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Conférence mensuelle - Michael OwenGenomics and the Nature of Schizophrenia

Abstract :

PhD Seminar Series / Lunch with speaker:Students !!!  if you are interested to share pizzas and a good moment with him (12h30 - 14h), please register on this Doodle...soon(maximum 15 people, first-come-first-served!)

Recent genomic studies have begun to reveal the genetic architecture of schizophrenia and to give important insights into the nature of the disorder and its relationship to other psychiatric diagnoses. Genetic risk does not map onto the syndromic definitions of disease that are used in the clinic. This, along with the lack of clear boundaries between disorders, suggests that there are likely to be overlapping mechanisms at work and that current diagnostic categories may not be optimal for stratifying cases for research into aetiology and pathogenesis. However, despite the undoubted complexity and the fact that much of the genetic risk remains unaccounted for at the DNA level, there are encouraging signs that the genes implicated converge onto sets of plausible biological processes. In particular, recent genetic data point to defects of synaptic and dendritic function and implicate mechanisms involved in brain plasticity that are important in development and in learning and cognition. While these are almost certainly not the only processes involved, they provide robust entry points for clinical and basic neuroscience research.

Selected publications

Singh T, Owen MJ, Barrett JC et al. (2016). Rare loss-of-function variants in SETD1A are associated with schizophrenia and developmental disorders. Nature Neuroscience, 19(4):571-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.4267

Owen MJ, Sawa A, Mortensen PB (2016). Schizophrenia. Lancet, 388(10039):86-97.

Pocklington AP, Rees E, Walters JTR, Han J, Kavanagh DH, Chambert KD, Holmans P, Moran JL, McCarroll SA, Kirov G, O’Donovan MC, Owen MJ (2015) Novel findings from CNVs implicate inhibitory and excitatory signalling complexes in schizophrenia. Neuron, 86: 1203-14.

Hall J, Trent S, Thomas KL, O'Donovan MC, Owen MJ (2015). Genetic Risk for Schizophrenia: Convergence on Synaptic Pathways Involved in Plasticity. Biological Psychiatry, 77:52-8

Owen MJ (2014) New approaches to psychiatric diagnostic classification. Neuron, 84: 564-71.

Short Bio

Mike Owen is Director of the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, and Head of the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences in Cardiff University. He has researched the genetics and genomics of a variety of psychiatric disorders since 1987 and has made notable contributions to the study of schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease. He is interested in the impact of genetic findings on how psychiatric disorders are defined and the work of his group has identified functionally related sets of proteins that are involved in a range of neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia. As well as continuing his work on psychiatric genetics, he is currently undertaking research aimed at translating recent genetic findings into a greater understanding of disease mechanisms using a variety of neuroscience and epidemiological approaches. In addition, he worked as a consultant in general adult psychiatry from 1990-2016. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG) from 1993-2014 and was President from 2000-2005. He was awarded the Stromgren Medal for psychiatric research in 2011, the Lieber Prize for schizophrenia research in 2012, the William K Warren Distinguished Investigator Award for schizophrenia research in 2013, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of ISPG in 2015. He has published over 600 scientific papers and is a Thompson Reuters