ipsych INITIATIVE research center
About The iPSYCH Initiative. iPSYCH is studying five specific mental disorders; autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. All disorders are associated with major human and societal costs all over the world. The iPSYCH project studies these disorders from many different angles, ranging from genes and cells to population studies, from fetus to adult, from cause to symptoms of the disorder, and this knowledge is combined in new ways across scientific fields. The main goals are to identify the causes of these disorders by studying the genetic and environmental factors and thereby find new targets for treatment. The perspective is to offer better and more personalized treatment, providing a better life for each individual patient with the disorder – and perhaps even ways to prevent the development of the disorder in some cases.
“The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research”- iPSYCH – has received its third major grant from the Lundbeck Foundation – DKK 120 million – for a new 3-year period starting from 1 March 2018. This means that a number of leading researchers working within the field of psychiatry in Denmark, and their national and international collaborators, can continue their research in this field. The six PIs have well established research groups, which covers areas within: medicine, molecular biology, bioinformatics, statistics, psychology and much more. This diversity of disciplines gives a multifaceted and interdisciplinary approach for collaboration within and between the research groups and their national and international collaborators.
Our institute is home to the Thomas Werge research group.
Aims: Institute for Biological Psychiatry aims (a) to discover rare and common genetic variants that confer risk of developing severe psychiatric disorders, and (b) to describe the patterns of biological and functional impact of such disease variants.
Impact: The institute has made a number major scientific discoveries, primarily identifying rare, high-risk CNVs and common, low-risk SNPs, and implicating microRNA mediated deregulation in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Another recent and significant contribution by the institute was the mapping of the genetic population sub-structure among European Caucasians and the development of algorithms for genetic stratification. The institute has recently developed genetic animal models of mental disorders inserting human disease CNV mutations into mouse strain using transgenic techniques, and shown that the phenotypic impact of such CNV mutations can be translated across species.
Interests: The institute is home for the Danish Psychiatric Biobank and focuses on three scientific topics. (a) Molecular and Population Genetics, aiming at gene discovery and association with psychiatric disorders, including risk assessment, environmental impact, inheritance patterns in large population, and sub-structuring of populations. (b) Translational Genomics, pursuing a “from-cause-to-outcome” strategy to track the path of pathogenic mutations, through its molecular and cellular correlates to the pathophysiological outcomes and functional deficits. (c)Systems Pharmacology, which combines genomics and metabolomic sciences with careful clinical assessments to identify causes and biomarkers of pharmacotherapy in important mental and somatic disorders.
Expertise: The field of expertise covers molecular genetics, bioinformatics, systems biology, clinical phenotyping, translational genetics, imaging genetics, neuro-cognition, psychopathology, EEG, MR, pharmaco genetics, population genetics, metabolomics, gene-environment interactions. The institute comprises an interdisciplinary team of geneticists, biostatisticians, molecular biologists, physicians, bioinformatics, psychologists, physicists and biologists.
Publications: The institute holds a number of large, research grants and collaborates with many different national and international research institutions and private companies. Results from the research are published in highly renowned peer-review journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Current Biology, Biological Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, American Journal of Human Genetics, American Journal of Psychiatry, Human Molecular Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology, and JAMA Psychiatry.