I am a psychiatric geneticist who works on the genetics of affective (mood) disorders, psychosis and eating disorders. One of the most important goals for my research is to discover the biological basis of common psychiatric disorders, which will allow better drug discovery and biomarker studies in mental health. Not only that but they can also be used to improve estimations of response to psychological treatments and to help improve clinical trial approaches. Because someone’s DNA sequence does not change after diagnosis or treatment, genetics is often the best approach for this.
I am heavily involved in a number of international genetic consortia which are driving the field of psychiatric genetics forward at a faster pace than ever before, with more than 500 variants for common psychiatric disorders recently discovered.
I am currently running The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression or GLAD study with my close collaborator Prof Thalia Eley. You can hear us talking about the study here, and can watch an animation about the study here. I lead the NIHR Mental Health BioResource, of which GLAD is the first study, which aims to recruit >100,000 participants in the next 5 years. I am a theme lead in the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.
- Eating disorders
- Mood disorders
- Genetics systems biology
Expertise and Public Engagement:
I frequently take part in radio and TV on psychiatric genetics and as a consulted expert by the media when new findings come out. I work with charities including the Beat eating disorders charity in the UK and have worked with many others in designing and carrying out the PR campaign for our new National Mental Health BioResource. Our first project in this is the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression or GLAD project, which has been joint work with Thalia Eley, has recruited 20,000 in the first three months of the study and which has also been – perhaps - the most prominent psychiatric genetics recruitment study in the new era of social media (www.gladstudy.org.uk).
Translational and Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group
Identification of common genetic risk variants for autism spectrum disorder
25 February 2019
The Genetics of the Mood Disorder Spectrum: Genome-wide Association Analyses of More Than 185,000 Cases and 439,000 Controls
01 January 2020
Correction to: Investigation of common, low-frequency and rare genome-wide variation in anorexia nervosa (Molecular Psychiatry, (2018), 23, 5, (1169-1180), 10.1038/mp.2017.88)
01 May 2018
The behavioral, cellular and immune mediators of HIV-1 acquisition: New insights from population genetics
13 January 2020
Mental Health in UK Biobank - development, implementation and results from an online questionnaire completed by 157,366 participants: This paper is a reanalysis of data previously published in a paper - Davis KAS, Coleman JRI, et al. Mental health in UK Biobank, 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.12; corrections: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.19 and https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2018.47) - that was retracted on 17 June 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.46) for reasons of accuracy in the reporting of alcohol use disorders, as discussed in an editorial - Kaufman KR, Malhi GS, Bhui KS. When a corrigendum is not sufficient, 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.41)
17 December 2019
The genetic and environmental hierarchical structure of anxiety and depression in the UK Biobank
22 December 2019
Cannabis use, depression and self-harm: phenotypic and genetic relationships
01 January 2019
Bipolar multiplex families have an increased burden of common risk variants for psychiatric disorders
01 January 2019
Genome-wide association analysis reveals KCTD12 and miR-383-binding genes in the background of rumination
01 December 2019
Comparison of adopted and non-adopted individuals reveals gene-environment interplay for education in the UK Biobank
01 January 2019