Russell Louis Margolis, M.D.

Headshot of Russell Louis Margolis
  • Clinical Director, Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Adult Psychiatry, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Huntington's Disease, Huntington's Disease-Like 2, Mood Disorders, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 12 more

Research Interests

schizophrenia: genetics, pathogenesis, neuroimaging; Huntington's disease: pathogenesis, clinical trials; Huntington's disease-like 2; spinocerebellar ataxia type 12; RNA toxicity more

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Appointment Phone: 410-955-5212
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-4262


Dr. Russell L. Margolis is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Margolis received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed residency training in Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship in neurobiology at the National Institute of Mental Health. 

Dr. Margolis serves as Clinical Director of the Schizophrenia Center, Director of the Schizoaffective Disorder Precision Medicine Center of Excellence, and Director of the Laboratory of Genetic Neurobiology.  He treats patients at the Johns Hopkins inpatient Schizophrenia Unit and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic, and teaches students at all levels. He also provides consultative second opinion evaluations for individuals with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and related conditions.  

His research interests include the pathogenesis of hereditary neurodegenerative disorders (including two discovered by his group), the phenotypic features that may distinguish different subtypes of schizophrenia, the application of advanced neuroimaging to schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and the application of neurogenetic techniques to characterize the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. more


  • Clinical Director, Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center
  • Director, Laboratory of Genetic Neurobiology
  • Director, Schizoaffective Disorder Precision Medicine Center of Excellence
  • Co-Director, Division of Neurobiology
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1986)


  • Psychiatry; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1990)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Psychiatry-General) (1991)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

My research interests revolve around the interface of psychiatry, neurology, and genetics. A major focus is on the etiology, pathogenesis, and psychiatric aspects of neurodegenerative disorders affecting the cerebellum and basal ganglia, including Huntington’s disease and Huntington’s disease-like 2 and spinocerebellar ataxia type 12 (both discovered by our group). We are particularly interested in the etiologic and pathogenic properties of unstable DNA, RNA toxicity, and bidirectional transcription. A second emphasis is on the genetic etiology and pathogenesis of schizophrenia, particularly the role of rare mutations of major effect, using cell and mouse models. A third interest, the focus of the Schizoaffective Disorder Precision Medicine Center of Excellence, is in understanding different subtypes of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder as defined by treatment responsiveness. Approaches include cognitive and clinical assessments, advanced MRI and EEG measures, biochemical analysis of patient-derived cells, and mining of large data sets.  Related projects include the development of new MRI and EEG methodology.  A fourth area of research, facilitated by our participation in a consortium of recent onset psychosis clinics in Maryland and Pennsylvania, focuses on diagnosis and care delivery to individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Please visit my lab website, the Schizoaffective Disorder Precision Medicine Center of Excellence, and Connection Learning Health System (recent onset psychosis clinic consortium) for more information.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Holmes SE, OHearn E, Callahan C, Hwang HS, Rosenblatt A, Ingersoll-Ashworth RG, Fleisher A, Stevanin G, Brice A, Potter NT, Ross CA, Margolis RL. A CTG trinucleotide repeat expansion in Junctophilin 3 is associated with Huntington's Disease-Like 2 (HDL2). Nature Genetics, 29 (2001): 377-378

Sachs NA, Sawa A, Holmes SE, Ross CA, DeLisi LE, Margolis RL. A frameshift mutation in Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 segregates with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in an American family. Molecular Psychiatry 10(2005) 758-64.

Hua J, Blair NIS, Paez A, Choe A, Barber AD, Brandt A, Lim IAL, Xu F, Kamath V, Pekar JJ, van Zijl PCM, Ross CA, Margolis RL. Altered functional connectivity between sub-regions in the thalamus and cortex in schizophrenia patients measured by resting state BOLD fMRI at 7T. Schizophr Res. 2019 Apr;206:370-377.

Coulter C, Baker KK, Margolis RL. Specialized Consultation for Suspected Recent-onset Schizophrenia: Diagnostic Clarity and the Distorting Impact of Anxiety and Reported Auditory Hallucinations. J Psychiatr Pract. 25(2019):76-81.

Li PP, Margolis RL. Use of single guided Cas9 nickase to facilitate precise and efficient genome editing in human iPSCs. Sci Rep. 2021 May 10;11(1):9865.

Activities & Honors


  • NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award, 2007
  • Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD, 2003
  • Lieberman Award, Hereditary Disease Foundation, 2002
  • Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD, 1999
  • Young Investigator Award, NARSAD, 1995
  • Clinician Scientist Award, Johns Hopkins, 1994
  • Scientist Development Award, NIMH K21, 1995
  • Pharmacology Research Associate Program fellowship, 1990 - 1992
  • Rock Sleyster Memorial Scholarship, 1986
  • Deans award for research, 1984
  • Dennison Research Scholarship, 1983
  • Research Scholarship, American Heart Association, 1983
  • Cannon Memorial Prize, 1982
  • Central Maryland HDSA Annual Award,, 2012 - 2012


  • American Psychiatric Association
  • Maryland Psychiatric Association
  • Schizophrenia International Research Society
  • Society for Neuroscience

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