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Symposium: Genetics and early development in neuropsychiatric disorders


Presented by: 

Professor Tao LI (President, Affiliated Mental Health Center, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang, PR China), Professor Grainne McALONAN (Clinical Professor, Translational Neuroscience, King’s College London, United Kingdom)

Chaired by:

Professor SHAM Pak Chung (Chair Professor in Psychiatric Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, SClinMed, The University of Hong Kong)


14 May 2024


4:00 am


6:00 am


Room 211 A&B, 2/F, New Clinical Building, Queen Mary Hospital, and Zoom


Topic 1: Investigating the Genetic Landscape of Schizophrenia: from GWAS Findings to Advanced Long-Read Sequencing Analysis


The effectiveness of schizophrenia genetic research has traditionally depended on large cohorts at the expense of detailed phenotype data, often neglecting the clinical diversity of the disorder. Utilizing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with robust sample sizes and established theories of etiology, researchers have identified various subtypes that show different genetic susceptibilities. Structural variations (SVs) arising de novo play a role in the genetic basis of schizophrenia, overlapping with other rare mutations in certain key genes, including PPP3CA. Long-read sequencing (LRS) has proven especially effective in identifying medium-sized SVs (200bp to 10kb) and shows promise for future research involving larger datasets


Topic 2: How does early life research help us understand mechanisms and intervention targets in neurodevelopmental conditions into adulthood


Professor Grainne McAlonan will describe how this research has confirmed that fundamental differences in GABA-dependent brain sensory systems and wider brain networks provide a setting for the emergence of autistic traits and she will show how investigating sensory processing in adults can reveal mechanisms which contribute to autism and how they can be modulated pharmacologically

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