Novel Methods for Understanding

Several research teams are using a multidisciplinary approach to better understand and identify genetic factors, molecular mechanisms and biomarkers that are associated with clinical diagnoses and treatment response.

Addictive disorders

The Samuel C. Johnson Genomics of Addiction Program brings together a multidisciplinary, integrated group of clinicians and scientists to better understand how genetic vulnerability is related to the onset and treatment of alcohol, drug and other addictions. The research team concentrates on developing individualized molecular strategies for alcoholism treatment, with the primary focus on studying the pharmacogenomics of anti-craving medications.

Bipolar Disorder Biobank

Researchers have established a large-scale Bipolar Disorder Biobank, collecting both biological samples and clinical data from over 2,500 individuals. This biobank is structured to help researchers facilitate studies on disease risk and pharmacogenomic probes using state-of-the-art research technology.

The identification of genetic risk factors associated with disease onset can potentially lead to early intervention and treatment in at-risk patients. Early intervention is particularly important in bipolar disorder because the initiation of any treatment is often delayed by more than a decade after the first episode. Additionally, identification of pharmacogenomic predictors of treatment response could provide increased selectivity to treatment recommendations, as well as help prevent serious adverse events, such as antidepressant-induced mania.

Psychiatric pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenomic testing algorithm research

The primary objective of the clinical research of pharmacogenomics is to better understand genetic variability as it relates to antidepressant response. The team is involved in both psychiatric pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenomic testing for algorithm research.