Mike Lafferty receives BCB Training Grant

Congratulations to Mike Lafferty for receiving the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology NIH-supported training grant (T32 GM 067553)! Mike is a second year graduate student working on QTL analyses.

A brief description of the ENIGMA consortium

Here is a brief description of what we're doing in the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analsysis (ENIGMA) consortium.  Thanks to Paul Thompson, Aggie McMahon, and Sophia Thomopoulos for putting this together!

We welcome 3 new members!

We welcome 3 new members to the Stein lab! Shana Hall is a postdoc with Jessica Cohen and doing a postdoctoral rotation in our lab to work on imaging genetics projects. Zach Humphrey and Tianyi Liu are both undergraduates working on automated recognition of cells within 3D microscopy images of the brain.

Chromatin interaction paper in developing human brain published

Congrats to Hyejung Won in Dan Geschwind's lab for publishing a paper in Nature on chromatin interaction via Hi-C in the developing human brain. This paper gives new insights into the genes (mis)regulated by schizophrenia risk alleles.  We find that genetic variants associated with risk for schizophrenia in non-coding and functionally undefined regions of the genome are physically interacting with some previously suspected genes as well as some new genes.  One step closer to understanding the biological pathways creating genetic risk for a complicated psychiatric disease.

Genetics of intracranial volume paper published in Nature Neuroscience

Our most recent paper of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analysis consortium was just published in Nature Neuroscience. We identified 7 loci significantly influencing the structure of the human brain, some near very interesting neural genes (IGF1, FOXO3).  Most interesting is the genetic correlation between intracranial volume and adult cognitive ability - the same genetic variants that influence the size of your brain also (in part) influence your cognitive ability later in life!  Pretty exciting functional impacts of structural differences.

 

 

Review published on autism genetics and neurobiology

We published a review in Nature Medicine on autism genetics and neurobiology.  We present on what we view as the current state of the field, showing that there is much genetic variation creating risk for autism yet to be discovered.  We also detail some of the neurobiological hypotheses that have been put forward based on the genetic findings.  Finally, we talk about the model systems used to study autism and their results as well as limitations.

Stein lab moves to UNC

The Stein Lab is starting at UNC Chapel Hill in January 2016.  The UNC Neuroscience Center announces the move here.