Human genetics is advancing at a very rapid rate due to the enormous power of genomics technology. New methods for very high throughput genotyping and soon, complete genomic sequencing, promise dramatic advances in our understanding of the basic mechanisms of psychiatric illness. These mechanistic insights will lead to new drug targets and medications with novel mechanisms of action. These data may also lead to new diagnostic methods, and may influence present diagnostic nosology. Recent survey-based studies have indicated that practicing psychiatrists at presentlargely have only a limited knowledge of genetics. It is critical for psychiatry to reap the future benefits of these advances in human genetics in order for psychiatrists to become more knowledgeable with discoveries in psychiatric genetics and their clinical application.
- Develop knowledge of the genetic risks of psychiatric disorders to improve counseling of the patients and families
- Compare current technologies in molecular genetics based on up-to-date information and select the most appropriate technologies for each new research study
- Be able to analyze large-scale genetic data, including genome-wide data, with the most powerful available statistical methods
- Develop valid diagnostic tests for specific psychiatric disorders based on genetic methods to improve treatment response
- Discover specific associations between DNA sequence variation and psychiatric disorders, so that new medications that modify relevant molecular “targets” in these genes and genetic pathways can be developed
- Discover genetic mechanisms underlying the genetic susceptibilities to major psychiatric disorders and develop a strategic plan
- Develop new knowledge about genetic mechanisms underlying specific psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, mood and anxiety disorders, autism, and others and recognize the next steps in promoting discoveries in these areas
- Select significant psychiatric genetic research topics and the best methodologies to study them and to improve exposure to diverse principles
The congress will be a four-day course covering a broad range of topics in psychiatric genetics. An initial Education Day will focus on teaching basic genetics and psychiatric genetics to practicing clinicians and scientists new to the field. This will be followed by three and a half days of meetings where scientists from all around the world will present their latest research results and expert speakers in human genetics will describe relevant advances in technology and examples from other disorders. The target audience will include clinicians such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and pharmacists, as well as genetic scientists conducting research in this area. This year we plan a special focus and track on education of practicing clinicians.