Common neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease, carry considerable morbidity, mortality, and personal and societal cost. While recent large-scale genetic association studies have identified numerous risk loci, the mechanisms through which they contribute to disease remain largely unknown. By applying single cell molecular approaches to the affected tissue (in this case, the human brain), we can uncover novel cellular subpopulations that are associated with disease. In parallel, cell type-specific molecular studies allow us to characterize the effect of genetic variation on the 3-dimensional configuration of the genome and on the complex mechanisms that regulate gene expression in those cells relevant to disease. All these brain-specific multi-scale data are leveraged to interpret the genetic architecture of neuropsychiatric illnesses in large-scale biobank datasets. Our team is part of studies conducted by the Million Veteran Program, PsychENCODE project, CommonMind Consortium and Accelerating Medicine Partnership for Alzheimer’s Disease.
For more information about Roussos Lab projects, please see this Mount Sinai School of Medicine web page.