Our training program will focus on the genetics of schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar I disorder (BPrincipal Investigator). Our training will occur primarily in India and Egypt, which have a combined population of over 1.2 billion. SZ and BPrincipal Investigator are common and substantial sources of morbidity world-wide, yet their treatment is unsatisfactory. SZ and BPrincipal Investigator may share etiological factors and manifest co-morbidity with several prevalent chronic disorders, such as obesity and coronary artery disease. All these diseases have a proven genetic etiology, with complex inheritance. Successful gene mapping efforts will require large samples. Such samples are difficult to ascertain in developed countries and are largely restricted to Caucasians. Such recruitment is more feasible in developing countries. Indeed, novel etiological factors may be present. Parallel studies in developing and developed countries may also clarify the role of genetic factors against diverse environmental backgrounds. Such research has lagged in developing countries. We have established productive psychiatric genetic studies at four collaborating sites in India, Egypt and at the University of Pittsburgh (PITT). Training / research infrastructure building have also been initiated. This proposal adds two more sites. We will continue training linked to ongoing research, each activity complementing the other. There are two components: (1) The primary component is doctoral (PhD) training for six candidates who will exploit and extend our rich dataset. The training will occur primarily at the overseas institutions, with complementary training at PITT. PITT faculty will actively supervise the trainees and train local faculty as needed. (2) We will organize three specialty training workshops and public symposia at the overseas sites. We will thus provide infrastructure development, extend our gene mapping efforts and facilitate interactive learning and problem solving among the tri-national collaborators. The present proposal will lay the groundwork for a tradition of collegial training and research in two large countries where psychiatric disorders are common, but are stigmatized.
Treatment and research for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are important unmet needs in India and Egypt. We will continue training, infrastructure development and extend genetic epidemiological research already initiated by us. Thus we will enhance research in both psychiatry and genetics. The research will directly benefit the USA, by helping understand the pathogenesis of two common, severe, chronic, disabling disorders.
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