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.