In our planned project on psychiatric and somatic comorbidity, we will take a cross-disorder approach. So far, we have only taken the initial steps to start collecting brain samples at the SPBU biobank, and we now plan to increase efforts within the consortium to expand the collection of postmortem brains from psychiatric patients. Currently, we are in the preparatory stage for developing protocols for collecting and storing various postmortem specimens, including brain tissue biopsies.
The establishment of the RNCPG is the first but important initial step in the long road to achieve our aims and goals. This initiative is the result of our understanding that only joint efforts can enable us to promote and develop psychiatric genetics and genomics in the Russian Federation.
We wish to highlight the following are specific challenges facing our Consortium:. Population and geography. The Russian Federation covers a large geographical area that is located in two continents: Europe and Asia. We need to study psychiatric genetics in heterogeneous populations in historically mixed European-Asian regions Volga-Ural Region, Siberia that are locally diverse and in more homogenous parts of the country European region and thereby pay special attention to the cultural diversity.
Legislation regulation. To date, the Russian Federation has no specific legislation on the biobanking of human biomaterial, and there are only separate documents regulating the collection, storage, and use of biological samples for certain practical medical purposes transplantation, reproductive technologies.
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The further development of our Consortium requires a lot of work to build the next generation of modern scientific infrastructure in the Russian Federation. To address this challenge, we have designed a detailed road map for the initial period up to on the basis of the available potential of the research centers, St. Petersburg University and the Biobank.
Personnel and educational programs. The structure of our Consortium needs qualified and experienced personnel in the fields of psychiatry, genetics, bioinformatics, and scientific management. An important goal of the Consortium is to provide adequate training for young mental health care professionals.
The main tasks of the unified training programs are to provide recent data on psychiatric genetics and neuropsychiatric research and to exchange study experiences with different centers, regions, and countries.
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Currently, training is offered as regular annual meetings, conferences, and schools for young scientists and lectures that aim to broaden the understanding of psychiatric genetics and provide education on how to organize clinical trials, develop study protocols and write scientific publications. Most centers already have the resources to provide regular on-site training for young professionals. Trainees are provided with opportunities for integrative learning through visits to different centers and by sharing their experiences.
Another important aspect is the constant communication between the trainers. We plan to increase the number of lectures and round tables and will hold annual lectures to provide updates on the work of the Consortium and its current projects and on changes in research methods. In addition, we are considering holding integrated telecommunication conferences to facilitate long-term, ongoing training. One of the important current objectives of the Consortium is to arrange adequate financial support for the continuing education efforts and to involve young specialists in Consortium projects.
Development of international collaborations. Most of the RNCPG members have a history of successful international collaborations, which provides us with opportunities to develop new collaboration projects worldwide. The Consortium was founded as an open system, and our standards for research design, precision phenotyping, and genetic analysis fully correspond with international ones. All the projects within the RNCPG are flexible enough to enable them to be harmonized with and adjusted to the most modern projects in the field of psychiatric genetics in other countries.
We are prepared for any kinds of scientific collaborations and would like to invite all colleagues to participate in joint research programs.
Enlarging the collections of samples and increasing funding. Our plans to substantially increase the size of our collections of samples will require increased funding for storage, processing, and data analysis. The successful outcome of the initial steps of the RNCPG — will help us to generate new opportunities for large research projects for the whole Consortium.
Its members are open to any kinds of collaboration, both within Russia and internationally, that are performed according to the principles of scientific partnership. We believe that high quality genetic, genomic, and pharmacogenetic data from the Russian population are of great value and will be extremely useful for the psychiatric genetics community to allow sustained progress in this fascinating area of human genetics.
Rogaev E. Academic psychiatry in Russia: new times, new challenges. Mol Psychiatry. Common variants conferring risk of schizophrenia. Genome-wide association study identifies five new schizophrenia loci. Nat Genet. Biological insights from schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Genome-wide association study reveals two new risk loci for bipolar disorder. Nat Commun. Common schizophrenia alleles are enriched in mutation-intolerant genes and in regions under strong background selection.
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Nat Genet Genetic variability in common mental and neurological disorders in North Eurasia. Clin Bioche m. Mol Biol Mosk.
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Replicative study of susceptibility to childhood-onset schizophrenia in Kazakhs. Association study of genetic markers of schizophrenia and its cognitive endophenotypes. Russ J Genet. Glutamate receptors genes polymorphism and the risk of paranoid schizophrenia in Russians and Tatars from the Republic of Bashkortostan.
Mol Biol. Polymorphism of RGS2 gene: genetic markers of risk for schizophrenia and pharmacogenetic markers of typical neuroleptics efficiency. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. Asian J Psychiatr. Neurosci Behav Physiol. Association between a synaptosomal protein SNAP gene polymorphism and verbal memory and attention in patients with endogenous psychoses and mentally healthy subjects. The Cys allele the SerCys polymorphism of the dopamine D2 receptor is associated with schizophrenia and impairments to selective attention in patients.
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Association between serotonin receptor 2C gene Cys23Ser polymorphism and social behavior in schizophrenia patients and healthy individuals. Psychiatry Res. Bull Exp Biol Med. Schizophr Res Treat. Modulating effect of Val66Met polymorphism of brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene on clinical and psychological characteristics of patients with schizophrenia.
The serotonin transporter gene 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is associated with affective psychoses but not with schizophrenia: A large-scale study in the Russian population. J Affect Disord. Association between alcoholism and gamma-amino butyric acid alpha2 receptor subtype in a Russian population. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. Association between two mu-opioid receptor gene OPRM1 haplotype blocks and drug or alcohol dependence.
Hum Mol Genet. Mutation screen of the GAD2 gene and association study of alcoholism in three populations.