduate School dedicated to conducting and facilitating research on the genetic and environmental bases of individual differences in behavior.

Founded in 1967, IBG is one of the top research facilities in the world for genetic research on behavior. Data collection and analysis are ongoing for several internationally renowned studies including the Colorado Adoption Project, the Colorado Twin Registry, the National Youth Survey Family Study, the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. IBG is home to one of the nation's largest DNA repositories for research on human behavior, as well as housing a wide array of behaviorally and genetically defined lines of selected, recombinant inbred, transgenic, and knockout-gene mice. Current research includes studies of aging, neurodegenerative disease, psychopathology, reading and learning disabilities, cognition, substance abuse, behavioral development, and evolution.

During IBG's last program review, the Internal Review Committee reported that IBG is "...among the strongest of the research institutes on campus. The Institute has an outstanding faculty and research staff that has established unique and highly successful interdisciplinary research programs." The research record of "...the resident faculty members...[are] outstanding in terms of international recognition, publications, and extramural funding." The Extramural Review Committee concurred, referring to IBG as "...the leading center for human and animal behavioral genetic studies in the U.S. and, arguably, in the world." In its summary findings, the Program Review Panel stated that the "...Institute for Behavioral Genetics is an independent academic enterprise that is peerless in its field and a superb asset to the University of Colorado and to the Boulder Campus."

Research Funding & Space


IBG administers about $50 million in total grant dollars; $10 million per fiscal year. We have approximately 48 research projects that are funded through IBG. We direct three NIH pre- and postdoctoral training grants (from NIMH, NICHD, and NIDA) supporting 13 graduate students and 4 postdoctoral fellows, and we co-direct another training grant supporting 8 postdoctoral fellows (NIAAA)

IBG occupies 38,500 sf in four buildings on the East Campus of CU Boulder: the IBG building (17,200sf), RL1 (3,600sf), RL4 (7700sf), ARCE (10,000sf). Our goal is to obtain new integrated space, within a life sciences cluster, totaling 70,000sf, to accommodate our growing research and graduate education needs in collaboration with Psychology and Neuroscience, IPHY, MCDB, and ICS.

Faculty, Researchers & Students


There are 8 tenured or tenure-track faculty rostered in the Graduate School and based at IBG. In total, there are 34 Faculty Fellows, most of whom hold joint appointments in academic units on the Boulder and Denver campuses. Although Behavioral Genetics can be thought of as the intersection between genetics and the behavioral sciences, our faculty comes from a broader range of backgrounds.

On the Boulder campus: Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience (10 +3 emeritus), Dept of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (2), MCDB (1), Dept of Integrative Physiology (4), Dept of Sociology (1), Graduate School (2).

At the University of Colorado Denver: Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2), Pharmacology (3), and Psychiatry (2), and the Center for Bioethics and Humanities (1). At the University of Denver: Department of Psychology (1).

In addition to our research mission, faculty on the Boulder campus participate in both undergraduate and graduate teaching.

Currently, 21 graduate students mentored by IBG faculty fellows participate in the IBG training program; since we are not a degree-granting institute, all current graduate students are affiliated with academic units on the Boulder campus.

Approximately 32 postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and senior research associates are employed at IBG.

Approximately 58 PRAs, 13 administrative and animal laboratory staff members and 31 undergraduate student employees work on our various research projects

Current Students 


2014 Graduate Students

2014 Graduate Students

Front Row (from left to right): Brittany Demmit, Brooke Huibregtse, Chelsie Benca, Emma Johnson, Coral Cabrera-Montalvo, Sam Dolzani
Back Row (from left to right): Amanda Wills, Whitney Melroy, Richard Border, Kristin Rasmus, Maia Frieser, Dorian Mitchem, Alex Hatoum, Dan Gustavson, MengZhen Lui, Sonya Belimezova, Hunter Mathews

Not Pictured: Spencer Huggett, Dan Johnson, Hannah Shapero, Ashley Smith-Watts, Harry Smolker, Robbee Wedow, Kerri Woodward, Helena Yardley

Click for a list of IBG's current graduate students and their research interests