Special Issue "Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) in Psychiatric Illnesses"
A special issue of High-Throughput (ISSN 2571-5135).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).
2. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Center for Biomarker Research and Precision Medicine, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 907 Floyd Ave, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
3. Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Interests: GWAS; miRNA; eQTLs; gene expression; postmortem brain espression studies
In the last decade, a massive and concerted effort from the research community has led to the generation of large ‘mega’ genome-wide association scans (GWAS) that have analyzed millions of genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) generated from hundreds of thousands of people. This has resulted in the identification of robust and replicable genetic variants associated with severe neuropsychiatric phenotypes such as schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BP), and major depressive disorders (MDD) and more recently with externalizing disorders related to alcohol and cannabis use. However, one major limitation of these ‘mega’-GWAS conducted by large research groups such as the Psychiatric Genomic Consortium (PGC) is the lack of ethnic diversity; for instance the PGC cohort despite its impressive size, is virtually entirely composed of subjects with European/Caucasian ethnicity. This lack of ethnic diversity is even more pressing considering recent studies reporting significant allelic differences in the genome-wide significant polymophisms associated with schizophrenia in the PGC. As virtually none of the associated variants so far were shown to be in a linkage disequilibrium (LD) with polymorphisms with known functions, the pervasive opinion is that the associated variants (or the variants with which they are in LD) contribute to disease by modulating gene expression levels. Therefore, understanding how variants (termed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL)) affect gene expression across different populations is equally important for our understanding of the biological mechanisms contributing to the etiology of neuropsychiatric phenotypes in a population-specific fashion.
Thus, the goal of this Special Issue is to invite research studies that are aimed at conducting GWAS on populations with different ethnic backgrounds. Identifying genetic loci associated with neuropsychiatric disorders from different ethnic groups will increase our understanding of the etiopathology of neuropsychiatric disorders in less-studied populations.
Dr. Vladimir I. Vladimirov
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- Ethnic diversity
- Psychiatric disorders
- Gene expression