Ikwunga Wonodi, MD

Service Chief
Adult Day Hospital
Sheppard Pratt Health System
4100 College Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
University of Maryland School of Medicine


Dr. Ikwunga Wonodi is an Associate Professor at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, where his primary interests have focused on genomic biomarkers related to antipsychotic drug response and adverse effects in individuals of African ancestry. He has published articles and book chapters on ethnicity and antipsychotic-induced adverse events and is a national expert on antipsychotic-induced movement disorders. He is co-Investigator on a NIMH-funded multisite study “Biomarker and Safety Study of Clozapine for Patients with Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN)” where he oversees the largest study recruitment site at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba in Lagos, Nigeria. He has received awards for exemplary devotion to teaching, mental health advocacy, and cultural psychiatry and is a proud recipient of the 2010 Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award.
Dr. Wonodi received his Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Anatomy and Medical Degree from the College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria,in 1986 and 1989, respectively. After completing the extended Research Track residency at the University of Maryland-Sheppard Pratt Program, he completed a research fellowship at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, where he currently works in the Treatment Research Program. Dr. Wonodi has been competitively funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, NARSAD, and the Passano Foundation. Dr. Wonodi’s broad interests span literature and philosophy of mind. He is an international recording artist with Afrobeat-poetry CDs that sell globally, proceeds of which support mental health advocacy in Africa. He is currently an MBA candidate in Healthcare Management at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Research Interest

Evidence-based treatment of psychiatric disorders, psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy. Genomic and other biomarkers related to antipsychotic drug response and adverse effects, particularly, in individuals of African ancestry; Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN) and medication-induced movement disorders.

Scientific Activities

Medical Licensure


Active State of Maryland
Active District of Columbia


Active Nigerian Medical Council

Employment History

Academic Appointments

2011 – Present, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
2009 – 2011, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
2003 – 2009, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
2006 – Present, Faculty, Program in Genetics and Genomic Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
2007 – Present, Associate Faculty, University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore

Other Employment

1995 – 1996, Research Associate, Research and Education Institute, Harbor UCLA Medical Center
1996 – 1997, Volunteer Research Staff, Research Center for the Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology of Ethnicity, Harbor UCLA Medical Center
2003 – 2006, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Clinic, Clozapine Treatment Team, Department of Veterans Affairs, Perry Point VAMC

Professional Society Membership

1991 – Present, Member, Nigerian Medical Council
2002 – Present, General Member, American Psychiatric Association
2002 – Present, General Member, Maryland Psychiatric Society
2002 – Present, General Member, Black Psychiatrists of America

Other Society Membership
2004 – Present, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

Honors and Awards

1999, American Psychiatric Association/CMHS Minority Fellowship Award
2000, Mini Fellowship Award: XthWorld Congress on Psychiatric Genetics
2001, Meyerhoff Resident Scholarship Award; Sheppard Pratt Hospital System
2002, Mini Fellowship Award, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
2003, Mini Fellowship Award: Workshop on Clinical Trials in Psychopharmacology, The American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
2005, National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award
2006, First Place Winner Manuscript, 2nd Annual Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Information Service (NMSIS) Promising New Investigators competition
2007, H. McKee Jarboe Award for Mental Health Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
2008, NARSAD Investigator Award.
2009, Physician Scientist Award, 2009 Passano Laureate & Physician Scientists Award, The Passano Foundation, Inc.
2010, Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award, American Psychiatric Association, Office of Minority and National Affairs.
2011, The Whitney Holland Rose Award for Exemplary Devotion to Residency Teaching and Cultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Major Invited Speeches/Presentations


1. Grand Rounds: Antipsychotic-induced Side Effects in Children. UMSOM, Department of Psychiatry, June 2005.
2. Grand Rounds: Antipsychotic-induced Side Effects in Children. Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Health System, October 2005
3. Grand Rounds and Resident Mock Board Examinations: Medication-induced Side Effects, Department of Psychiatry, Howard University Hospital, March 2006
4. CME Speaker, University Health Center, UMCP: First Episode Psychosis in Adolescents and Young Adults, Presentation, Managements & Prognosis, February 2007. Invited by Drs. Sharfstein and Herman
5. NAMI 2007 National Convention, San Diego, CA. Identifying and Eliminating Barriers to Mental Health in recent African Immigrants. The African Alliance on Mental Illness, Inc. (TAAMI), June 2007
6. National Medical Association (NMA) National Conference, Atlanta, GA. Ethno Psychopharmacology in the Elderly, July 27 2008. Invited by Dr. Diane Buckingham MD, Chair, Psychiatry Section.
7. National Medical Association (NMA) National Conference, Washington, DC, 2011. A Genetic Study of Schizophrenia Endophenotypes in sub-Saharan Africans. Invited by Michelle O. Clark, M.D., DFAPA Chairman, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences Section, NMA.
8. Presenter, Cultural Diversity Day (2013), UMSOM, Department of Psychiatry. Stigma! Barrier to Healthcare. Invited by Doris Balis, MD.
9. Presenter, Symposium (2016) Building Capacity for Psychiatric Care and Research in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities for International Collaboration; Session 1 Building Capacity for and Conducting Biomedical Research in Nigeria: Lessons Learned and Prospects Ikwunga Wonodi, M.B.B.S. APA Annual Meeting, Atlanta, May 14-18, 2016
10. Presenter, Expert Panel on Schizophrenia (2016), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Invited by KerisJän Myrick, M.B.A., M.S, Director Office of Consumer Affairs.
11. Presenter, Expert Panel, Clozapine: Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN) and Other Considerations. Physician CME Video (under preparation), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Invited by Lisa Dixon, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center.


1. WordFest Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, Canada. Afrobeat Poetry, Word Play & Book Rapport, October 14-19, 2008. Invited by Anne Green, Festival Director.
2. Genetic Studies of Schizophrenia Endophenotypes. Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, October 2011. Invited by Dr. Rahman


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

1) Ghannoum MA, Okogbule-Wonodi I, Bhat N, Sanati H .Antifungal activity of voriconazole (UK-109,496), fluconazole and amphotericin B against hematogenous Candida krusei infection in neutropenic guinea pig model. J. Chemother.11(1):34-9, 1999.
2) Wonodi I, Stine OC, Mitchell BD, Buchanan RW and Thaker GK. Association Between Val108/158 Met polymorphism of the COMT Gene and Schizophrenia. American J. of Med. Genet.120B: 47-50, 2003.
3) Wonodi I, Adami H, Sherr J, Avila MT, Hong LE and Thaker GK. Naltrexone Treatment of Tardive Dyskinesia in Patients with Schizophrenia. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 24(4): 441-445, 2004.
4) Wonodi I, Adami HM, Cassady SL, Sherr JD, Avila MT, and Thaker GK. Ethnicity and the Course of Tardive Dyskinesia in outpatients presenting to the Motor Disorders Clinic at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 24: 592-598. 2004.
5) Thaker GK, Wonodi I, Avila MT, Hong LE, and Stine OC. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Polymorphism and Eye Tracking in Schizophrenia: A Preliminary Report. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 161:2320-2333, 2004.
6) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Avila MT, Buchanan RW, Carpenter WT Jr, Stine OC, Mitchell BD, Thaker GK. Association between polymorphism of the SNAP29 gene promoter region and schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2005 May 19
7) Hong LE, Wonodi I, Avila MT, Buchanan RW, McMahon RP, Mitchell BD, Stine OC, Carpenter WT Jr, Thaker GK. Dihydropyrimidinase-related protein 2 (DRP-2) gene and association to deficit and nondeficit schizophrenia. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2005 Apr 27
8) Hong LE, Tagamets M, Avila MT, Wonodi I, Holcomb H, Thaker GK: Specific motion processing pathway deficit during eye tracking in schizophrenia: a performance-matched fMRI study. Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Apr 1;57(7):726-32
9) Hong LE, Avila MT, Wonodi I, McMahon RP, Thaker GK. Reliability of a portable head-mounted eye tracking instrument for schizophrenia research. Behav Res Methods. 2005;37(1): 133–8.
10) Wonodi I, Cassady SL, Adami H, Avila MT, and Thaker GK. Effects of Repeated Amphetamine Administration on Antisaccades in Schizophrenia Spectrum Personality. Psychiatry Research, 2006 Mar 30;141(3):237-45.
11) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Thaker GK. Psychopathological and cognitive correlates of tardive dyskinesia in patients treated with neuroleptics. Adv Neurol. 2005;96:336-49. Review.
12) Avila MT, Robles O, Hong LE, Blaxton TA, Myers CS, Wonodi I, Gold J, Thaker GK: Deficits on the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) within the Schizophrenia Spectrum and the Mediating Effects of Family History of Schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2006 Nov;115(4):771-8.
13) Wonodi I, Mitchell BD, Stine OC, Hong LE, Elliott A, Kirkpatrick B, Carpenter WT Jr, Thaker GK, Buchanan RW. Lack of association between COMT gene and deficit/nondeficit schizophrenia. Behav Brain Funct. 2006 Dec 15;2:42.
14) Hong LE, Summerfelt A, Wonodi I, Adami H, Buchanan RW, Thaker GK. Independent domains of inhibitory gating in schizophrenia and the effect of stimulus interval. Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;164(1):61-5.
15) Wonodi I, Reeves G, Carmichael D, Verovsky I, Avila M, Elliott A, Hong LE, Adami HM, Thaker GK. Tardive Dyskinesia in Children treated with Atypical Antipsychotic Medications. MovDisord. 2007 Sep 15;22(12):1777-82.
16) Hong LE, Wonodi I, Mitchell BD, Stine OC & Thaker GK. Evidence of Missense Mutations on the Neuregulin 1 Gene Affecting Function of Prepulse Inhibition. Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jan 1;63(1):17-23.
17) Hong LE, Turano KA, O’neill H, Hao L, Wonodi I, McMahon RP, Elliott A, Thaker GK. Refining the Predictive Pursuit Endophenotype in Schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Mar 1;63(5):458-64.
18) Hong LE, Wonodi I, Lewis J, Thaker GK. Nicotine effect on prepulse inhibition and prepulse facilitation in schizophrenia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Aug; 33(9): 2167-74.
19) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Stine OC, Mitchell BD, Elliott A, Roberts RC, Conley RR, McMahon RP, Thaker GK. Dopamine transporter polymorphism modulates oculomotor function and DAT1 mRNA expression in schizophrenia. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2009 Mar 5;150B(2):282-9.
20) Hong LE, Summerfelt A, Mitchell BD, McMahon RP, Wonodi I, Buchanan RW, Thaker GK. Sensory gating endophenotype based on its neural oscillatory pattern and heritability estimate. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2008 Sep;65(9):1008-16.
21) Hong LE, Turano KA, O’Neill HB, Hao L, Wonodi I, McMahon RP and Thaker GK. Is Motion Perception Deficit in Schizophrenia a Consequence of Eyetracking Abnormality? Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 15;65(12):1079-85.
22) Hong LE, Schroeder M, Ross TJ, Buchholz B, Salmeron BJ, Wonodi I, Thaker GK, Stein EA. Nicotine Enhances but Does Not Normalize Visual Sustained Attention and the Associated Brain Network in Schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2009 Aug 27.
23) Wonodi I, Schwarcz R. Cortical Kynurenine Pathway Metabolism: A Novel Target for Cognitive Enhancement in Schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2010 Mar;36(2):211-8. Epub 2010 Feb 10. Review.
24) Weiner E, Conley RR, Ball MP, Feldman S, Gold JM, Kelly DL, Wonodi I, McMahon RP, Buchanan RW. Adjunctive risperidone for partially responsive people with schizophrenia treated with clozapine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 Oct;35(11):2274-83.
25) Sathyasaikumar KV, Stachowski EK, Wonodi I, Roberts RC, Rassoulpour A, McMahon RP, Schwarcz R. Impaired kynurenine pathway metabolism in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2011 Nov;37(6):1147-56.
26) Hong LE, Yang X, Wonodi I, Hodgkinson CA, Goldman D, Stine OC, Stein ES, Thaker GK. A CHRNA5 allele related to nicotine addiction and schizophrenia. Genes Brain Behav. 2011 Jul;10(5):530-5.
27) Wonodi I, Gopinath HV, Liu J, Adami H, Hong LE, Allen-Emerson R, McMahon RP, Thaker GK. Dipyridamole monotherapy in schizophrenia: pilot of a novel treatment approach by modulation of purinergic signaling. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011Nov;218(2):341-5.
28) Wonodi I, Stine OC, Sathyasaikumar KV, Roberts RC, Mitchell BD, Hong LE, Kajii Y, Thaker GK, Schwarcz R. Downregulated kynurenine 3-monooxygenase gene expression and enzyme activity in schizophrenia and genetic association with schizophrenia endophenotypes. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;68(7):665-74.
29) Hong LE, Thaker GK, McMahon RP, Summerfelt A, Rachbeisel J, Fuller RL, Wonodi I, Buchanan RW, Myers C, Heishman SJ, Yang J, Nye A. Effects of moderate-dosetreatment with varenicline on neurobiological and cognitive biomarkers in smokersand nonsmokers with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Arch GenPsychiatry. 2011 Dec;68(12):1195-206.
30) Wonodi I, McMahon RP, Krishna N, Mitchell BD, Liu J, Glassman M, Hong LE, Gold JM. Influence of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) gene polymorphism on cognitive function in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2014 Dec;160(1-3):80-7.
31) Patchan K, Vyas G, Hackman A, Mackowick M, Richardson C, Love R.C, Wonodi I, Feldman S, L. Kelly D.L. Clozapine in Reducing Aggression and Violence in Forensic Populations (In press), Psychiatr Q.

Book Chapters

1) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Avila MT, Thaker GK. Rating scales for drug-induced movement disorders. In Drug Induced Movement Disorders, 2nd edition. Edited by Factor SA, Lang AE, and Weiner WJ. Blackwell, Massachusettes, 2005
2) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Thaker GK. Psychopathological and cognitive correlates of tardive dyskinesia in patients treated with neuroleptics. In Behavioral Neurology of Movement Disorders 2nd edition. Edited by Anderson KE, Weiner WJ, Lang AE. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2005
3) Wonodi I, Hong LE, Thaker GK. Molecular Psychiatry. In The Year in Schizophrenia 2nd edition. Edited by Thaker GK and Carpenter WT. Atlas Medical Publishing, Ltd, 2008

Book Reviews

Wonodi I, Lin KM Book Review: “CLINICAL METHODS IN TRANSCULTURAL PSYCHIATRY” Edited by Samuel O. Okpaku, M.D., Ph.D. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, March 2000.