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The Genetics of Schizophrenia

The Genetics of Schizophrenia

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Genomic Medicine Discussion Group


The Genomic Medicine Discussion Group provides a forum for New York area researchers to investigate topics related to genomics and genomic medicine in an interdisciplinary fashion across therapeutic areas. Meetings of this group are organized around the general theme of making connections between basic and clinical aspects of the genomics revolution. Meetings are focused on a particular theme as it relates to the field of genomic medicine, with special attention to the application of genomic approaches to disease diagnosis, staging, prognosis, treatment, and monitoring.


5:00 - 7:00: Presentations

Kari Stefansson, President, deCODE Genetics, Iceland, "Schizophrenia: Complex Genetic Disease."

Daniel Weinberger, NIMH, NIH, "Schizophrenia Genes and Pathogenic Mechanisms."


Daniel Weinberger, "Schizophrenia Genes and Pathogenic Mechanisms."
The discovery of genes for mental illness was heralded by Science magazine as the number two scientific breakthrough of 2003. But finding evidence of genetic association is a small challenge compared to the difficulties of understanding how psychiatric genes impact on brain development and function and how they interact with each other and with the environment to increase the probability that a particular psychiatric disorder will be the resulting phenotype. As entry points into molecular pathways, genes identify potential pathogenic cellular mechanisms. This talk will highlight several molecular pathways that have been implicated in schizophrenia from studies using in vivo imaging, postmortem human brain mRNA expression analyses, and cell based models of COMT, NRG1, dysbindin, DISC1, and GRM3. The early results of these studies converge on several potentially fundamental developmental processes related to cell migration and plasticity, consistent with developmental hypotheses of schizophrenia.