Research

Research

The Division of Translational Neuroscience of Schizophrenia focuses on developing, supporting, and administering programs of research, research training, and resource development aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and related disorders, and hastening the translation of behavioral and neuroscience advances into innovations in clinical care.

The division supports a broad research portfolio, which includes studies of the phenotypic characterization and risk factors for schizophrenia and related disorders; clinical neuroscience to elucidate etiology and pathophysiology of these disorders; and psychopharmacologic and somatic treatment development.

One of the main focuses of our group is to investigate the nature and treatment of cognitive deficits commonly seen in schizophrenia and related disorders. It is now widely accepted that cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia and are highly implicated in the occupational and social deficits seen in this patient population. Another important focus of our research group is to conduct phenotyping to understand the genetic inheritance patterns of schizophrenia and related disorders. This research is being conducted by using molecular biological techniques in post-mortem brain tissue, as well as, a variety of physiological and genetic assessments in probands and their family members.

Our primary focus is to conduct research on the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia and related disorders to:

  • Define predictors and understand the mechanism of treatment response
  • Create and refine biomarkers, behavioral assessments, and phenotypic characterizations of psychotic disorders
  • Evaluate existing therapies for new indications, and, in collaboration, with academic, industry and regulatory agencies, hasten the development of more effective new treatments for psychotic disorders with an emphasis on schizophrenia

Our group supports an integrated research program to clarify psychopathology and neurocognitive deficits and understand the underlying pathophysiology. These efforts will help develop new treatments for enhancing neurocognition in schizophrenia and related disorders.

We propose to study:

  • Human volunteers with schizophrenia and related disorders using in vivo brain imaging, novel pharmacological interventions, and post-mortem tissue analysis, and
  • Laboratory mice with and without genetic manipulations using behavioral studies, electrophysiology, and pharmacology