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Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology of Mental Disorders Program

Overview

This program supports research using genetic and molecular epidemiologic methods to explore and catalogue the genetic and genomic factors underlying the etiology of mental disorders at a population level and/or in families, as well as the exposures that influence variations in the penetrance and expressivity of these factors. This includes efforts to understand the spectrum of phenotypes that are co-morbid and co-heritable with neuropsychiatric disorders.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Exploring genetic and genomic risk factors for neuropsychiatric disorders in large population-based cohorts (e.g., national registries, large biobanks, longitudinal/birth cohorts and/or broad collection from health care systems and electronic health records).
  • Identifying modifiable exposures through robust, well-powered, and unbiased genome-wide x phenome-wide association studies leveraging large-scale genetic and phenotypic/exposure data (e.g., from biobanks, health systems, and other population-scale cohorts).
  • Genetic epidemiologic studies to understand co-heritability and co-morbidity between neuropsychiatric disorders and physical/functional disorders (e.g., studies that explore the pleiotropy of shared genetic risk factors with an emphasis on enhancing understanding of the genetic architecture of the neuropsychiatric disorder).
  • Genetic epidemiologic studies of psychiatric disorders in underrepresented populations or populations with unique genetic architectures. (Comprehensive assessments of phenotypic/exposure data are encouraged).

This program also supports the NIMH Biorepository and Genomics Resource, which serves all NIMH grantees to support the continuing collection of biosamples (blood, DNA, cell-lines, etc.) for mental health research, in particular samples from currently underrepresented populations (e.g., diverse ancestries, rare disorders, across the lifespan, disorders with limited/no samples) to expand the NIMH Human Genetics Initiative.

Contact

Tara Dutka, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 7189, MSC 9645
301-451-3074, tara.dutka@nih.gov