Department of Psychiatry



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Mathias, Charles W

School of Medicine
(210) 567-2730

The focus of my career has been on the pursuit of excellence in research and service activities towards the advancement of our understanding of impulsive, aggressive, and suicidal behaviors.

Throughout my career I have sought out opportunities to advance science of individuals who engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves and those around them. My initial foray into this research occurred as an undergraduate (Department of Psychology at Indiana University), where I worked as a research assistant Dr. Peter Finns widely recognized studies of adult sons of alcoholics. Based on my experience with psychophysiological and neuropsychological assessments among this at-risk group, I sought out graduate training using similar tools, along with personality measures of impulsivity on studies of adults with significant aggression and impulse control problems (e.g. prisoners and patients with traumatic brain injury). While these cases involved powerful examples of adults participating in serious impulsive and aggressive behaviors, many of these individuals have experienced decades of chronic psychopathology. The more I worked with these patients, the more interested I became in studying the acquisition and initiation of impulsive, aggressive, and suicidal behaviors. My research focus shifted to exploration of impulse control among the adolescents; a traditionally understudied developmental period characterized by the onset of a variety of clinically significant impulsive behaviors (e.g. suicide, substance use, criminal activity). To gain expertise in adolescent research, I sought out postdoctoral training in behavioral assessment of impulse control with Dr. Donald Dougherty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In Houston, we developed a new cross-sectional study of impulsivity and aggression among untreated adolescents with Conduct Disorder as well as a study of impulsivity and suicidal behavior among psychiatric inpatients. I continued to develop this line of research through my first faculty appointment at Wake Forest University Health Sciences (Assistant Professor 2004-2007) and here at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (Assistant Professor 2007- present). The culmination of my training and persistence is reflected in receiving my first NIH R-01 study of medication treatment effects of aggressive adolescents with cormobid problems with attention and hyperactivity. Concurrently, I am an active collaborator on two large longitudinal studies of suicidal adolescents and adolescents at risk for development of substance use disorder. My research focuses on discovery of the biological, behavioral and personality mechanism involved in the initiation and maintenance of these harmful behaviors among youth. The purpose of this work is to identify targets for treatments designed to reduce impulsive, aggressive, and suicidal behaviors.

I have engaged in a variety of service activities, centered around addressing the needs of adolescents experiencing psychopathology, including; educating the public, training future scientists, and supporting advancement in the study of impulsivity. First, I have created direct-to-public educational programs (ranging from presentations to parent groups to development of social media interacting with the lay public) on mental health topics as well as establishing partnerships with other community organizations to increase awareness of UTHSCSAs role in addressing community mental health issues. One of my best accomplishments has been the development of the division website ( showcasing our research, teaching, service, and administrative activities. In recognition of the quality of this design, I was recently picked to take on the website design and administration for the International Society for Research on Impulsivity ( Second, I have mentored students ranging from high school to postdoctoral fellows to promote the next generation of researchers and practitioners. In the

9/2012 - Present Associate Professor University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Psychiatry, San Antonio, TX
1/2008 - Present Member Center for Biomedical Neuroscience, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Center for Biomedical Neuroscience, San Antonio, TX

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