Mental Disorders in the Genomic Age

Genomics and genomics technologies are changing our views about the origins of some mental disorders. In the last five years researchers have established a genetic basis for a significant proportion of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and other disorders. We now know that these diseases can arise from a multitude of genetic (DNA) variations that are either inherited or newly occurring. We also know that diseases such as schizophrenia, autism and Tourette syndrome can arise from variants in many different genes, rather than having a common genetic causation. The challenge is to understand how these many distinct variations can lead to the common symptoms characteristic of each disorder. New research with stem cells induced from blood or skin of patients may shed light on disease mechanisms and allow a new era in drug development. The National Institute of Mental Health Center for Collaborative Genomic Research on Mental Disorders, headquartered at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey serves to coordinate national research efforts in all of these areas. View PowerPoint presentation document.



TischfieldAs Founder, CEO and Scientific Director, Jay A. Tischfield is responsible for the scientific direction, funding and overall mission of RUCDR Infinite Biologics. His over 200 publications describe the genetics of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, inherited kidney stone diseases, alcoholism, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, autism and Tourette syndrome, as well as basic science related to our understanding of genetic stability in somatic and pluripotent stem cells. His experience in organizing, leading and executing large scale projects involving hundreds of thousands of human subjects provides the background expertise for RUCDR Infinite Biologics. Jay is among the top five percent of National Institutes of Health-funded researchers for over 38 years, with over $350 million in total funding during the past 15 years.

Jay has current certification in two Medical Genetics sub-specialties and is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. He received the Distinguished Alumnus medal from Brooklyn College and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as a biomedical infrastructure advisor to Singapore for nearly two decades. He has held professorial appointments at five U.S. Schools of Medicine and is currently MacMillan Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey. He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and did a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.


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