Schizophrenia is a complex disorder with a strong genetic component.
Led by Professor Bryan Mowry, the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research’s Psychiatric Genetics Group are focused on identifying risk genes for schizophrenia, and profiling the roles of these genes using neuroimaging, animal and human stem cell models.
As well as our work conducted within the laboratory, we have also contributed to large consortia at both the national (Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank) and international (Psychiatric Genomic Consortium) levels. These collaborations have resulted in huge strides in our understanding of the complex genetics behind this complex disorder.
Our work in identifying risk genes and understanding the role they play in schizophrenia development and progression will be vital in providing better targeted therapies for this debilitating disorder in the future.
Current projects of the Psychiatric Genetics stream include:
- Genome-wide association study of schizophrenia in Tamil Nadu and Iban of Sarawak populations using genotyped and imputed variants.
- Identifying de novo mutations and causal rare variants for schizophrenia in Tamil Nadu family cohorts using whole exome sequencing and targeted resequencing of a region on chromosome 1.
- In silico prediction of the impact of top schizophrenia genetic risk loci from the international Psychiatric Genetics Consortium on Transcription Factor dynamics during human brain development using spatio-temporal expression data.
- Investigating the function of candidate schizophrenia-related genes using a zebrafish model to decipher their role with regards to brain development and function.
- Autoimmunity in schizophrenia: investigating (a) the role of autoantibodies against the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor in patients with first episode of schizophrenia; (b) the potential role of viruses on the prevalence and endophenotype of schizophrenia in a large Australian cohort.
- Investigation of common genetic variants and their predisposition to the metabolic co-morbidities of clozapine administration.
For a list of the Psychiatric Genetics Group’s publications, click here.