COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

John Kelsoe Jr., MD

John Kelsoe Jr., MD

Professor of Psychiatry

Contact Information

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0603
office tel: 858-534-5927
Fax: 858-822-1490

John R. Kelsoe, M.D. Dr. Kelsoe graduated from medical school at the University of Alabama, Birmingham in 1981. He completed internship training at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and psychiatry residency at University California, San Diego. He served as Medical and Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland from 1985 to 1989. Returning to San Diego to join the Department of Psychiatry faculty in 1989, Dr. Kelsoe is the Medical Director of the NIMH clinical research center Special Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP) at the San Diego VA Medical Center and is also director of the Laboratory of Psychiatric Genomics at UCSD.

Research Title
Psychiatric Genetics

Dr. Kelsoe’s longstanding research focus has been the genetics of psychiatric illness, bipolar disorder in particular. Over the past 20 years, his work has focused on using a variety of molecular genetic methods to identify the specific genes that predispose to bipolar disorder. He has pursued this primarily by using positional cloning methods such as linkage and association in families in which the illness is genetically transmitted. He has also employed animal models of bipolar disorder in order to identify possible candidate genes that can then be tested in clinical populations. This approach has led to the identification of the gene for G protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3) as a likely gene for bipolar disorder on chromosome 22. Dr. Kelsoe is currently actively engaged in genome wide association studies of bipolar disorder. He directs the Bipolar Genome Study (BiGS) which is a 13-site consortium focused on identifying genes for bipolar disorder and their relationship to clinical symptoms. He also co-directs the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium for Bipolar Disorder (PGC-BD) which is an international collaborative effort designed to identify genes for bipolar disorder in a sample of over 10,000 patients. These large new technological approaches promise great advances in understanding the causes of bipolar disorder.

Dr. Kelsoe’s primary clinical focus is the treatment of refractory mood disorders. As the Medical Director of the STEP Clinic at the VA Hospital, he specializes in the treatment of chronic and refractory mood disorders. Patients at this clinic receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation and are eligible to participate in longitudinal research studies of the ability of genes to predict course, outcome, and treatment response.

Payne JL, Klein SR, Zamoiski RB, Zandi PP, Bienvenu OJ, Mackinnon DF, Mondimore FM, Schweizer B, Swartz KL; NIMH Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder Consortium, Crowe RP, Scheftner WA, Weissman MM, Levinson DF, DePaulo JR Jr, Potash JB, Kelsoe JR (Collaborator). Premenstrual mood symptoms: study of familiality and personality correlates in mood disorder pedigrees. Arch Women's Ment Health. 2009 Feb;12(1):27-34. PMID: 19137238

Zhang D, Cheng L, Qian Y, Alliey-Rodriguez N, Kelsoe JR, Greenwood T, Nievergelt C, Barrett TB, McKinney R, Schork N, Smith EN, Bloss C, Nurnberger J, Edenberg HJ, Foroud T, Sheftner W, Lawson WB, Nwulia EA, Hipolito M, Coryell W, Rice J, Byerley W, McMahon F, Schulze TG, Berrettini W, Potash JB, Belmonte PL, Zandi PP, McInnis MG, Zollner S, Craig D, Szelinger S, Koller D, Christian SL, Liu C, Gershon ES. Singleton deletions throughout the genome increase risk of bipolar disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 2009 14(4):376-80. PMCID: PMC2735188

Psychiatric GWAS Consortium Coordinating Committee, Cichon S, Craddock N, Daly M, Faraone SV, Gejman PV, Kelsoe JR, Lehner T, Levinson DF, Moran A, Sklar P, Sullivan PF. Genomewide association studies: history, rationale and prospects for psychiatric disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2009 May;166(5):540-56. PMID: 19339359

Kripke DF, Nievergelt CM, Joo EJ, Shekhtman T, Kelsoe JR. Circadian polymorphisms associated with affective disorders, Journal of Circadian Rhythms, 2009 Jan 23,7:2. PMCID: PMC2661876

Schulze TG, Detera-Wadleigh SD, Akula N, Gupta A, Kassem L, Steele J, Pearl J, Strohmaier J, Breuer R, Schwarz M, Propping P, Nöthen MM, Cichon S, Schumacher J; NIMH Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder Consortium, Rietschel M, McMahon FJ, Kelsoe JR (Collaborator) Two variants in Ankyrin 3 (ANK3) are independent genetic risk factors for bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry. 2009 May;14(5):487-91. PMID: 19088739

Wu JC, Kelsoe JR, Gillin JC, Schachat C, Demodena A, Bunney BG, Potkin S, Bunney WE Jr. Rapid and sustained antidepressant response with sleep deprivation and chronotherapy in bipolar disorder Biol Psychiatry, 2009 Aug 1;66(3):298-301 PMID: 19358978

Zhou X, Tang W, Greenwood TA, Guo S, He L, Geyer MA, Kelsoe JR. Transcription Factor SP4 is a susceptibility gene for bipolar disorder. PLoS ONE 2009 4(4):e5196, PMCID: PMC2674320

Fasmer OB, Akiskal HS, Kelsoe JR, Oedegaard KJ. Clinical and pathophysiological relations between migraine and mood disorders. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 2009.

Smith EN, Bloss CS, Badner JA, Barrett T, Belmonte PL, Berrettini W, Byerley W, Coryell W, Craig D, Edenberg HJ, Foroud T, Gabriel SB, Gershon E, Greenwood TA, Hipolito M, Koller DL, Lawson WB, Liu C, Lohoff F, McInnis MG, McMahon FJ, Mirel DB, Nievergelt C, Nurnberger J, Nwulia EA, Paschall J, Potash JB, Rice J, Schulze TG, Scheftner W, Panganiban C, Zaitlen N, Zandi PP, Zöllner S, Schork NJ, Kelsoe JR. Genome-wide association study of bipolar disorder in European American and African American individuals. Mol Psychiatry, 2009 Aug;14(8):755-63. PMID: 19488044

Joo EJ, Greenwood TA, Schork N, McKinney R, Sadovnick AD, Remick RA, Keck PE, McElroy SL, Kelsoe JR. Suggestive Evidence for Linkage of ADHD Features in Bipolar Disorder to Chromosome 10p14. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet, 9999:1–9, 2009 Jul 14. PMID: 19603423

Mahon PB, Payne JL, MacKinnon DF, Mondimore FM, Schweizer B, Jancic D, NIMH Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder Consortium, BiGS Consortium, Crowe RP, Coryell WH, Holmans PA, Knowles JA, Scheftner WA, Weissman MM, Levinson DF, DePaulo JR, Zandi PP, Potash JB. 2009 Genome-wide linkage and follow-up association study of postpartum mood symptoms. Am J Psychiatry 2009 Sep 15. PMID: 19755578

Fasmer OB, Akiskal HS, Kelsoe JR, Oedegaard KJ. Clinical and pathophysiological relations between migraine and mood disorders. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 2009 5,93-109.

Fasmer OB, Akiskal HS, Greenwood TA, Kelsoe JR, Oedegaard KJ. A Genome-wide Linkage Study of Bipolar Disorder and Co-morbid Migraine: Replication of Migraine Linkage on Chromosome 4q24, and Suggestion of an Overlapping Susceptibility Region for both Disorders on Chromosome 20p11. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2009.

McCarthy MJ, Barrett TB, Nissen S, Kelsoe JR, Turner EE. Allele specific analysis of the ADRBK2 gene in lymphoblastoid cells from bipolar disorder patients. J Psychiatr Res, 2009 Sep 17. PMID: 19766236