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Molecular risk factors

The research group explores molecular mechanisms of illness development and medication effect in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Main aim

The group aims at identifying and understanding genetic and biological factors that are involved in illness mechanisms and therapeutic response during pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We use a combination of clinical data, biomarker screening and functional studies in patient samples and various experimental models.

Research focus

At present, our main focus is directed towards the role of metabolic factors and inflammation processes in development of psychosis and antipsychotic treatment.

The apparent correlation between drug-induced weight gain and lipid disturbances (cholesterol and triglycerides) and positive clinical outcome during antipsychotic treatment deserves further examination.

We are also interested in exploring how changes in blood markers for inflammation and immune response may affect both illness risk and treatment response in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Our research activities include the use of big-data screening methods to detect changes in gene activity.

In addition, we participate in several projects to identify genetic risk factors for disease susceptibility and other psychosis-relevant phenotypic traits.

Our research group is also responsible for running the Genomics Core Facility at the University of Bergen, to provide guidance and service on large scale genomic analyses, such as whole genome-, exome- and RNA sequencing.

Collaboration

We are part of the K.G. Jebsen Center for Psychosis Research, headed by Ole A. Andreassen. Clinical and biological data are available in NORMENT (the TOP sample) and also though our close affiliation with Bergen Psychosis Project 2 (headed by Erik Johnsen). We have specific international collaborations, and we participate in several GWAS consortia.

Funding

The research is funded by the Research Council of Norway, Helse Vest RHF, University of Bergen, Bergen Research Foundation (BFS), Haukeland University Hospital, and Dr. Einar Martens Foundation.

Published Nov. 13, 2018 9:37 AM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2019 8:36 AM