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Understanding genetic factors underlying addiction and its psychiatric commorbidities

  • Date: 2016-2019
  • Project leader: Judit García-González

Psychiatric comorbidities such as anxiety and substance abuse are common between people with schizophrenia. Genetics research is showing that such comorbidities are “more than chance”, as they might represent common genetic factors underlying these disorders or causal relationships between them.

This project aims to advance the field by identifying and functionally characterizing genes involved in both schizophrenia and smoking/cannabis consumption. We will combine behavioural studies in lines of mutagenised zebrafish and analyses of human SNP data to understand the causal relationships between these traits and the biological pathways underlying them.

This translational approach can provide the best line of sight for drug discovery and design of clinical trials. By understaining the complete causal mechanisms of these mental disorders, substantial improvement in risk assessment, prevention and treatment may be expected.