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Multipronged study of schizophrenia-associated syndrome receives $3.1 million NIH grant

17 Apr 2017

A research team at Emory University is embarking on a multipronged study of 3q29 deletion syndrome, a genetic mutation associated with a 40-fold increased risk for schizophrenia and a range of other neuropsychiatric conditions including mild to moderate intellectual disability, autism and anxiety. The research is funded by a $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers will produce the first neuronal model of the schizophrenia-associated syndrome, which results from the deletion of a region of 22 genes. By uncovering the specific biological processes disrupted by the mutation, they hope to provide a molecular window into the key developmental processes relevant to schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric conditions. They also will integrate their research with other targets identified in genetic studies of schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disability, potentially leading to new ways to treat affected patients.

Co-principal investigators for the project at Emory University School of Medicine are Jennifer Mulle, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics and Gary Basell, PhD, professor and chair of cell biology. Other project collaborators are in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory Department of Pediatrics, Emory Department of Psychology, and the Marcus Autism Center.

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