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Psychosis Research Program

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The H3K9 Histone Switch; 'Levels' In Schizophrenia Blood And Brain

Schizohrenia can impact almost all domains of mental functioning, such as perception, affect, memory and cognition, and social disability. Because of this broad symptomatology, we are examining whether a genomewide system of gene regulation, termed EPIGENETICS, can identify a pathologically repressed gene networks. We have developed assays to allows us to measure these systems in peripheral blood monocytes that are safely obtainable from patients (Sharma et al., 2006).  We inform these clinical studies with experimental results emerging from non-clinical platforms in our lab, such as postmortem brain analysis and cellullar studies.  Because epigenetic proteins are modified by very many catalytic enzymes that have not been examined in schizophrenia populations, the potential to discover new molecular treatments is very high.