This application requests a further five years of support for an Institutional National Research Service Award to support multidisciplinary post-doctoral training in Genetic Epidemiology, Molecular Genetics and Neurobiology. We request support for four postdoctoral (1 M.D. and 3 Ph.D.) fellows for training in Genetic Methodology, Family Epidemiology and Behavior Genetics, Gene Mapping and Bioinformatics, Molecular Genetics, and Molecular Neurobiology. In addition to training in a primary area, fellows will be encouraged to obtain a broad understanding of the diverse skills in Psychiatric Genetics to facilitate their collaboration in (and leadership of) cross-disciplinary research teams. The fellowship will usually last three years, but one or two years may suffice for those with much pertinent experience. Fellows with a wide variety of backgrounds will be recruited including;Psychology, Psychiatry, Genetics, Statistics, Mathematics, Anthropology, Sociology, Biology, and Neuroscience. The training program uses an apprenticeship model, combining research under the mentorship of one or more experienced mentors with more formal training through seminars, didactic courses and individual reading. Major strengths of the program are;(i) the participation of a large multidisciplinary group of well-funded preceptors (n=21) with expertise in statistical and computational genetics, molecular genetics and neuroscience;(ii) the study of quantitative and qualitative traits and the development of methods for the analysis of multivariate phenotypes and (iii) the availability of major epidemiological and genetic data sets (phenotypes and genotypes). Fellows may participate in ongoing Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, ADH, Electrophysiological measures of CNS activity, Personality traits and Nicotine Dependence. We anticipate analysis of targeted sequence data to become a future emphasis. Preceptors in this program have many federally and non-federally funded grants providing many opportunities for training in all aspects of Psychiatric Genetics. The program is located in one of the nation's leading Medical Schools with a rich array of basic and applied genetic research studies and educational opportunities. Thus, we expect the long tradition of successful mentoring and research training of scientists and physician-scientists from diverse intellectual backgrounds to continue.
Mental disorders are a major health problem that cause considerable personal suffering and represent a major portion of our health care budget. The time is ripe to focus on training the next generation of scientists to capitalize on recent advances in genetics to advance the prevention and treatment of these disorders.
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