Psychiatric disease

A Pivotal Moment in Psychiatric Research

Compared to other diseases, like cancer and cardiovascular disease, the biological roots of psychiatric disorders have long been shrouded in mystery. However, recent studies led by scientists at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute are shedding new light on the biological underpinnings of these diseases—a critical step towards eventually finding new diagnostics and treatments.

Researching Resiliency

Though it’s one of the most common psychiatric disorders in terms of lifetime prevalence, the root causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are still dimly understood. For a start, we still don’t know why after a traumatic event, some people develop PTSD and others don’t.

A Research Breakthrough in Schizophrenia

In 2013, Steven McCarroll, the director of genetics at the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, was heading to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party when an email from a graduate student in his lab, Aswin Sekar, popped up on his phone. It contained a simple graph. Sekar had been toiling away at a particularly knotty genetic problem. But when McCarroll opened the message, “it was immediately clear looking at the plot that he had solved it,” he recalled.