Psychiatric disease

Founded in 2007, the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research seeks to bring state-of-the-art scientific tools and methods to bear on serious psychiatric disorders and ease the burden for patients and their families.

Working with a global network of collaborators, Stanley Center researchers seek to construct the genetic architecture of major neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorders in order to find biological pathways implicated in these disorders and possible therapeutic targets. In order to do so, they have assembled the world’s largest collection of DNA samples of psychiatric disease, and have developed cutting-edge tools and methods, including new models of the human brain and new analytical approaches to translate genetic findings.

Recently Stanley Center scientists led two international studies that revealed some of the strongest genetic risk factors for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to date. They are now seeking to translate those genetic associations into mechanistic insights, with the aim of using those insights to de-risk approaches to therapeutic intervention.

We are seeking philanthropic partners in the following projects:

  • Defining the genetic factors that contribute to neuropsychiatric diseases, focusing on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

  • Elucidating the biological effects of the genes and variants that have been discovered.

  • Developing the molecular tools to identify pathways and networks in human neural cell types.

  • Identifying the most promising therapeutic targets for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

  • Applying genetic discoveries to better predict risk in human populations.

  • Understanding how biological mechanisms influence adverse reactions to trauma, especially during childhood, via the Biology of Trauma Initiative, with the aim of improving interventions for survivors.

  • Defining the genetic architecture and functional mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, and diversifying patient sample collections.

News coverage on our research in psychiatric disease