William S. Kremen, Ph.D. 



Contact Information

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0603
T: (858) 822-2393
F: (858) 822-5856


Dr. Kremen received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University in 1990. He completed his Clinical Internship at Harvard Medical School where he remained as a faculty member until joining the faculty at UC Davis in 1996. He has been Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD since 2003. He is director of the Twin Research Laboratory in the Department’s Center for Behavioral Genomics, faculty member in the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, faculty member in the Neuropsychology Tract in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, and a member of the VA San Diego Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH).

Research Interests

Research Focus

The major focus of Dr. Kremen’s research is the longitudinal study of cognitive and brain aging. He is PI of 3 NIH grants that are following middle-aged twins into later life. These projects are the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA). The primary VETSA project examines cognition (emphasizing executive functions, memory, and processing speed), personality, psychosocial factors, psychopathology, and biomedical factors in over 1200 twins. Over 500 of these twins have undergone 3D structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging in the VETSA MRI Study, and the follow-up imaging includes additional functional MRI. Nearly 800 VETSA twins have provided multiple at-home and in-lab samples of cortisol and other hormones in the VETSA Cortisol Study in order to understand the role of stress-response systems in aging. DNA has also been stored and processed for genotyping. The VETSA projects constitute a unique, integrative study aimed at understanding the trajectories leading to successful cognitive and brain aging or to conditions such as mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease depression, and anxiety. Dr. Kremen’s other scientific interests include cognitive and behavioral genetic studies of schizophrenia and PTSD. He has over 80 publications.


  • Kremen, W.S., Thompson-Brenner, H., Leung, Y.J., Grant, M.D., Franz, C.E., Panizzon, M.S., Eisen, S.A., Jacobson, K.C., Boake, C., Lyons, M.J. (2006). Genes, environment, and time: The Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA). Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9: 1009-1022.
  • Kremen, W.S., Jacobson, K.C., Xian, H., Eisen, S.A., Eaves, L.J., Tsuang, M.T., Lyons, M.J. Genetics of verbal working memory: A twin study of middle-aged men. Neuropsychology, 21: 569-580.
  • Schultz, M.R, Lyons, M.J., Franz, C.E., Grant, M.D., Boake, C., Jacobson, K.C., Xian, H., Schellenberg, G.D., Eisen, S.A., Kremen, W.S. (2008). Apolipoprotein E genotype and memory in the sixth decade of life. Neurology, 70: 1771-1777.
  • Lyons, M.J., York, T., Franz, C., Grant, M., Eaves, L., Jacobson, K., Schaie, K., Panizzon, M., Boake, C., Xian, H., Toomey, R., Eisen, S.., Kremen, W.S. (2009). Genes determine stability and environment determines changes in cognitive ability during 35 years of adulthood. Psychological Science, 20: 1146-1152.
  • Panizzon, M.S., Fennema-Notestine, C., Eyler, L.T., Jernigan, T.L., Prom-Wormley, E., Neale, M.C., Jacobson, K.C., Lyons, M.J., Grant, M.D., Franz, C.E., Tsuang, M.T., Fischl, B., Seidman, L.J., Dale, A.M., Kremen, W.S. (2009 March 18). Distinct genetic influences on cortical surface area and thickness. Cerebral Cortex,19: 2728-2735.