Dr. Choi is a Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and a Scientist of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He also holds an appointment as a guest researcher in the CBDB/GCAP in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Choi received B.S. and M.A. in Biology from the Dongguk University in South Korea and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychiatry from the University of Alberta, Canada. He completed a postdoctoral training at the Department of Psychiatry from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX, and then worked as a Research Scientist in the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Rockville, MD.
The goal of Dr. Choi’s research is to better understand the molecular and behavioral mechanisms of mood and anxiety disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is conducting integrative research by utilizing multiple datasets from animal models, postmortem brain studies and clinical data from individuals with mood and anxiety disorders. These approaches complement each other by elucidating the neurobiological effects caused by genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk factors during the sensitive period of brain development and by assessing long-term effects on individuals with vulnerability or resilience to psychiatric disorders. By identifying the ways in which environmental and stress factors interact and change the brain to lead to anxiety and mood disorders, we can use these information to guide the development of improved treatments of complex genetic disorders in psychiatry.