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Gerome Breen

Professor Gerome Breen

Start date at Kings: 1/01/2003

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I am a psychiatric geneticist who works on the genetics of affective (mood) disorders, psychosis and eating disorders. One of the most important goals for my research is to discover the biological basis of common psychiatric disorders, which will allow better drug discovery and biomarker studies in mental health. Not only that but they can also be used to improve estimations of response to psychological treatments and to help improve clinical trial approaches. Because someone’s DNA sequence does not change after diagnosis or treatment, genetics is often the best approach for this.

I am heavily involved in a number of international genetic consortia which are driving the field of psychiatric genetics forward at a faster pace than ever before, with more than 500 variants for common psychiatric disorders recently discovered.

We have just launched the Eating Disorders Genetic Initiative. This is a project which aims to recruit 10,000 people in England who have experienced an eating disorder who fill in a detailed online questionnaire and who give a saliva sample for genetic analyses. EDGI has the ambitious goal of creating the world's largest re-contactable group of people with experience of an eating disorder, and who also have detailed clinical and genetic information. We want to speed up research in eating disorders to help find their causes and to identify the best treatments.

I am also currently running The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression or GLAD study with my close collaborator Prof Thalia Eley. You can hear us talking about the study here, and can watch an animation about the study here

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