Alexis Duncan’s research focuses on risk mechanisms and psychiatric comorbidity of obesity, eating disorders and substance use disorders, particularly among women. Her additional research interests include nosology (the study of diagnostic criteria) of psychiatric disorders, the effects of child maltreatment, and differences in psychopathology by race, gender and sexual orientation.
As a psychiatric epidemiologist with training in behavior genetics, Duncan takes a transdisciplinary approach in her scholarship, recognizing that the traditional disciplinary boundaries often hinder achievement of a comprehensive understanding of disease etiology and, therefore, inhibit the development of effective treatments and interventions. She has collaborated with scientists from diverse disciplines to explore risk factors from human genetics and gut microbes to family and social environment, and often uses data from genetically informative, longitudinal study designs.
Duncan completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology and behavior genetics in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine.