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PD Dr. Stephanie Witt

Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry

The Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry investigates the biological and environmental basis of psychiatric illness, as well as gene-environment interactions and the genetic basis of treatment response (pharmacogenetics). Since psychiatric-genetic research touches upon a range of ethically sensitive issues, the Department is also engaged in intensive scientific dissection of the inherent ethical dilemmas. The main focuses of interest are affective and schizophrenic disorders.

Key aspects of our research are:

  • phenotype characterization and investigation of endophenotypes
  • biobanking
  • genetic, epigenetic and biostatistical analysis
  • environment and genes
  • ethical aspects of psychiatric-genetic research

Selection of recent publications

  1. Hou L, Bergen SE, Akula N, Song J, Hultman CM, Landen M, et al. Genome-wide association study of 40,000 individuals identifies two novel loci associated with bipolar disorder. Hum Mol Genet. 2016.
  2. Network, Pathway Analysis Subgroup of Psychiatric Genomics C. Psychiatric genome-wide association study analyses implicate neuronal, immune and histone pathways. Nature neuroscience. 2015;18(2):199-209.
  3. Hibar DP, Stein JL, Renteria ME, Arias-Vasquez A, Desrivieres S, Jahanshad N, et al. Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures. Nature. 2015;520(7546):224-9.
  4. Dukal H, Frank J, Lang M, Treutlein J, Gilles M, Wolf IA-C, et al. New-born females show higher stress- and genotype-independent methylation of SLC6A4 than males. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation. 2015;accepted.
  5. Dannlowski U, Kugel H, Grotegerd D, Redlich R, Suchy J, Opel N, et al. NCAN Cross-Disorder Risk Variant Is Associated With Limbic Gray Matter Deficits in Healthy Subjects and Major Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015;40(11):2510-6.
  6. Witt SH, Juraeva D, Sticht C, Strohmaier J, Meier S, Treutlein J, et al. Investigation of manic and euthymic episodes identifies state- and trait-specific gene expression and STAB1 as a new candidate gene for bipolar disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 2014;4:e426.
  7. Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics C. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature. 2014;511(7510):421-7.
  8. Muhleisen TW, Leber M, Schulze TG, Strohmaier J, Degenhardt F, Treutlein J, et al. Genome-wide association study reveals two new risk loci for bipolar disorder. Nature communications. 2014;5:3339.
  9. Cross-Disorder Group of the Psychiatric Genomics C, Lee SH, Ripke S, Neale BM, Faraone SV, Purcell SM, et al. Genetic relationship between five psychiatric disorders estimated from genome-wide SNPs. Nat Genet. 2013;45(9):984-94.
  10. Sklar P, Ripke S, Scott LJ, Andreassen OA, Cichon S, Craddock N, et al. Large-scale genome-wide association analysis of bipolar disorder identifies a new susceptibility locus near ODZ4. Nat Genet. 2011;43(10):977-83.

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