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Applied Molecular Genomics

Research Group

Lifecycle:1 Oct 2003 →  31 Dec 2015
Organisation profile:Psychiatric disorders, such as major depression or unipolar disorder (UP), manic depression or bipolar disorder (BP) and schizophrenia, are among the most frequent brain diseases worldwide. An estimated 9-10% of the world population suffers from major depression, while bipolar disorder and schizophrenia each affect ~1% of the population. Although the precise causes of psychiatric diseases are still largely unknown, family studies argue for a strong genetic determination. However, these studies also point to the importance of environmental factors in determining disease susceptibility. Most probably, these disorders result from a complex interplay between various genetic and environmental risk factors. More information on these so-called "multifactorial diseases" can be found on this website. Based on scientific research, more and more insight is gained into the causes of psychiatric disorders, especially with regard to the genetic factors that play a role in determining susceptibility to these diseases. In the long term, these insights may lead to the development of new and more efficient treatment strategies for psychiatric patients. But although significant progress has been made during the last years in identifying genetic risk factors, there is still a long way to go. The unraveling of the genetic basis of psychiatric diseases is a slow and complicated process, in which every scientific result is only a small piece of the complex genetic puzzle. Based on a many years' experience in the field of psychiatric disorders and DNA technology development, our research group aims to contribute to this process. Our research is mainly directed towards the identification of genetic risk factors for affective disorders (UP and BP) and psychotic disorder. For that purpose we use various molecular genetic techniques, including linkage analysis and population-based association studies of candidate genes. In this way we already identified several potential candidate genes and regions. For more detailed information about our research, please visit the VIB website. Next to fundamental genetic research, our group also develops new computational technologies to streamline the process of gene identification and variant detection in complex diseases. Examples of recently developed tools can be found on the VIB website. Website: http://www.molgen.ua.ac.be/Public/Research/ResearchGroups/
Disciplines:Genetics, Systems biology, Biomaterials engineering, Biological system engineering, Biomechanical engineering, Other (bio)medical engineering, Environmental engineering and biotechnology, Industrial biotechnology, Other biotechnology, bio-engineering and biosystem engineering, Molecular and cell biology, Psychiatry and psychotherapy, Nursing, Other paramedical sciences, Clinical and counselling psychology, Other psychology and cognitive sciences