The IBG building under construction.

Breaking Ground: Jerry McClearn, Kurt Schlesinger, and Jim Wilson.



Founded in 1967, the Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) conducts research which examines the genetic bases of individual differences in behavior and provides research training in this interdisciplinary area.


IBG is one of the top facilities in the world for genetic research on behavior. Data collection and analysis are ongoing for several internationally renowned studies including the Colorado Adoption Project, the Colorado Twin Registry, the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center, and the Center on Antisocial Drug Dependence. IBG is home to a DNA repository of 40,000 samples for detailed longitudinal research on human behavior, as well as housing a wide array of behaviorally and genetically defined lines of selected, recombinant inbred, transgenic, and knockout-gene mice.

Throughout its history IBG has been characterized by the breadth of its interdisciplinary research and training programs. Although the methodology of behavioral genetics is generally applicable to the study of individual differences for any characteristic, research at IBG is focused on behaviors of societal relevance.

Current research includes studies of aging, neurodegenerative disease, psychopathology, reading and learning disabilities, cognition, substance abuse, behavioral development, brain development, structure, and function, and evolution.


IBG trains graduate students in the study of genetic influences on behavior. This is accomplished by requiring students to obtain a strong training in a primary academic discipline, by instructing them in the interdisciplinary content of behavioral genetics, and by providing an atmosphere that fosters interactions among scholars from different disciplines.

We direct or co-direct three NIH pre- and postdoctoral training grants (from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Aging) supporting up to 11 graduate students and 6 postdoctoral fellows.