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Brian Hicks Receives Faculty Reconition Award

Psychologist Brian Hicks is renowned for his groundbreaking research on genetic, environmental, and developmental influences on substance abuse, antisocial behavior, and psychopathic personality disorder. He is an expert on understanding the onset and persistence of impulse control problems related to violating norms for appropriate behavior and the rights of others. His research is important due to personal suffering and negative consequences for family members, victims of crime and society associated with externalizing disorders.

Hicks conducted a series of quantitative genetic analyses that showed a highly heritable general propensity to disinhibition accounted for the parent-to-child transmission of externalizing disorders, among other findings. He also identified and created a measure to assess behaviors present prior to the initiation of substance use that were most predictive of later substance abuse problems. He has begun work on a neurobiological model of how individuals overcome addictions. Hicks also has completed several studies on psychopaths, and how they are able to wreak havoc while appearing well adjusted.

Hicks' research is highly cited and has had a major impact in the field. He has published 65 journal articles, co-authored four book chapters and received the Fulker Award for most meritorious paper published in Behavior Genetics in 2011. He is a consulting editor for several journals, reviews grants for the NIH, and has been awarded multiple grants funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Hicks is active in U-M's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and the Undergraduate Lab and Seminar in the Advanced Laboratory in Psychopathology. Hicks has received early career contribution awards from the Behavior Genetics Association, the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, and the Society for Research in Psychopathology.