Kristin Bigos, Ph.D.

Headshot of Kristin Bigos
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine


Dr. Kristin Bigos is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on neuropsychiatric drug development and a precision medicine approach to the treatment of mental illness.

The Bigos Lab uses functional MRI as a biomarker to test the neural effects of drugs designed to treat symptoms of mental illness.  Her lab currently has a pharmacoMRI study to develop a treatment for cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Other studies aim to identify patient-specific variables including sex, race, and genetics that impact drug clearance and clinical response to better select and dose antipsychotics and antidepressants. 

Dr. Bigos received her B.S. in Premedicine from the Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Clinical Brain Disorders Branch of the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health under Dr. Daniel Weinberger. Before joining Johns Hopkins, she worked as an Investigator at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. more


  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions



  • B.S.; Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania) (2001)
  • Ph.D.; University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) (2007)

Additional Training

  • National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, 2011, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The Bigos Lab focuses on a Precision Medicine approach to the treatment of psychiatric illness. In addition, this lab employs functional neuroimaging and genetics as biomarkers in neuropsychiatric drug development. A recent study used functional MRI to test the neural effects of a drug with the potential to treat cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Other studies aim to identify patient-specific variables including sex, race, and genetics that impact drug clearance and clinical response to better select and dose antipsychotics and antidepressants. 

Technology Expertise Keywords

brain disorders; neuroimaging; pharmacogenetics; schizophrenia

Clinical Trials

Functional Neuroimaging of Nimodipine in Healthy Adults

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Bigos KL, Mattay VS, Callicott JH, Straub RE, Vakkalanka R, Kolachana B, Hyde TM, Lipska BK, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR. Genetic Variation in CACNA1C Affects Brain Circuitries Related to Mental Illness. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010; 67(9):939-45

Bigos KL, Bies RR, Pollock BG, Lowy JJ, Zhang F, Weinberger DR. Genetic Variation in CYP3A43 Explains Racial Difference in Olanzapine Clearance. Molecular Psychiatry. 2011; 16:620-625

Heide J, Zhang F, Bigos KL, Mann SA, Carr VJ, Shannon-Weickert C, Green MJ, Weinberger DR, Vandenberg JI. Differential response to antipsychotics in schizophrenia patients with KCNH2 risk alleles is correlated with affinities for the Kv11.1-3.1 potassium channel. Am J Psychiatry. 2016;173(1):53-59

Zink CF, Giegerich M, Prettyman G, Carta KE, van Ginkel M, O’Rourke M, Singh E, Fuchs E, Hendrix C, Zimmerman E, Breakey J, Marzinke MA, Hummert P, Pillai J, Weinberger DR, Bigos KL.  Nimodipine improves cortical efficiency during working memory in healthy subjects. Transl Psychiatry. 2020;10(1):372

Zink CF, Barker PB, Sawa A, Weinberger DR, Wang M, Quillian H, Ulrich WS, Chen Q, Jaffe AE, Kleinman JE, Hyde TM, Prettyman GE, Giegerich M, van Ginkel M, Carta KE, Bigos KL.  Missense Mutation in FOLH1 is Associated with Decreased NAAG Levels and Impaired Working Memory Circuitryand Cognition. Am J Psychiatry. 2020;177(12):1129-1139

Contact for Research Inquiries

600 N. Wolfe Street
Osler 503
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-0453

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Activities & Honors


  • Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health, 2010 - 2010
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Excellence Award, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, 2005
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health, 2005 - 2007
  • Fellowship, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, 2004 - 2005
  • W. Leigh Thompson, MD Excellence in Research Award: Clinical Research Junior Faculty, JHU Department of Medicine, 2016 - 2016
  • Emerging Women’s Leadership Program, JHU School of Medicine, 2016 - 2016
  • New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) New Investigator Award, 2013 - 2013
  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Young Investigator Travel Award, 2011 - 2011
  • Pharmacogenetics in Psychiatry Meeting Young Investigator Travel Award, 2011 - 2011
  • Top Poster Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry, 2010 - 2010
  • Travel Fellowship, Winter Conference on Brain Research, 2010 - 2010
  • Catalyst Award, Johns Hopkins University, 2020


  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Society of Biological Psychiatry
  • American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

    Chair, Mental Health and Addiction Community

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

A Step Toward Improving Cognition in Patients With Serious Mental Illness, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network (January 15, 2021)

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