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Symposium on the Emerging Genetics and Neurobiology of Severe Mental Illness

This two-day symposium, chaired by Drs. Steve Hyman, Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute and Guoping Feng of McGovern Institute at MIT and Director of the Model Systems group of the Stanley Center, will bring together leading scientists working on the genetics and neurobiology of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and related neuropsychiatric disorders. The illnesses highlighted in this symposium cause lifelong disability to millions of persons – combined, more than 3% of the world population are affected by one of these severe disorders. This is an exciting moment in the science, as results emerging from large-scale genetics studies are revealing shared and unshared risk factors across multiple disorders, and more importantly are beginning to coalesce around molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases. In the coming years neuroscientists will be increasingly able to put the emerging genetics to work in the service of new understandings of pathophysiology, the development of biomarkers, and much needed new treatments. We hope, particularly, to attract graduate students and postdoctoral associates to this symposium in order to build this interdisciplinary field at a time of opportunity.

Day 1

7:45 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 - 9:00 Welcome
Session 1: Recent Advances in Genetics
Chair: Aarno Palotie
9:00 – 12:40 Population isolates in identifying low frequency variants in neurodevelopmental disorders
Aarno Palotie
  CNVs conferring risk of schizophrenia affect cognition and brain structure in control carriers
Hreinn Stefansson
  De novo mutations; convergence from CNVs and exome sequencing identifies
synaptic pathology in schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders

Michael O’Donovan
  When, where and what (cell types): moving from genomics to biology in autism
spectrum disorders
Matthew State
10:40 – 11:00 Break
  Psychiatric Genomics Consortium quadruples schizophrenia GWAS sample size
to 35,000 cases and 47,000 controls

Stephan Ripke
Design of PsychChip and analysis of rare coding variation in schizophrenia
Benjamin Neale
Complex variation and the genome’s missing pieces – what does whole genome
sequencing have to teach us

Steven McCarroll
Late Breaking Talk (15 min)
A statistical framework to interpret the role of de novo variation in psychiatric disease
Kaitlin Samocha
Genetics session wrap-up (10 min)
Mark Daly
12:40 – 1:40 Lunch
Session 2: Emerging Neurobiological Mechanisms
Chair: Bernardo Sabatini
1:40 – 4:55 Testing the possibility of synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia
Thomas Südhof
Neural mechanisms underlying social reward
Robert Malenka
High throughput screens for synaptogenic factors
Richard Huganir
Genetic buffering and synaptic homeostasis in autism spectrum disorders
Thomas Bourgeron
3:20 – 3:40 Break
  Circuit-specific synaptic dysfunction in autism
Guoping Feng
Immune mechanisms of synapse loss in health and disease
Beth Stevens
Hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity in a mouse model of the 22q11
microdeletion syndrome

Joshua Gordon
5:00 Poster session, reception and dinner buffet
McGovern Institute Atrium
Building 46 – MIT

Day 2

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
Session 3: Enabling Technologies
Chair: Mriganka Sur
9:00 – 12:20 Characterization of noncoding variants in schizophrenia
Kai-How (Kyle) Farh
Programming and reprogramming neuronal diversity in the cerebral cortex
Paola Arlotta
A stem cell approach for deciphering the results of genome-wide studies in psychiatric disease
Kevin Eggan
10:15 – 10:40 Break
  Genome Engineering: Technologies and Applications
Feng Zhang
Reading large-scale neural codes in freely behaving mice, in brain areas
implicated in mental illness

Mark Schnitzer
Tools for Mapping Brain Computations
Ed Boyden
Optical deconstruction of fully-assembled biological systems
Karl Deisseroth
12:20 – 1:15 Lunch
Session 4: Translational Research and Target Identification
Chair: Edward Scolnick
1:15 – 2:55 Bridging genetics to drug discovery
Dan Curtis
A synaptic functional approach to CNS drug discovery
David Gerber
Quantitative proteomics to identify protein-small molecule interactions in
primary neurons
Monica Schenone
Establishing an unbiased, scalable functional assay for neurons using multielectrode array recording
Jen Pan
2:55 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 3:30 Development of D2R β-arrestin biased antagonists for the treatment of
Michael Lewis
3:30 – 3:45 Late Breaking Talk (15 min)
Genetic modulation of neuronal competition homeostasis in the adult dentate gyrus to enhance hippocampal functions
Kathleen McAvoy
3:45 – 5:00 Panel Discussion: Polices and Future Directions
  Steven Hyman
Thomas Insel
Thomas Lehner
David Panchision
Carlos Pato
Ming Tsuang
Patrick Sullivan
5:00 Closing Remarks
Steven Hyman