The Shinozaki Laboratory studies the molecular influence of environmental factors such as trauma, stress, and inflammation on individual susceptibility to psychiatric conditions including major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and delirium using epigenetic/genetic approaches as well as a medical engineering approach through device development and machine learning.

The main focus of the Shinozaki Lab has been to examine epigenetic changes resulting from exposure to stress such as trauma or inflammation to aid in the search for biomarkers of stress exposure and risk for MDD, PTSD, and delirium. Since joining the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, Dr. Shinozaki , in collaboration with many colleagues across campus, successfully developed several ongoing projects in psychiatric epigenetics/genetics—one in collaboration with the Japanese National Defense Medical College to investigate the influence of stress and MDD on DNA methylation (DNAm), another in collaboration with neurosurgeons at Iowa to study DNAm correlation between brain tissue and peripheral tissues, and another in collaboration with our oral maxillary  surgeons to study influence of high dose glucocorticoid exposure on DNAm. We also examine genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from a very large nationwide cohort of over 10,000 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (the COPD Gene study) to investigate the role of psychiatric conditions in mortality.

From the angle of neuroinflammation, we are investigating the role of epigenetics in inflammatory processes in delirium and aging. In addition to epigenetics investigation, we are developing a novel electroencephalography (EEG) device to screen delirium among elderly patients in the hospital.

Recent Updates

August 11, 2020

Our new publication, "New cutoff scores for delirium screening tools to predict patient mortality", was accepted for publication at the Journal of American Geriatric Society! 

Congratulations to Take, the first author of this paper, and other team members, including summer ICRU fellows, on this paper

July 29, 2020

Our former undergraduate students, Mason Klisares and Gabby Duncan, will be attending Des Moines Medical University this fall semester! Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment!

July 27, 2020

Our new publication, "Increased Mortality in Patients with Standard EEG Findings of “Diffuse Slowing”", was accepted for publication at the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry!

Congratulations to Rob Wanzek, the first author of this paper, and everyone involved!

July 1, 2020

Our collaborator, Dr. Sangil Lee from the Department of Emergency Medicine was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor. Congratulations, Sangil!!

June 12, 2020

Our undergraduate research assistant, Pedro Marra, was featured in the International Program news. Congratulations, Pedro! https://international.uiowa.edu/news/pedro-marra.