NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher will use a grant from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) to study the genomes of four families that suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
The $100,000, two-year Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD will support UNC School of Medicine researcher Patrick Sullivan in a comparison of the genetics of the two diseases in order to identify links to psychosis.
The research will focus on two families from northern Sweden and two others from Andalusia, in Spain. All of the families have an unusually high number of members affected with these disorders, and Sullivan will study the families to identify genetic variants and genetic copy number changes of interest.
Sullivan and his research team will then sequence the DNA from a subset of cases and compare any possible sequence variations with unrelated samples.
The aim is to identify genes associated with schizophrenia that will help improve diagnosis and treatments for disorders that have psychotic symptoms.