Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.

Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.

Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis - School of Medicine.  He is also Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.  He is a clinical investigator in the Washington University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and he is involved in clinical research studying depression in the context of co-morbid medical illness.  He was the director of the psychiatry residency training program at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine from 1987-2007. He has authored or co-authored approximately 125 publications, including 75 in peer-reviewed journals.  He and Dr. Charles Zorumski recently published a book for the general public entitled Demystifying Psychiatry: A Resource for Patients and Families.

Question on genes and bipolar disorder/shizophrenia

I have a question, please on a comment on genes in the article on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and genes. I teach middle school science, including units on genes, DNA and reproduction. So, I have a little more knowledge on this than the average person, but am not a scientist.

I was always under the impression that genes were more or less hard-wired, unless there was some mutation, or that the gene pool might gradually, incrementally, slightly change over vast periods of times, thousands of years at least.

The article states that there may be slight changes in a large pool of genes (not referring tot he exact wording bu the general idea) in persons w/ bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Is there actually scientific evidence for that? or is it observational or inferred? Do the genes, then, mutate? Are they weakened chemically? If the genes change, does that change in genes get passed on to offspring?

Previously, there was emphasis on genetic markers predictive for the development of a specific mental illness. The line of thinking that bipolar or schizophrenia is a combination of genes and environment is well supported. The other line of thinking, about which the questions here are asked is different, and I'm not personally aware of the evidence for that, although there might be some evidence for it, which is why I'm asking here.

These are some of the questions that come up with that line of thinking of comment. If there is any explanation or available references for that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks very much.


response to question

SGW aycnp at in case a private answer is provided.


Greetings from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon , Philippines!

I am very much delighted to read your articles. It has helped me a lot especially now that I am into volunteerism reaching out and engage into stress debriefing of victims of Sendong typhoon here in our country and other cases that will be very beneficial for the clients.

Looking forward to find linkages with you.
God bless !

Imelda Agnes Tubeo

Is Yout Doctor Conducting A Drug Study

I very much liked your article noted above, and hope that you will allow me to reference it in a blog post. I treat many patients with Parkinson's, and they are often confused or ambivalent about participating in a new drug trial, but, also worried that their physician might get "angry" with them if they refuse. Unfortunately, even outside of drug trials, I find patients are often prescribed medications to ameliorate some symptom ( eg: memory loss), but with no objective referent point given to the patient or spouse as to how they might even judge the pills benefit.
Mary Spremulli,MA,CCC-SLP


Dear Professor Rubin

Would you please permit me to republish your written as:" Good Psychiatrists Should..." in the web: then psychiatric residents will discuss on this topic:
"Good Psychiatrists "

Amir Hosein Jalali
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Tehran psychiatric institute