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Psychiatric Molecular Genetics Group

The goal of the Psychiatric Molecular Genetics Group at the Department of Medical Genetics is to develop a strong research environment in molecular genetics of psychiatric disorders. The group is part of CoE NORMENT, which is a major collaborative effort studying clinical characteristics, neurocognitive functioning and brain biology of psychotic disorders.

Photo of the research group

Photo: NORMENT

Aims

The group’s current research aims are to perform molecular genetic analysis to increase the knowledge and expertise in psychiatric genetics and genomics and to identify the molecular networks underlying psychiatric disease as well as to continually develop an organization to support psychiatric genetic and stem cell studies with design and planning.

We have established the required competence and facilities for human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) reprogramming and differentiation, enabling investigation of neuronal cells from patients and healthy controls. Validated iPSCs will be differentiated to neural progenitor cells (neural conversion) and regionalized neuronal subtypes, as well as astrocytes/ glial populations under in-house methods. We also want to develop a psychopharmacological screening platform for psychiatric disorders using iPSC-derived neurons.

Our efforts in identifying the polygenic basis of the human brain and neurodevelopmental disorders have resulted in several translational studies published and we aim to perform more deep molecular phenotyping studies.

Projects

  • Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technologies in psychiatric molecular genetics
  • Identification of the hidden heritability of severe mental disorders
  • Identifying the polygenic basis of the human brain and neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Understanding the function of ANK3 in psychotic disorders
  • Prediction of longitudinal outcome and brain phenotype by polygenic scores
  • Identification of genetic loci associated with neurocognitive and MR phenotypes and implications for disease mechanisms in severe mental disorders
  • Cooperation and biobanking with the national cohorts and further collaboration with other large-scale studies for validation and QC steps

Cooperation

The Psychiatric Molecular Genetics Group participates in several large European studies of schizophrenia genetics, the SGENE-plus and Scandinavian Collaboration on Psychiatric Etiology (SCOPE), and is a member of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium (PGC) which includes all GWAS studies in psychiatric genetics, as well as European IPSC Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Disorders (EURICND). Additional collaborative interactions include:

  • Institute of Genomic Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Life and Brain Institute, University of Bonn, Germany
  • Department of Clinical Medicine, Region Hovedstadens Psykiatri, Roskilde, Denmark
  • The iPS Core Facility, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dept. of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
  • Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA
  • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
Published Nov. 13, 2018 9:17 AM - Last modified June 3, 2020 11:50 AM