Investigator, Research on Children, Youth and Families
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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The research efforts of Yaling Yang, PhD, focus on genetic and environmental contributions to brain development and on identifying how neurobiological precursors interact with environmental and psychosocial risk factors in contributing to the development of psychopathology in children, particularly externalizing/ internalizing behavior problem and aggression. Dr. Yang has also investigated behavior problems across the lifespan, from early psychopathic traits, delinquency, and aggression to later antisocial, violent, and criminal behavior. She uses multimodal brain imaging acquisition and analyses, longitudinal family and twin study designs, and developmental populations. For more than a decade, her research has focused on using novel imaging analysis strategies to facilitate a deeper understanding of intricate pathophysiological mechanisms associated with the development of behavior problems and other complex psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. 


Medical School: 

University of Southern California - Ph.D., Psychology (Brain and Cognitive Sciences)


University of California, Los Angeles – Postdoctoral Fellowship, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology


Professional Memberships: 

Member, The Society for Neuroscience, 2012-present Member, The Organization of Human Brain Mapping, 2003-present Member, The American Society of Criminology, 2004-present


2013 R00 Pathway to Independence Award, NIMH. 2011 K99 Pathway to Independence Award, NIMH. 2010 Scholarship Award for Short Course on the Genetics of Addiction, The Jackson Laboratory 2009 Human Brain Mapping Trainee Abstract Award 2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Research Service Award/ NIMH 2007 Predoctoral Fellowship, National Research Service Award/ NIMH 2007 The F.J. McGuigan Award, University of Southern California 2004 AAAS/Program for Excellence in Science Award 2003 Merit Award of Graduate School Fellowship, USC

Other Information

Specialty Interest: 

MRI, decision-making, emotion regulation, antisocial behavior, substance use., and traumatic brain injury.

Research Interests: 

Yaling Yang, PhD, is investigating traumatic brain injury, emotion regulaion, antisocial behavior, and substance abuse.

Visit the Yang Laboratory.